Eighty years ago today, 200 men began what would become a historic march of solidarity as the Jarrow March got underway.
Also known as the Jarrow Crusade, it took place during October 1936, and was in protest against the unemployment and poverty suffered in Jarrow.
The Jarrow Crusade is deep rooted in South Tyneside’s rich historyCoun Alan Smith
Over 26 days, the men carried a petition to the British government, requesting the re-establishment of industry in the town following the closure, in 1934, of its main employer, Palmer’s shipyard.
The petition was presented to the House of Commons with over 11,000 signatures, calling on the government to “realise the urgent need that work should be provided for the town without further delay.” However, the petition was not even debated, leading to much anger.
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Alan Smith, has paid tribute to the marchers ahead of the 80th anniversary of their first step towards London, which would take in 291 miles.
He said: “As a representative for Jarrow, the 80th anniversary of the crusade holds a special place in my heart, as well as the hearts and minds of the town’s residents.
“The Jarrow Crusade is deep rooted in South Tyneside’s rich history.
“Despite the disappointment that the marchers faced when they reached London, their actions on that fateful day are remembered with real pride in the borough.
“The stories, hopes and aspirations of those 200 marchers still resonate with people across South Tyneside today, and beyond, 80 years and their actions represent the strength of community sprit which is still present in Jarrow today.”