roving canal traders
The Roving Canal Traders Association is the collective voice of roving canal traders. It aims to give advice to old, new & would-be traders, and holds frequent events giving increased opportunities to all floating traders.
A different floating trader - every one a 'character of the cut' - will be presented in each edition of this magazine.
For more information on the RCTA, or to join, please see Website
featured roving canal trader
Peri Pigott - the narrowboat weaver
If you see a 55' purple boat with large cream flowers on, that is my gorgeous GillyFlower, so wave or stop by and say hello! My name is Peri
After travelling around, living abroad and in different areas of the UK, I settled back in Bristol, where I grew up. I had opened my own Wedding & Events décor business which was a great success, but had decided back in 2014 that land living with all its demands and working 7 days a week, owning my own business was no longer for me.
I remembered a wonderful canal boat holiday I had had way back...and that even then it was something I thought I would like do, to buy my own boat and become a continuous cruiser...so I sold my business and on November 19th 2014 I bought my boat, which looked very different back then, all dark wood inside and green and burgundy outside, also with a different name.
But I wanted to make this beautiful beast more personal to me, hence the interior re-dec and colour change outside and on New Years Eve 2014 I moved on, yes on a snowy, icy winter morn! But soon got that log burner going...! and I have been a liveaboard ever since and for the foreseeable future would not want to live anywhere else. I just love my boat!
Then a few years ago I obtained a Roving Traders Licence and upcycled small pieces of furniture for my clients. But then Covid hit and Lockdown came and of course like so many people, I decided that to earn money I needed to come up with something else.
During the first lockdown I had made a tapestry using just a small piece of cardboard, after watching Kirsty Allsopp's craft programme. Actually, I made a few and really found the whole process inspiring and mindful. Which was so needed at that time. I started to look into weaving, got a small loom, taught myself to weave and off I went making scarves for friends and family.
I decided to put them up on Facebook, with a price, just to see what would happen , as ya do.... the idea was to make and sell my products using re-claimed wool but people started to ask for specific colours which meant I had to buy new wool. However, this has turned into a very bespoke little onboard business and I now work mainly on commissions.
The client chooses the colour combo and I choose the design which is created in 'stream of consciousness' which means that no two designs will ever be the same, giving my clients a completely unique piece! and having not looked back since, have gone from making small Scarves, to also creating gorgeous Wraps, Throws, Bed Runners, Bags & Cushions!
It has just been amazing the response I have had, the kind words and even better I love it when clients send pictures of themselves either wearing their Wrap/Scarf or of their Throw/Bedrunner in situ - which can all be seen on my facebook page.
As well as GillyFlower - The Narrowboat Weaver, I have also created GillyFlower - Floating Handmades, this is for the crafts that I make and sell on the Towpath off of my boat.
I upcycle tins and jars, make tiles into coasters. and my biggest seller after the handwovens is my handmade soaps. I make lots of lush and wonderfully fragranced soap for both Humans & Dogs...and they are selling really well, which I am so pleased about. All these items can also be ordered via facebook messenger/phone/email and sent off in the post. Just get in touch and I will send you all the details, pricing and soap list.
The romance of this is that everything I produce is 'handmade on a narrowboat' which gives each item a little story.
I am mainly 'roving and trading' on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal, where you will find me sitting on the towpath or on the bow of my boat with my looms, weaving my latest creation.
And all my craft products and handmade soaps will be on the roof, waiting for you to peruse and buy.
I look forward to meeting and hearing from you, all enquiries welcome.
Peri Pigott has been a liveaboard boater since 2014, and a floating trader for the last few years. She generally trades on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, but also sells through the internet, so don't be put off by distance!
You can follow Peri on Facebook to see where she is trading, or you can buy from her online.
You can also contact her by email
And if you do come across her on the towpath, do stop for a chat - you will recognise her very distinctive narrowboat!
previously featured traders
- GillyFlower - the Narrowboat Weaver (Peri)
Individual and unique handwoven textiles made from a mixture of re-claimed and new wools.
To buy online visit Peri's Facebook
- Jelly Gnomes (Lesley Pearson)
Award winning artist. Illustrated canal maps, cards, prints, mugs & gifts.
Visit Website to buy online
- Floating Dolly Lady (Joanne & Steve)
Amazing range of metal birds as well as Russian Dolls.
Buy online by going to Facebook
- Bird Box & Jenny Wren (Andrea)
Host of loving handmade items such as knitwear alongside other gifts such as Bags, Scarves, Rugs, Hats, Jewellery and handmade wooden items.
For mail order go to Facebook
- Canal Art by Julie
Hand painted canal ware and items of canalia such as tea towels, model boats etc.
Please visit website
- Stitch on the Water (Colin & Gillian)
Making a variety of embroidered gifts including cushions for children and adults, Bags, hand tied keyrings, embroidered earrings, cot quilts etc.
Please see Facebook
- Last Night in Limehouse (Zoe)
Individually hand painted luxury dog collars (predominantly for sight-hounds)
Please visit Etsy shop
- Coalcage (Wayne & Rosie)Easier To Light - Easy To Load - Creates A Deep Fire Bed Using Less Coal
Visit Facebook to buy online
- Paw Prints Afloat (Doggie Boat & Tim Clarke Photography)
All manner of doggie essentials: leads, collars, bandannas, portable water bottles & collapsible bowls, plus toys & healthy treats.
- Visit Website to buy online
- Gangplank (Sam)
Cafe/bar. Creator & seller of foraged fruit spirits (Gangplank Gins) cordials and preserves.
- Julie Weir Art
Wildlife Artist who paints with Watercolours & Acrylic inks. Also Online Watercolour School.
- Fern Floating Fine Art (Shiam Wilcox)
Flora & Fauna Artist, prints framed or unframed, greetings cards.
Browse & buy online