‘Love locks’ removed from Sidmouth’s Connaught Gardens over safety fears

Padlocks on railings at Connaught Gardens with a loving message. Ref shs 7004-33-15AW. Picture: Alex

Padlocks on railings at Connaught Gardens with a loving message. Ref shs 7004-33-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Council clamps down on trend that has come over from continent

Padlocks attached to fencing in Connaught Gardens as symbols of everlasting love have been removed by council officers - over safety fears their weight could destabilise the cliff-top.

The ‘love lock’ phenomenon started in Paris - where couples fixed the metal objects to the famous Pont de l’Archeveche to show their affection for one-another - and it is a trend that has spread throughout Europe.

Herald photographer Alex Walton last year spotted padlocks on railings in Sidmouth’s iconic gardens – one with the inscription: “Who needs Paris when you have Sidmouth, Valentines’ 2015.”

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has confirmed that the items had since been removed to prevent a precedent being set.


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An EDDC spokeswoman said: “Clipping padlocks onto a fence is a trend that has come over here from the continent.

“In Paris, these padlocks have now been removed as they posed a hazard to the bridges. We are concerned that this fashion doesn’t catch on in East Devon for similar reasons. For example, if too many padlocks were attached to a small piece of railing at the top of the cliff at Connaught Gardens, then the weight on the fence could cause it to become unstable and therefore dangerous.

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“As a precaution, our officers have been removing any padlocks they find attached to it to prevent a precedent being set.”

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