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

PUBLISHED: 10:03 11 March 2016

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

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

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.

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.

“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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