The Jarrow Crusade

1936, and again in 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.

The Jarrow March in Harpenden High Street, 1936. Credit: Scan of Postcard supplied by Louise M Emery

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.

The marchers arriving in the centre of Harpenden. Credit: Peter Moyse, 1986

They carried the same box as in 1936. Banjo West pushed the wheelchair – see his Comment and trophy below. Credit: Peter Moyse, 1986

The Petition box, during a lunch break at the Friends Meeting House, 1986. Credit: Susan Pomeroy, 1986

Judy Fryd and Pat Wilson, Friends Meeting House, Harpenden. Credit: Susan Pomeroy, 1986

Hugh West’s trophy. Credit: Hugh West

 

Hugh West’s medal. Credit: 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.

Passing the BP garage next to The Old Bell. Credit: Susan Pomeroy, 1986

Marchers passing The Old Bell, having been greeted and escorted into Harpenden. Credit: Susan Pomeroy, 1986

Along Harpenden High Street. Credit: Susan Pomeroy, 1986

First arrivals at the Friends Meeting House, Southdown Road, Harpenden. Credit: Susan Pomeroy, 1986

Arriving for lunch at the Friends Meeting House, Southdown Road. Credit: Susan Pomeroy, 1986

Resting at lunchtime at the Friends Meeting House. Credit: Susan Pomeroy, 1986

Relaxing at the Friends Meeting House. Credit: Susan Pomeroy, 1986

The marchers moving off towards St Albans after lunch. Credit: Susan Pomeroy, 1986

Rally in St Albans, addressed by Roy Hattersley MP, with Tony McWalter holding the banner. Credit: Susan Pomeroy, 1986

Rally outside the Old Town Hall, St Albans, October 1986. Credit: Susan Pomeroy, 1986

 

 

Nottingham trade unionists joined the march on 20 October 1986 – see Comment. Credit: Cllr Michael Edwards

Comments about this page

  • Have been scanning old holiday photos and found 3 of the march, which I have posted on Facebook.
    I found your page cos I was looking to confirm the date as the 20th. 
    The TSSA national banner was there cos our Nottingham branch requested it and our union started in the goods yards just east of the city centre. 

    Ed – we have added a photo of the Nottingham marchers

    By Cllr. Michael Edwards (26/06/2019)
  • Louise Emery had recently sent us a scan of a postcard, showing the Jarrow Crusade marching along Harpenden High Street on 29 October 1936. We have added it to the top of the page. Thank you, Louise.

    By Rosemary Ross (04/03/2018)
  • 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 (09/05/2017)
  • 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 (03/05/2017)
  • 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 (30/09/2016)
  • Hugh West has just sent us a photo of his Jarrow march trophy, which we have added to the page above.

    By Rosemary Ross (07/04/2016)
  • 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 (06/06/2015)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *