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Luton Borough Council

30/12/2020 - Limbury Bridge of Hope testament to a difficult year

A bridge in Limbury has been the focal point for inspiration and hope amidst the challenges of 2020.

What began as a single resident’s desire to decorate the bridge in support of the NHS and key workers at the start of the Covid pandemic has brought cheer and inspiration throughout the year.

Last Spring, Penrose Roots to Recovery employee and local artist, Liz Aldous, originally left flowers on the bridge in memory of an aunt and who had passed away. After a chance meeting with a lady similarly leaving flowers in memory of her deceased husband, Liz had the beginnings of an idea: she was inspired to use the bridge as a community project at which residents could leave messages, artwork or other items designed to lift the spirits of passers-by. 

Children’s drawings, crocheted items, canvases , toys , ribbons and bows and messages of hope soon adorned the bridge as spring moved into summer. Local school, Meads Primary added pictures of rainbows – a symbol since Biblical times of hope – and there were contributions from the nearby Sure Start Children’s Centre.

The original intention was that the bridge should remain a beacon of encouragement to the local community for 100 days.

Over time, inevitably, some of the contributions became weathered and it was decided to replace the items with a small plaque. In October a small ceremony took place assisted by the council’s Parks team, with Liz, together with councillors for Limbury, Amy Nicholls, Rob Roche and MP for Luton North Sarah Owen.

While the original purpose of the Bridge of Hope was to encourage residents and celebrate the amazing work of NHS staff and other key workers, Liz has widened its message. At key times for the different faith communities in the town, such as Eid, Diwali and Christmas, the bridge has been redecorated with colourful baubles, bunting and art work.

Liz said, “The Bridge of Hope will remain until January 2021. I want everyone to fill it with messages of Hope for us all through what has been such a dark time. It will also serve to pay our respects to those who have lost loved ones to Covid 19.”

Councillor Rob Roche, elected member for Limbury Ward, said: “I cannot remember such a difficult year for the town and the country as a whole. This bridge symbolises the unquenchable spirit of hope that exists in even the most challenging of times and has raised the spirits of all those who have seen and crossed it. We hope it will continue to give us hope as we move in to 2021.”
© 2021 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ