Northampton

Theft of Northamptonshire village Bell End sign 'pathetic'

Missing Bell End sign
Image caption Residents said that the sign for Bell End is "regularly" taken

Villagers have described the theft of a "cheeky" street sign as "pathetic" and a "sad state of affairs".

Residents said the sign for Bell End in Wollaston, Northamptonshire, is regularly taken, with the latest theft happening on Tuesday afternoon.

The road, along with its namesake in the West Midlands, often features in top 10 lists of rude street names.

Resident Christine Thurland, 80, said: "I don't understand why would anyone want to do something so silly."

She said it was "pathetic" the sign had been stolen.

Villager Neil Balderson, 39, said: "It has been a well-known feature in the village and there is a cheeky side to it.

"We regularly have people stop for photos and it's not unknown for people leave their mark with stickers and suchlike.

"The sign being taken is really quite a sad state of affairs."

Image caption Bell End is named after the now closed Bell Inn pub on the corner of the street

Another resident of the street, who did not want to be named, said he was "not surprised" as the the sign was taken "at least once a year".

"There are three street signs and if it's not one it's the other," he added.

Bell End, a road about 100 metres long, is named after the now-closed Bell Inn pub.

Image caption Christine Thurland said she could not understand why someone would take the street sign

In 2010, villagers in the Dorset hamlet of Shitterton got so fed-up with their sign being stolen they put up a stone version.

Last year residents of Bell End in Rowley Regis near Birmingham started a petition to change the name, but a counter-petition led to it being kept.

Wollaston, which is known for its quirky street names that also include Cobbs Lane, Duck End and Rotten Row, has not had a petition about Bell End.

The Borough Council of Wellingborough said it would replace the sign.

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