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Council Removal of Lovelocks- A Response

1 CommentMonday, 28 July 2014  |  Laura

Whilst those in charge of the Forth Road Bridge have been busy raising both community spirits and funds for local charities by embracing Lovelocks, some Council authorities have been hitting the headlines over the past few days for removing them.

The City of York Council last week removed around 300 Lovelocks that had been attached to a bridge over the River Ouse, leaving some couples pretty upset. In fairness to the Councillors however, they do appear to be open to sourcing a viable, longer term solution to allow people to Lock their Love going forward, so we should perhaps all watch this space!

The proposed removal of 330 from the Queens Park Suspension Bridge in Chester however has caused a considerable stir. The locks are due to be removed this August, and CWaC are telling couples to remove and collect their locks if possible before then if they wish to keep them. Of course, as any keys will have been thrown into the river, or if one of our specifically designed Lovelocks was used they can be locked one time only- therefore the only option would be a pair of trusty bolt cutters! Whoever said romance is dead....

Twitter has been busy with discussion regarding the Lovelocks in Chester, here are some of our favourite Tweets from the weekend:

It is thought that some of these fears from the Council stem from the recent news of a mesh panel of the Ponts Des Arts collapsing under the weight of the locks there. This bridge is home to a reported 700,000 love padlocks, and couples visit this bridge from all over the world with the sole purpose of leaving their mark there. Whilst it is of course a shame that one of these sections fell, let us not overreact. The design of the bridge means that the locks post no danger to boats and barges travelling on the river below, and the collapse was of an internal mesh panel- not affecting the structural integrity of the bridge itself. Notice too how quickly the replacement piece of board was covered with Graffiti- people will always seek to mark their spot in any way possible.

Photo: The Local

Whilst I appreciate that the aesthetics of lovelocks are not to everyones taste, people have been seeking ways to "leave their mark" for as long as any of us can remember. Visit any historic site here in the UK and you will find names carved into stonework. Find me an urban area where graffiti is non-existent and I will take my hat off to you. Lovelocks enable people to express themselves, provide meaningful memories, and serve as thoughtful gifts for loved ones.

But don't get me wrong, I do absolutely agree that there is a time and a place for them, as with anything, and here at Lovelocks UK we do not encourage our customers to lock their love anywhere and everywhere. In fact, our model is to assist Council authorities and venues to formulate dedicated sites allowing people to partake in this ancient tradition without fear of their locks being removed.

Take Harveys Point Hotel in Donegal,Ireland as an example. Every couple that is wed at the hotel is presented with a custom engraved Lovelock which they can affix to a quaint bridge on site. Providing a lovely photo opportunity, and a permanent treasure that the couple can return to year after year.

Then look at the Forth Road Bridge, South Queensferry. They have taken the concept of Lovelocks and really ran with it, providing two dedicated spots on the bridge for people to "lock their love"and have included the phenomenon in their upcoming Festival in September. The "Mark your Spot" campaign encourages the local community to become a part of the bridge itself, and for every purchase made £3.46 is donated to local good causes. You can not really argue with that, a "win win" all round!

Because our Lovelocks are specifically designed for this purpose, there are no keys to be tossed into the rivers below or surrounding areas. Our new "In Colour" series are also super light weight, as just 47g- imposing minimal impact on the structure to which it is placed. They are also manufactured right here in the UK- we are very proud to support local business!

We welcome the contact of any venues in the UK, or Council authorities who may want to have a discussion about how Lovelocks can work for them in their area! Get in touch!

 

 

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