Stratford’s bridge of love

It’s a tradition that goes back over a century. A couple buy a padlock, engrave it with their initials, lock it to a bridge railing and then dramatically throw their keys into the torrent below. These gestures symbolise their undying love for each other.

In recent years it’s caught on to such an extent that bridges have been damaged. A fence on The Pont des Arts in Paris collapsed under the weight of thousands of padlocks. The authorities removed 45 tons of locks from that one bridge! That’s an awful lot of keys in the river.

There’s more on the background to the love locks phenomenon on the Matador Network site.

Anyway, Stratford upon Avon has it’s own bridge of love. It spans the Rush Brook on Trinity Way. I have to say it’s a less romantic setting than the Pont de Arts.

Bridge over the Rush Brook on Trinity Way

On this bridge is a single padlock. It’s been there for at least the two and a half years we have lived here. It hasn’t had a council angle grinder taken to it (it’s not threatening the bridge’s integrity to be fair) but nor has it been joined by others.

The padlock is quite corroded and I can’t make out any initials.

It’s quite corroded

I wonder what the story behind it is? It’s off the tourist trail so I’m guessing they couple are likely to be local. Did they throw the key in the Rush Brook?

I like that it remains alone. It’s never became the leader of a trend, a fashion. The bleakness of the site stands in contrast to the warmth of the gesture.