It’s unclear why but people in Bristol started attaching padlocks to a pedestrian bridge over Bristol Harbour, then tossing the keys in the water below to symbolise the bonds of love.
So far so lovely but this spontaneous movement has sparked controversy.
The bridge was named in honour of Pero Jones, an enslaved African purchased in 1765 at age 12 by sugar merchant John Pinney
. Pero worked and died in Bristol at The Georgian House
Today, Pero’s Bridge is groaning with padlocks. Bristol City Council removes them but numbers grow back. Supporters
say the love locks are ‘heartfelt mementos’. Detractors
say they’re damaging the bridge and are disrespectful to Pero. For others, the padlocks are an unintentionally fitting reminder of Pero’s life in Bristol. Pero’s Bridge
links the vibrant Queen and Millennium squares.