Some people dream of getting their perfect job, others dream of falling in love and starting a family, but all Ben Cummins has ever wanted to do is play a piano on a barge through the English countryside.
Ben, 40, is now making his dream a reality and is planning to pull his barge 'Kon-Tiki' from Liverpool to London while playing his favourite instrument.
Ben, originally from South East London, saved the barge from the Liverpool scrapyard two years ago and has spent from then until now lovingly restoring it in Burscough, to make it seaworthy again.
Ben said: “I’ve always had this vision of sailing down the canal, playing the piano and taking it to London and I’ve spent the past few years working hard to make my dream come true.
“I used to live in London, but I felt like it was suffocating me, so I decided to pursue my dream and moved up to Liverpool to make it happen. So far I’ve got a crew to row me to Parbold and then we’ll hopefully just continue on and on.
“I don’t care how long it takes to get to London, it’s all about the journey and what I’ll learn through it.”
The barge was originally made by artist Ben Parry from old furniture from around Liverpool, however Ben has since restored the roof, redone the paintwork and made several other modifications.
Now Ben is looking to recruit more crew members to get the barge moving further down the country.
Ben said: “I’d love more people to come along with me and get on board. The barge does have an outboard motor but I want to just get it to London by either rowing it or towing it, just like people would have done hundreds of years ago.
“People have been really supportive of me, especially while I’ve been in Burscough, and I want to thank everyone who has helped me get this far.
“I walked into a pub in Ormskirk the other day and got chatting to someone at the bar, it turned out they knew my barge and about me. It’s amazing how you can affect people without having a clue.”
Ben has been involved with many artistic movements in the past, setting up two famous flashmobs and taking part in a marching band through the Tate.
He has also lectured in fine art and visual arts at Brighton, and hosted local artist Sarah Wood’s exhibition on the barge at the end of last year.
Ben said:”I think people can get too caught up in the rat race and, by doing this, I hope to challenge people’s perceptions of how to spend their time and what’s important in life.
“I hope to bring smiles to people’s faces through my endeavour and think it’ll just be really good fun.”
To volunteer on Ben’s crew, give him a call on 07957 924858.