Interview 6 - Benji Ming

Benji Ming, actor, writer and Oxford Canal narrow boat resident

Interviewer: Bruce Heagarty
Total recording time: 20 min : 7 sec


  • Benji was interviewed on his boat on the Oxford Canal. Benji's profession emerges clearly from the way in which he relates stories of his life on the Oxford Canal which begins in 1994 when he was one of the original group of narrow boaters to take up residence.
Access available in Oxfordshire History Centre and Libraries only

Click on track number below to play

Track Content summary Length
6 Benji begins with an achievement – he is the Guinness Record holder for being the first to navigate all the interconnecting inland waterways in his narrow boat - before going onto talk about the history of narrow boats he owned, how he learnt to cruise and manage locks, besides being beached and falling in canals.

He charts the changes in boats and boat owners from young people living a relaxed lifestyle on wrecks of boats, to something akin to gentrification with more careful owners of new boats. His enthusiasm for boating life is evident from his descriptions of some of the canal journeys he has undertaken including shipping canals and his views on his future off the canal, sanguine.
20 min : 7 sec