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 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. 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.

A gallery of photos by Susan Pomeroy has been added at the foot of this page.

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:The marchers moving off towards St Albans after lunch

The marchers moving off towards St Albans after lunch

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

 

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

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.