Residents of Bell End call for change to their 'embarrassing' street name

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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.
"We want the local Sandwell Council to acknowledge our name change request to a new road name and at the very least to a similar name."
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 to describe West Bromwich Albion fans, and in Viz comic, which titled its 1995 album The Big Bell End.   
Mind you, if the residents of Bell End are left red faced every time they give their home address imagine how those of Crotch Crescent, in Marston, Oxfordshire, feel - never mind Minge Lane in Worcester.
With the plethora of embarrassing street names around the country - Fanny Hands Lane in Ludford, Lincolnshire; Turkey Cock Lane, Colchester; and Slag Lane, Warrington are just three - some of Bell End’s residents remain philosophical on the matter.
Chris Tranter, a local councillor, said: “I was born here and lived here for 40 years and it doesn't bother me. You get the odd giggle on the phone, it is quite amusing really."
Bell End road once led to the former Bell End Colliery, but the origin of the peculiar name appears to lie in its proximity to Bell Hall, a Victorian Gothic mansion on the site of the original manor house on the western side of the village of Rowley Regis, built in 1847 for Charles Noel, later a High Sheriff of Worcestershire.
For their part the residents of Worcester’s Minge Lane say the Bell Enders should count themselves lucky.
Houses there sold for an average of £169,000 in 2016, compared with an average of £300,000 in nearby Ham View.
Stephen Young, 72, of Minge Lane, said: "There has been no plan to change the name of our road. We have had a problem with people nicking the sign but nobody is that fussed about the name. It's a bit silly really to start a petition to change the name."
Barbara Price, councillor for Rowley Regis, says she sympathised with the residents' concerns.
"If some people find the name offensive and children are being teased about where they live then there is obviously an issue,” she said. "I will be consulting with residents and speaking to the cabinet member in question to see if anything can be done."

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