LOVED-up couples in a Scots town have looked to Paris for inspiration of how to stay locked to their old ball and chain -- by adorning a footbridge with padlocks bearing their names.
Dozens of locks have appeared on the on the Falls of Feugh bridge in Banchory, Aberdeenshire, an echo of the tradition on the Pont de Arts bridge in the French capital.
Since the fad took off in 2008, almost 2,000 padlocks of all shapes, colours and sizes have been locked to the footbridge across the Seine, causing it to buckle under their weight.
It is unclear how or when the trend started but local locksmith Douglas Simpson of Deeside Trophies is certainly enjoying the boost to sales.
He said: “They have certainly proved very popular.
“Love padlocks can be found around the world from the Pacific-rim to romantic cites in France, Italy and Spain.
“It’s the perfect way of letting those significant to you understand just how special they really are.
“Engraving your own personal message on a Lovelock is the ultimate way of saying “I love you” and solidifying those special relationships in your life.”
Recently married couple, Nicol and Corrie Rosie, from Banchory put their locks up after noticing their friends had begun feeling French on the Feugh.
Photographer Nicol, 23, said: “We went out for a walk there about a month ago and just noticed all these locked on the bridge.
“Corrie was reading them all and saying ‘I know her, and them’. Since then it became a bit of a game to go along and read them.
“It’s actually been a way to keep up with people we haven’t seen since school. You see some of the locks and go ‘oh I didn’t know they were together’.
“It’s like an old fashioned Facebook.”
Knowing that Corrie loved the love locks, old romantic Nicol sneaked away to install his own marking their anniversary.
He said: “I snuck away during the day and took her for a walk past the bridge that night-knowing that she’d be reading all the locks as usual.
“She noticed my own straight away and her face just lit up.”
Beauty therapist Corrie, 21, said: “I jumped with joy when I saw it.
“I never expected something like this from him. He always says that he thinks the locks are cheesy but I think they’re really romantic.”
The childhood sweethearts eloped to Gretna Green last September for an unexpected wedding on their seventh anniversary.
Nicol’s gold lock is inscribed with their names and the date of their special day.
Corrie said: “I wouldn’t say he was a romantic, although I’m sure he’d disagree.
Nicol said: “I noticed the locks first of all from Paris, it’s pretty funny they’re in Banchory now.
“They seem to be a real hit with the community anyway. I work in a shop and have a guy come in every day to tell me exactly how many there are.
“If it puts a couple of smiles on people’s faces then it’s all worthwhile.”
Philip McKay, Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Roads and Landscape Services, said: “The council doesn’t have a formal view on the ‘love locks’ appearing on the Falls of Feugh bridge, but we’re keen to encourage tourism in our communities and romantic couples are no exception.
“We have no plans to remove them, but if the use of this popular bridge is affected we will of course look again at our position.”