A FLOATING ‘nomad’ who aims to transport a piano to London on his homemade raft is desperately appealing for local businesses help him to stay afloat in Rishton.

Artist Ben Cummins ditched the rat race three years ago to embark on an adventure which, he hopes, will take him from Liverpool to the capital via canals.


But playing host to some guests aboard his makeshift vessel on Tuesday night, it started to sink - and he now needs buoyancy to avoid a damp disaster at his mooring near the Rishton Canal Cafe. Ben said: “I need around 10 55-gallon industry standard blue plastic barrels to stay afloat and would be very grateful if anyone can help me out.”

The 41-year-old lives on board the boat, which he salvaged from a Liverpool warehouse and has added to with materials he has salvaged along his route. The piano, which he describes as ‘knackered’, is at the stern and an old bathtub makes up part of the hull.

Ben added: “This is my home, but I see myself as a nomad. I’ve salvaged stuff and I’m planning to build a glass extension. I’ve experienced nothing but generosity from people around here and they really seem to have embraced what I’m doing.”

Born in Kent, Ben lived in London for 20 years before a split from the mother of his son saw him take a new direction in life.

“I got rid of all my possessions and adapted to a new way of life,” he said. “You could put me anywhere now and I’d feel at home.”

As well as various art projects, Ben has lectured at Brighton University and was a leading light in the world of flash mobs when they emerged over a decade ago.

To help, call 07957924858.