Bell End bother

It may prompt sniggers from passing motorists - with some travelling for miles to have their photographs taken next it - but for the residents of one West Midlands road their street name is no laughing matter.

By Patrick Sawer and Francesca Marshall in London
  • Published 4.01.18
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Bell End in Rowly Regis, United Kingdom

London: It may prompt sniggers from passing motorists - with some travelling for miles to have their photographs taken next it - but for the residents of one West Midlands road their street name is no laughing matter.

Indeed, so embarrassed are the good folk of this corner of the Black Country that they have petitioned the local council to change it. Then again, if you're having to confess to living in Bell End, who could blame you for that?

Fed up with being the butt of puerile jokes a number of families have asked Sandwell Council to rename their street as Bell Road, with councillors now set to discuss the request.

The residents even claim the street name is driving down house prices, saying that semi-detached houses in Bell End are valued at around £60,000 less than the £186,000 odd fetched by similar properties on nearby Uplands Avenue.

Organisers of the campaign say the name has led to children being bullied at school, with the common playground insult acquiring additional resonance for the embarrassed pupils who live there. And that is before people discover Bell End leads on to Mincing Lane.

The campaign has been launched on the change.org website, stating: "The term Bell End can be seen and used as a rude and/or a offensive word. As well as this, it can affect people and children including children being bullied and teased at school and generally now become a laughing stock as seen very recently on Facebook and other social media sites and it's time for a change.

The use of "bell end" as an insult dates back several years and has its roots in the similarity between a bell and an intimate part of the male anatomy. One early documented reference comes in 1992, when it was deployed in a web chat room.

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH