The Jarrow Crusade

1936, and again in 1986

By Rosemary Ross

Photo:The marchers arriving in the centre of Harpenden

The marchers arriving in the centre of Harpenden

Peter Moyse, 1986

The first Jarrow march in 1936 had passed through Harpenden on 29 October on its way to petition the government for help for the unemployed of the North East.

In 1986 a commemorative march was organised, at a time of renewed high unemployment, particularly in the North East. Peter Moyse took these pictures as the march passed along the High Street, probably on 29 October. The marchers were hosted for lunch at the Friends Meeting House by members of Harpenden Branch Labour Party, including Judy Fryd (founder of Mencap), and Pat Wilson, local architect and founder member of Harpenden Local History Society.

Photo:They carried the same box as in 1936. Banjo West pushed the wheelchair - see his Comment and trophy below

They carried the same box as in 1936. Banjo West pushed the wheelchair - see his Comment and trophy below

Peter Moyse, 1986

Photo:The Petition box, during a lunch break at the Friends Meeting House, 1986

The Petition box, during a lunch break at the Friends Meeting House, 1986

Susan Pomeroy, 1986

Photo:Judy Fryd and Pat Wilson, Friends Meeting House, Harpenden

Judy Fryd and Pat Wilson, Friends Meeting House, Harpenden

Susan Pomeroy, 1986

Photo:Hugh West's trophy

Hugh West's trophy

Hugh West

 
Photo:Hugh West's medal

Hugh West's medal

Hugh West


 

Photos taken by Susan Pomeroy who escorted the marchers through Harpenden and onwards to the Rally outside the Old Town Hall in St Albans.

Photo:Passing the BP garage next to The Old Bell

Passing the BP garage next to The Old Bell

Susan Pomeroy, October 1986

Photo:Marchers passing The Old Bell, having been greeted and escorted into Harpenden

Marchers passing The Old Bell, having been greeted and escorted into Harpenden

Susan Pomeroy, October 1986

Photo:Along Harpenden High Street

Along Harpenden High Street

Susan Pomeroy, October 1986

Photo:First arrivals at the Friends Meeting House, Southdown Road, Harpenden

First arrivals at the Friends Meeting House, Southdown Road, Harpenden

Susan Pomeroy, October 1986

Photo:Arriving for lunch at the Friends Meeting House, Southdown Road

Arriving for lunch at the Friends Meeting House, Southdown Road

Susan Pomeroy, October 1986

Photo:Resting at lunchtime at the Friends Meeting House

Resting at lunchtime at the Friends Meeting House

Susan Pomeroy, October 1986

Photo:Relaxing at the Friends Meeting House

Relaxing at the Friends Meeting House

Susan Pomeroy, October 1986

Photo:The marchers moving off towards St Albans after lunch

The marchers moving off towards St Albans after lunch

Susan Pomeroy, 1986

Photo:Rally in St Albans, addressed by Roy Hattersley MP, with Tony McWalter holding the banner

Rally in St Albans, addressed by Roy Hattersley MP, with Tony McWalter holding the banner

Susan Pomeroy, October 1986

Photo:Rally outside the Old Town Hall, St Albans, October 1986

Rally outside the Old Town Hall, St Albans, October 1986

Susan Pomeroy, October 1986

 

 

This page was added by Rosemary Ross on 26/09/2014.
Comments about this page

I was the lad pushing the wheel chair. I was known at the time as Banjo West, a nickname I was given whilst in the Navy. Although Hugh is my first name, most people call me Jim.

My involvement with the march was through the Tyneside Unemployed Workers Movement: it is still based in Dean Street, Newcastle. I was given the chance to assist in the first aid treatment of the marchers, which is how I ended up pushing the wheel chair. I used the march as a way to raise awareness of the unemployment in the North. We marched between 10 and 20 miles almost every day and on my rest days I would call into the jobs centres on route and look for work. My efforts found me a job in Loughborough. However after after two years I moved back to Newcastle. I now have two children and have been married for 23 years to Julia. I no longer get involved in anything Political.

There was 27 marchers originally and I think about twelve came from Jarrow and met us in Newcastle. At every major town we would pick up other marchers to represent their town's unemployed. Unfortunately many of the marchers went their separate ways afterwards as they did come from around the country. I can’t help with everyone's names as I only ever used their Christian names and never saw most of them again, but the girl standing under the letter E in the banner was called Anita. There was a lad called Chris (possibly Davies) - his nickname was 'lump', as he was a big strapping lad from Nottingham. There was a girl named Tina from Birmingham. Jimmy Foggon, one of the original marchers, met us at Trafalgar Square.

I still have my Medal and I believe the orange Jacket is in the loft. I shall try and find it as I'm sure there are a few names signed on it. I don’t believe I have any photos but If I find any photos I will pass them on to you. If I can help I shall - but it was almost 30 years ago.

Ed. We were delighted that Jim found our short page on the 1986 march, and we are very pleased he added more information. There is a description of the march which left Jarrow on 5 October 1986 at :

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/lifestyle/nostalgia/recreating-that-famous-march-1552115

By Hugh West
On 24/06/2015

Hugh West has just sent us a photo of his Jarrow march trophy, which we have added to the page above.

By Rosemary Ross
On 19/04/2016

I was on the 1986 march; I can recall the lad Banjo and many other nice people. 30 years have passed and this country is still no better.

By David Jackson
On 11/10/2016

I was on the 1986 march, joining it at Leicester, with my best friend at the time, the black guy holding the banner in the main pic. Very proud to have been a part of it. It's a shame there's so little information or imagery of it.

By Simon T Bramley
On 07/05/2017

My name is Joe Gallagher and I am originally from Corby in Northamptonshire. What once was a Steel Town. I had the honour of taking part in the Jarrow March walking all the way from Jarrow to London. Through the passing of time and my transient lifestyle I have lost all the memorabilia I had and would welcome any postings of photos and memories of this proud time in my life. Respect and love to all my Comrades who took part.

Ed: In response to Joe's comment and emails, we have added a gallery of all the photos taken in Harpenden and St Albans on the day when the Jarrow March passed through at the end of October 1986. Joe encouraged us to add further photos to the website, as there is so little record of the 50th anniversary march in 1986:

Hi, thanks for adding more pictures.  I can't see any photos of me or my companion Linda. The first Photo I recognise Richard who was one of the organisers and the punk guy I'm sure his name is Norman and he was with 3 other punks, Dickie, Pylie and Ren. The other faces I remember but not the names. Myself and Linda walked from Jarrow to London, but I have lost contact with Linda although I know that she did have quite a bit of memorabilia. Thank you for sending these pictures as they do bring back memories.  Certainly add them onto the page because info, photos and other things from that March are scarce.

By Joe Gallagher
On 20/06/2017

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