Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn among speakers as Jarrow’s Rebel Town Festival returns for 2022

The Jarrow Rebel Town Festival returns again in the summer of 2022 after the uncertainty of recent years.

Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 4:55 am

The event was cancelled due to covid in 2020 and postponed until August in 2021. But this year’s event will take place on Saturday, June 25. It will be the sixth time the festival has been staged.

The event was originally called the Seven Men of Jarrow. It commemorates the 1832 story of the seven men who were deported to an Australian penal colony for a crime they almost certainly didn’t commit.

It also marks the town’s role in the history of Britain’s industrial relations since the 1830s.

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Jarrow's Rebel Town Festival - Felling Band leads the banner procession in 2021.

The festival has a decidedly left of centre theme, with guest speakers to include former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Jarrow MP Kate Osborne, Alan Mardghum of the Durham Miners’ Association and David Douglass of the Follonsby Miners Lodge Association.

Amid the politics there will be festivities too, including music from the Felling Silver Band. Other musicians expected to perform are of the folk variety.

These include the Belter Reivers, Irish fiddler Tony Corcoran, singer and melodeonist Benny Graham and Jed Cudworth of the Shamrock Street Band. Poet Tom Pickard will perform some of his work.

David Douglass said: “We hope many native Tynesiders and their families with their children will turn out to this, and remember the past our parents and grandparents endured, and indeed those wee laddies in the dark and labour of the mine.

Jeremy Corbyn and Jarrow MP Kate Osborne will be among the speakers.

“Often these were six or seven years old and worked 17 and 18 hours day 12 days per fortnight. It resulted in a great victory in 1831, but then a revenge attack the following year led by the hated coal owning aristocrat Lord Londonderry, determined to smash the union.

“With Corbyn and myself and the local MP Kate Osborne addressing the situation today as well as the past, the platform is likely to be still radical and militant as it ever was.

“This platform recalls the red and green politics of traditional Jarrow working class politics, in the parade, and speeches and music and song.”

Much of the music will be performed at the Albion Gin and Ale House in Walter Street.

Jarrow's Rebel Town Festival in 2021 - guest speaker Arthur Scargill addressing the crowd.

The day will begin with a gathering at the entrance to the pedestrian Tyne Tunnel at 10.30am.

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Jarrow's Rebel Town Festival procession in 2021.
Jarrow's Rebel Town Festival in 2021.