Steve has two boats on the Thames, both named after Thames fishermen of old. His first boat “Chalmers”, was named after Patrick Chalmers who lived at Goring on Thames after coming down from Scotland. Chalmers loved his Thames, and was quite an author and poet. He contributed to The Field, Country Life and Punch for many years, and his Thames book “At the Tail of the Weir” is a classic.
The other boat Steve has named “Hobbs”, after A. E. Hobbs of Henley on Thames. Hobbs wrote his famous little book “Trout of the Thames” in 1920, and mentions his good friend Patrick Chalmers when discussing Mapledurham.
“Hobbs” was purchased from the Estate of Roger Wyndham Barnes, whom Steve was friends with for many years, fishing mostly the Thames but also the Kennet and Loddon. Receiving encouragement from Roger’s family Steve now carries on the tradition that Roger upheld as the last Thames Professional fisherman.
The old boatyard of Woottons at Quarry Wood made “Hobbs” for Roger Barnes some years ago. This yard used to hire out their fleet of fishing punts by the day, but those days are sadly gone, though services such as those provided by Steve Roberts hark back to that golden age of Thames fishing.