Jarrow March will be remembered with 80th anniversary events

Jarrow Marchers.
Jarrow Marchers.

Local film-maker Gary Wilkinson has been in touch to tell me about a number of events being held locally to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the famous Jarrow March.

The march, which was also known as the Jarrow Crusade, took place in October, 1936, in protest against the unemployment and poverty suffered in Jarrow during the 1930s.

Some 200 men marched from Jarrow to London during the course of 26 days, carrying 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 received by the House of Commons but not debated, and the march produced few immediate results.

Although it is recorded that the marchers returned home believing that they had failed, they did highlight the plight of social injustice caused by joblessness – and the march continues to resonate among working people even today.

In the light of the upcoming anniversary, Gary told me: “There are a few events happening in South Tyneside for the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Jarrow Crusade.

“There will be an exhibition at the South Shields Museum from October 1 to February 26, 2017, with some films about the crusade screened at The Customs House on November 2.

“Your readers might be also interested to know that the local documentaries Jarrow Voices and Who Were the Marchers will be made available to watch via You Tube from October 5, which was the start date of the march from Jarrow to London.”

We will be featuring a number of picture spreads of the march nearer the time of the anniversary, so please watch out for them.