Jarrow Song /Alan Price... enjoy.
HISTORY: The global Great Depression brought particular distress to North East England, where many citizens were Miners and Ship workers. The collapse of domestic and international trade in shipbuilding, coal mining, and steel industries led to even more severe unemployment and poverty than seen in other parts of the country. At the time, unemployment benefit lasted only for 26 weeks, and the Unemployment Assistance Board, created in 1934, provided inadequate relief for long-term unemployed people, who were put under the Poor Law, which forced them to do service for less money than normal. Senior generations of families were forcibly evicted from their family homes.
The Jarrow March (or Jarrow Crusade, from the phrase on banners carried by the marchers), was an October 1936 protest march against unemployment and extreme poverty suffered in North East England.The 207 marchers travelled from the town of Jarrow to the Palace of Westminster in London, a distance of almost 300 miles (480 km), to lobby Parliament. Their MP, Ellen Wilkinson, known as 'Red Ellen', walked with them. When the marchers completed their feat, very little was done for them. The ship industries remained closed and all that they were given was £1 each to get the train back from London.
Jarrow is a small town on the mouth of the River Tyne, near the city of Newcastle, which had a large ship building industry. A boomtown, Jarrow prospered at the start of the 20th century, when more than a quarter of the world's shipping tonnage was built in North East England. For example, Palmer's Yard had been established in Jarrow in the mid-19th century. After the Great Depression, the town was never the same.
The march was to find jobs to support Jarrow men and their families. It was also a bid for respect and recognition, not only for the people of Jarrow, but for others in a similar situation all over the country. The marchers had no resources other than their own determination, and some good boots supplied by the public. During the march, wherever the marchers stopped for the night, the local people gave them shelter and food.
The National Unemployed Workers' Movement had organised several similar marches before the Jarrow March but received little political support due to the NUWM's links with the Communist Party. When the Jarrow Borough Council organised the protest in July 1936, they named it a "walk" rather than a march, partly to make it clear their protest was not affiliated with the NUWM in the hope of gaining more support.
No Communists were allowed to participate; some organised another march later in the year, led by Walter Harrison, the grandfather of Conservative politician David Davis.
The route the marchers took was in 22 legs with overnight stops, covering a total of 280.5 miles (451.4 km) as follows:
Jarrow to Chester-le-Street -- (12 miles)
Chester-le-Street to Ferryhill -- (12 miles)
Ferryhill to Darlington -- (12 miles)
Darlington to Northallerton -- (16 miles)
Northallerton to Ripon -- (17 miles)
Ripon to Harrogate -- (11½ miles)
Harrogate to Leeds -- (15½ miles)
Leeds to Wakefield -- (9 miles)
Wakefield to Barnsley -- (9¾ miles)
Barnsley to Sheffield -- (13½ miles)
Sheffield to Chesterfield -- (11¾ miles)
Chesterfield to Mansfield -- (12 miles)
Mansfield to Nottingham -- (14½ miles)
Nottingham to Loughborough -- (15 miles)
Loughborough to Leicester -- (11¼ miles)
Leicester to Market Harborough -- (14½ miles)
Market Harborough to Northampton -- (14½ miles)
Northampton to Bedford -- (21 miles)
Bedford to Luton -- (19 miles)
Luton to St Albans -- (10¼ miles)
St Albans to Edmonton -- (11 miles)
Edmonton to Marble Arch, London (8½ miles)
The last surviving member of the march, Cornelius Whalen, died on 14 September 2003, at age 93.