Ben Cummins pulled his ‘Piano raft’ from Liverpool to London over 25 years
Ben Cummins, 43, began his travels in 2012 with a non-motorised raft created entirely of recycled materials that cost nothing to create.
The ‘Piano Raft’ set sail for London from Liverpool with Mr Cummins using nothing but his pulling power to make it all the way to the capital within 25 years.
The craft is made of items including wooden planks, freezer doors, disused drawers and is kept afloat by a dozen 55-gallon industry standard blue plastic barrels.
'I have given myself 25 years to get this piano to London' says Ben Cummins
The father-of-one said: “I have given myself 25 years to get this piano to London.
Sometimes I will move a mile, maybe two or sometimes just around the corner
"There is always something different as I make my way through the canal.
"Sometimes I will move a mile, maybe two or sometimes just around the corner. There are new things to see and more people to meet.”
The former University of Brighton lecturer said he had lived in the capital for 10 years working for an arts charity when he had a “Eureka moment”.
River rules mean he can only have the raft stationed in one place for two weeks 200 years of the Foxton Locks Thu, August 7, 2014
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The canal first opened in 1814 and the locks at Foxton, designed by canal engineer Benjamin Bevan, are the longest staircase of locks anywhere in the country and are cared for by the Canal & River Trust
Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images for Canal & River Trust 1 of 12
Foxton Locks in Leicestershire as it celebrates its 200th birthday, on August 7, 2014
He said: “I had an image pop in my head of playing a piano by water. I thought to myself where do I want to be? That is where this all came from.”
Mr Cummins, who had never been on a canal boat before setting out on his adventure, is currently travelling near Keighley, West Yorks, having completed his 100th mile earlier in the year.
Rules from the Canal and River Trust mean he can only have the Piano Raft stationed in one place for at least two weeks, leaving him constantly having to move forward.
Along his way he has had to deal with storm damage, a leaky roof and just a week into the epic journey he had to bale out the Piano Raft when it started to submerge.
Mr Cummins added: “My main concern before I set off was where would I be able to find parts. It has actually been very easy.
'My main concern before I set off was where would I be able to find parts' says Ben Cummins
"When I meet people you can always find someone who has a few spare pallets going or is getting rid of something that you can strip for parts.”
He is now planning to start inviting artists on-board to create a roving theatre on the nation’s canal.
Mr Cummins added: “I would like to feel as though I am promoting the canal. Sometimes our lives are so busy that we don’t allow ourselves the time to take in what is around us.
"Right now I am staying close to a beautiful stream. Not everyone will take the time to see it but I do.”