Rebel Town Festival to return to Jarrow this summer after rescheduled date announced
The Folk of Jarrow – Rebel Town Festival is to finally take place on Saturday, August 28 after being cancelled in 2020 and postponed in 2021.
The 2020 festival was completely wiped out due to covid, with the 2021 event was originally scheduled for July 3 – but postponed due to concerns over the spread of the Delta variant.
In theory it was possible for the event to proceed then, but social distancing considerations made it difficult to guarantee public safety.
However, organisers said at the time they were hoping to rearrange a date in August.
Former miners’ leader Arthur Scargill and Kate Osborne, who attends the event for the first time as Jarrow’s MP, will be among the speakers at the rescheduled festival.
The event has been organised by Follonsby Wardley Miners Lodge Banner Community Heritage Association, with the Durham Miners Association, the National Education Union and “with thanks to South Tyneside County Council Community Fund”.
Usually an annual event, it marks the significant role Jarrow has played in the history of Britain’s industrial relations since the 1830s.
The festival commemorates the story of the 1832 Seven Men of Jarrow, who were deported to an Australian penal colony for a crime they almost certainly didn’t commit.
The August 28 event will be the fifth Rebel Town Festival. It also commemorates other significant events in the labour movement, including the 1936 Jarrow March.
The festival will begin with an assembly at 11am beside the William Jobling memorial stone, close to the Jarrow entrance to the Tyne Pedestrian Tunnel. There will be speeches, a banner parade through the town, music, stalls and attendees can enjoy a drink.
The main rally will take place outside the Gin & Ale House on Walter Street.
Dave Douglass, secretary of the Follonsby Wardley Miners’ Lodge Association, said: “This is the fifth year we’ve organised the commemoration. Originally it was for the men who were deported in the 1830s, but we’ve extended it to include Jarrow’s mining history from almost the last 200 years.
“It’s a commemoration of Jarrow as a rebel town. But there’ll be canny crack and a drink afterwards at the Gin & Ale House.”