This email from the Canal and Rivers Trust arrived in my inbox yesterday, as I’ve signed up for stoppage notices for the route we’re planning to take. Given that Willow is a deeper drafted boat I was a little concerned. Halfie also kindly passed on the warning notice in case I’d not spotted it (thanks!)
“Between Bridge 46 (A453) and Lock 58 Ratclffe Lock, Ratcliffe-on-Soar
Thursday 14 March 2013 until further notice
Due to high levels of rainfall this year, a silt bank has formed between the above locations.
This bank could affect deep drafted boats; however due to its variable nature we are unable to confirm the exact draft of boat that can pass.
Please approach the site with caution.
Canal & River Trust apologise for any inconvenience this may cause”
However, this is where the network of historic boaters comes into its own. I fired off a message to the Historic Narrow Boat club mailing list asking if anyone knew anymore about the site and if any deeper boats had been that way recently. A flurry of swift responses from various people who either knew the site or had been that way/seen others go that way recently fully loaded assured me that it was something to be aware of but not overly concerned about.
Ratcliffe Lock (Photo: GeoLocation)