Point Danger: Lovers throw away the key to padlocks declaring their love.
Point Danger: Lovers throw away the key to padlocks declaring their love. Conal Healy

Get your love locked in at Point Danger

WHAT do the following have in common: Point Danger, on NSW/Qld border; The Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence, Italy; The Pont des Art in Paris?

They are all home to Love Locks. Also know as Love Padlocks, the wire fence adjacent to the Pt Danger lighthouse is being festooned by people eager to proclaim their love. Or to mark the passing of a loved one.

And their preferred method of expression isn't in fluffy toys, but is in steel and chrome and available at any hardware shop. Yes, padlocks.

What is the origins of these Love Lock? According to one internet source when a couple meet and fall in love they buy a padlock (or two) bring it to a bridge (or to the Pt Danger fence) and lock it throwing the key into the water below.

"That way, no one can break the bonds of their love," says a reporter at the Chicago Tribune, describing a scene in Paris. It is the same at Pt Danger. Sadly there was nobody expressing their love with household security items when the Daily News was dropped by yesterday (ie Sunday).

Some people use giant padlocks. Others use tiny locks. There are steely locks that glitter in the morning, and copper locks that glow at sunset. Some have ribbons. Some are plain.

The backs of the locks are sometimes inscribed with the names of the lovers, and the date they met or were married. At Pt Danger some of the locks carry death dates too.

The public padlock display is believed to have started in Paris in 2010 and has slowly moved across the globe. In Florence, 5500 love padlocks are attached to the Ponte Vecchio bridge.

On a fountain in Montevideo in Uruguay, a plaque at a love-lock fountain provides an explanation: "The legend of this young fountain tells us that if a lock with the initials of two people in love is placed in it, they will return together to the fountain and their love will be forever locked."

In Fengyuan, Taiwan, love padlocks on an overpass at the city's train station are often joined in pairs. These locks are known as "wish locks" and local legend holds that the magnetic field generated by trains passing underneath will cause energy to accumulate in the locks and fulfill the wishes.

In Australia, Love padlocks have been sighted on the Cahill express walkway, on the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney. Lock dates suggest this has been occurring since at least 2010.

The Love Locks at Pt Danger range from permanent marker hand-written adorned plain locks to expensive, engraved, colourful almost-jewellery totems. Most date from 2013.

While some tokens glisten in the bright sunlight of winter on the Gold Coast, others have faired badly against the ravages of wind, rain and saltwater spray and are quickly corroding.

Is this a sign of a relationship that is slowly losing its love?

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