Birmingham & Black Country

Bell End: Thousands back petition to keep street name

Linda George Image copyright Linda George
Image caption Linda George's petition is called "Leave the Historic Name of Bell End Alone"

Thousands of people have backed a counter-petition to save a street called Bell End after calls for the "rude" road name to be changed.

Linda George said she was "just amazed" to see her fight to save the Black Country road name had "gone global", featuring in newspapers around world.

Her petition, backed by nearly 5,000 supporters, said the "historic" name was believed to be after a local mine.

Sandwell Council will "consider the matter" after receiving both petitions.

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Image copyright PA
Image caption Some residents say the name Bell End is causing amusement

The original petition said some Rowley Regis residents believed the "offensive word" made them a "laughing stock" and children were being bullied and teased because of it.

The petition, backed by about 100 supporters, told the Labour-run council it was "time for a change", even to a similar name, such as Bell Road.

But Mrs George, a local historian who runs the Facebook page "I Remember Blackheath and Rowley Regis", said residents she knew did not want this "pointless change", finding the idea "deeply offensive".

The petition adds: "If children are being bullied because of the name of their road, the problem is the bullying children, who need educating."

Image copyright Linda George
Image caption Following the death of Albert Harrold (pictured), his wife Sarah Jane and then one of their daughters ran a shop at Bell End

Mrs George's great uncle, Albert Harrold, lived in Bell End and after he was killed during World War One, his widow Sarah Jane and their children ran a shop there until about 1960.

Mrs George has fond memories of the area and still regularly visits, including recently helping pupils with a ceramic poppy project.

"I remember being sat with my grandmother in the chapel in Bell End wrapped up in her fur coat because it was freezing," she said.

Mrs George, of Worcester, said many people did not know about the name's connotations.

"And those that do just don't seem to care," she added.

Image copyright Linda George
Image caption Mrs George said Rowley Regis used to be a "lovely little village" and a few historic houses remained in Bell End

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