Bittersweet memory of a boy who couldn’t spell

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A memento from a lovable young lad who couldn’t spell very well is alive and kicking 60 years after his death.

Brian Ernest Morley sadly died in the 1950s when he was just 12.

But his best friend Jill Sharp has a lasting memory – in the form of the word ‘bum’ written on a wall with tar.

“Workmen were Tarmacing the road near where we lived and Brian got a stick and printed his initials on a nearby wall,” recalls Jill.

“But he thought his middle name, Ernest, was spelt ‘Urnest’, so the initials came out as BUM.”I remember laughing at the time – I thought it was so funny.”

Today Brian’s misspelling still adorns the wall, which is at the bottom of Manor road in Newport Pagnell.

Jill makes regular visits to see them, and admits she still sheds a tear.

“His death was so tragic. I knew he became ill because each day when I went to call for him he would be in bed.

“I used to sit on his bed and talk to him for ages. This went on for many weeks”

One day Jill knocked at the door and noticed the curtains were still drawn.

“His mum came to the door and said Brian had passed away. I cried and cried and cried and, even now, I’ve never really got over it,” she said.

Today Jill treasures the last photograph of her and Brian together.

Taken at a local fete, they had entered the fancy dress as raggle taggle gipsies and won a prize.

“It’s such a precious memory, as is the word bum still written on the wall,” she said.