Roving Canal Traders Association

roving canal traders

roving canal traders associationThe 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

Sue Meades & Colin Shearer Roving Canal Traders

featured roving canal traders

Lesley & Rob Pearson - the wrong way round #by boat

The Wrong Way Round #byboat is a journey of discovering the 2,000 miles of inland waterways. This of course led to Lesley & Rob taking Artistic licence to record their adventures, by drawings, maps and the written word.

Rob & Lesley Pearson have been travelling traders since 2014. Lesley is an Artist who has taken to creating drawings and maps of their journeys. Rob is a computer programmer.

Rob's claim to fame are his jottings about the beginnings of their journey on NB Hekla. They came into being initially as a short story about ‘The Long Way Round’ which was featured in Canal Boat Magazine. The success and feed back from this article prompted Rob to divulge more of the  journey, as the magazine article alone didn’t seem to give enough of the essence of that journey.

Rob's book came to life in 2015 as ‘The Wrong Way Round’ which is available on Amazon.

Lesley is a member of the Guild of Waterway Artists and of the Association of Animal Artists. She describes herself as a travelling artist: "the journey is the artwork and the art work is the journey".  For the last four years the Pearsons have been exploring the inland waterways, with Lesley making drawings & maps of things they have seen, and putting her art together with Rob's prose - so combining history and the things they encounter.

Lesley offers prints of her beautifully illustrated maps for sale, as well as prints of her waterways and countryside paintings. She also sells mugs with her paintings on and stunning cards for all occasions.

cards, prints & mugs by Lesley Pearson

lesley pearson, easel & painting

our journey

We have travelled almost all of the northern canals and river navigations in the UK. It has been a carry on from our genuine interest of ways to travel. It’s a way of seeing a country, people,  and  how people live and interact with each other. We try to embrace it as a way of life, which leads me on to ‘steampunk’, an alternative way to look at life and to what is important about how you embrace it.


Our alter egos are Captain Pepsi and Miss Mavis Ming; which is why you will see us dressed in a peculiar way. Time travellers from the last century - with a tongue in cheek humour which we find amuses people we meet.

Rob Pearson

lesley pearson

NB Hekla PopUp Art

It is what it is.. we PopUp in unexpected places, much to the surprise of our followers. We enjoy festivals, markets and of course we open up in places we visit - be it a town, city or just out on the towpath. There is no rhyme or reason to it -  it’s what takes our fancy.

This year has been a bit strange as we were deciding to head South for the summer. However, as with most people, Corvid19 has put a halt to any plans we might have had. We just watch the tide and see where it will take us. We are currently on the Chesterfield Canal in Nottinghamshire, waiting for the news of the all clear. Then we will be off South, hopefully.

Lesley & Rob PearsonRob and Lesley are currently open for business on the Chesterfield Canal, and of course with their on-line shop.Check out their webpage for more of what they  are and have been up to; follow NB Hekla PopUp Art on Facebook, and visit their on-line shop.

To buy a copy of The Wrong Way Round, visit Amazon.

previously featured traders

Brian Greaves - floating blacksmith      Lorraine Stevenson - the mad hatter


buy online from a roving trader

  • 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
    Canal Art by JulieHand 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)
    Hand painted leather dog collars byZoe Marsden
    Individually hand painted luxury dog collars (predominantly for sight-hounds)
    Please visit Etsy shop
  • 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.
    Visit Website
  • Julie Weir Art
    Wildlife Artist who paints with Watercolours & Acrylic inks. Also Online Watercolour School.
    Visit Website
  • Fern Floating Fine Art (Shiam Wilcox)
    Fern floating art
    Flora & Fauna Artist, prints framed or unframed, greetings cards.
    Browse & buy online 
  • Dazzle Paws (Sheena Orton)
    Hand made dog collar by Dazzle Paws
    Dog collars, bandanas and accessories, all lovingly hand made.
    Browse and buy online