Rival petition set up to defend "historic" Bell End road name

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A petition opposing "pointless" calls to change the name of a street called Bell End has attracted more than 3,000 signatures.

The rival campaign demanding council bosses "Leave the Historic Name of Bell End Alone!" was set up on Tuesday - after around 30 people signed a separate change.org petition claiming bullies were teasing local children.

Sandwell Council has said the controversial street name almost certainly has medieval origins - with the Old English term "Ende" meaning "a quarter or division of a settlement".

The latest petition, which is aiming for 5,000 signatures before it is delivered to the council in the West Midlands, was set up by Linda George, who pointed out that a mine which closed in the 1930s was named Bell End Colliery.

The latest petition states: "Bell End is a historic name in Rowley Regis. Believed to be named after a mine in the locality.

"None of the residents and locals and those that have longstanding family connections, that are known to me, want this pointless change and in fact find the suggestion that it should be changed deeply offensive.

"If children are being bullied because of the name of their road, the problem is the bullying children, who need educating. Changing a road name will not stop their behaviour."

Writing on the change.org site after signing the latest petition,  Martin Allen wrote: "There is simply no need to change it just for the sake of changing it. It was called that when they moved in so why is it such an issue now? Keep Bell End."

Bell End in Rowley Regis, West Midlands
Bell End in Rowley Regis, West Midlands, where residents are split on whether to rename their street (Matthew Cooper/PA)

Sandwell Council has posted a thread on Twitter detailing Bell End's history, alongside a GIF of American actor Robert Downey Jr raising his eyebrows.

The council tweeted: "We understand two petitions have been set up. Some people find the road name Bell End offensive - but others say it's historic and refers to the area's mining past.

"We'll look at both petitions and their requests in more detail when we receive them."