Dozens march for the Seven Men of Jarrow as town remembers pioneers' fight
A banner parade to pay tribute to the Seven Men of Jarrow will continue to grow into a mini Durham Miner's Gala, says MP Stephen Hepburn.
Dozens marched from Jarrow Town Hall to Drewitts Park this morning as part of the ongoing celebrations to remember the Seven Men of Jarrow.
In 1832, the members of the Northern Union of Pitmen objected to the tough conditions, with nine of the men rounded up and put in Durham Prison - two Thomas Kenare and Thomas Pringle later escaped.
The remaining men were found guilty of conspiracy by a judge and sent to the penal colonies for life.
They were taken in irons to Botany Bay on New South Wales, Australia, leaving their wives and children to fend for themselves.
Over the weekend, the town has remembered the men - Thomas Armstrong, John Barker, Isaac Ecclestone, David Johnson, John Smith, Batholomew Stephenson and John Stewart.
This morning wreaths were laid at the Jobling Memorial in Tyne Street, ahead of a banner parade to Drewitts Park - where stalls, music, and children's activities were set up for a day of celebration.
Speeches by the Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Norman Dick and Dave Douglass, secretary of the Follonsby Wardley Miners' Lodge Association, and MP Stephen Hepburn then took place.
Mr Hepburn said: "If you don't remember your past you will never understand what's coming in the future.
"The great struggles of the past should never be forgotten because the rights that we've got today - whether it's the rights to vote whether its rights at work, decent housing, education and the NHS - it's all brought about by the struggles of the past and it's important that people realise just how we've got the advances we've got today.
"It's a fabulous event, what I like is it's from the very young to the elderly - everyone mixing together it's a proper community getting together, enjoying the day and raising money for charity and good causes.
"It's in it's early stages but we're going to hold the parade every year now and make it into a massive event. We're going to make it into a mini Durham Miner's Gala. Where we have the miners band and the miners banners and everyone getting together to celebrate the past and where we are today."
More can be found about the Seven Men of Jarrow via its Facebook page, The Seven Lads of Jarrow.