Bridges, Locks and Hearts

As I recall, we were at Wilford Suspension Bridge when we left the Embankment. It is not to be confused with Wilford Toll Bridge. I’ll  cover the Toll Bridge later.

The suspension bridge was built by the Nottingham Corporation Water Department in 1906 to carry a pipeline that delivered water to Wilford Hill Resevoir. It also carries two gas mains across the river.

The most interesting feature these days are the padlocks. They have become popular over the last few years and are used to represent undying love. They are more likely to appear in romantic locations such as Paris, Venice and Cologne. I didn’t know Cologne was a romantic destination, but it days so in the Nottingham Post so it must be true.

The Pont des Arts in Paris lost several metres of parapet in 2014, ripped of by the weight of locks. They are trying to discourage the practice but by the end of 2015 there were an estimated million locks on the bridge – thought to weight 45 tonnes. With scrap brass at just over £2,000 a tonne, and allowing for 50% of the weight being steel that’s £45,000. That sound you hear is me thinking…

 

They used to have locks on the bridge at Bakewell too, but they were going to remove some. I’ll have to pop up and see if there are any left.

Love locks, despite seeming quite recent to us, actually date back to the Great War in Serbia. They are generally seen as messy and dangerous by all but the people placing them. As the current divorce rate in the UK is 47% local authorities are probably safe asuming most of the couples aren’t still on speaking terms.

I won’t carry on in this cynical vein, though it is tempting to compare the locks, the price of weddings and public displays of emotion with the divorce rate.

When I just asked Julia what she thought was the secret of a lasting marriage. She replied: “I must have been very bad in a previous life.”

That wasn’t really the answer I’d been hoping for.

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25 thoughts on “Bridges, Locks and Hearts

  1. beatingthebounds

    Further proof, if it were needed, of how sheltered an existence I lead: this is a phenomena which has completely passed me by. Now however, I shall be rushing out to buy a personalised lock. Or maybe not.
    It occurs to me, whilst I write, that the secret of a lasting marriage may involve putting the lock in an entirely different place?

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  2. Clare Pooley

    I find this whole love-lock thing very strange as well as the need for over-the-top weddings costing thousands of pounds. They then divorce a few years later because the marriage wasn’t as exciting as they thought it ought to be. We saw the locks on the bridge in Bakewell two years ago.

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      1. quercuscommunity Post author

        Our wedding photographer was a friend of my sister – his day job was as a medical photographer for the NHS taking pictures of boils, burns and scabs.

        Further comment would be superfluous, and probably unwise…

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  3. Laurie Graves

    The secret to a long marriage? After forty years of being married, it is still a secret to me 😉 As for the locks…people have the urge to make tangible the intangible.

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    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Yes, though I’m fascinated by them, they really do bring out the cynic in me.. It’s like big weddings – you’d be better saving your money for a few years and employing a really good divorce lawyer.

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  4. arlingwoman

    The secret to a long marriage is … not getting divorced. But I like Julia’s answer, which made me laugh. As for these love locks, I don’t know why, but I find them kind of creepy. You know, “really, you feel the need to lock it down?” I know I’m not very romantic, but…funny these are popping up in all sorts of places.

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