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Jarrow: York Avenue

When the A19, referred to today as the tunnel approach road (a few miles to the east) opened back in 1965 York Avenue was considered a major roadway carrying traffic to Boldon and all points beyond. The tree-lined dual carriageway was given to be the first of its kind in the country.

York Avenue Jarrow 1949 approximately
before future changes were implemented.
York Avenue (1949 approx.)

It was officially opened by HRH The Duchess of York back in 1928. By the bus stop to the left and right of the highway was and still is Valley View Park also known as Monkton Dene Park, or The Jarvis Park, set up by Sir John Jarvis with money from the Surrey Fund, shortly after the Jarrow March of 1936.

Because speeding became a problem in this area of the town a system known as Pinch point road narrowing was adopted in 1995, at the junction of York Avenue and Bede Burn Road (behind the camera). After the system became a success it was used to Pinch point various intervals along the length of York Avenue. this resulted in it becoming a single-lane system, with parking spaces for residents.

Picture shows York Avenue as it is now 2024.

Apart from the new road markings, a different style bus stop, and the fact my pictures cover more of the same area apart from the bus shelter little has changed. However, it still as far as I am concerned makes for a lovely highway to drive down before entering the town center more so when the tree-lined dual carriageway is in full blossom… I wish I could say the same about Jarrow town center.

Picture shows York Avenue as it is now 2024.
York Avenue looking south (early spring-time 2023)

My Thoughts

It was and still is a lovely place to live, but sadly, the area has been in control of a Labour stronghold for many years. Seemingly they (the council) have convinced themselves that they will never be removed from office. The outcome is that Jarrow, a National Heritage site, has deteriorated in and around its streets. As a result, Jarrow has become the neglected sibling of South Shields.

However, having said that South Tyneside has the tenth highest level of debt per resident in the UK, with a total of £633.5 million amounting to £4,283 per head as of March 2024. With this in mind, I can see why they struggle to keep everyone happy. Information for the North East Deeper Devolution Deal Policy paper can be viewed on the Gov.UK website.

I am sure somebody living in or around the area reading this will disagree with me. Well, don’t bother – this is how I see it. I lived in Jarrow during the late ’60s and ’70s, as well as the ’90s, and later, and it’s a widespread thought among those who live there that, as time has passed, certain parts of Jarrow are not receiving the support they should be getting. Maybe now is a good time for independent, or even dare I say it, Tory candidates to start knocking on doors. No, I’m not council bashing; they’re doing that themselves. I’m just telling it as I see it.

I think (Oops, I see smoke rising)… The Venerable Bede, The Bede Museum, Bede’s Walk, Catherine Cookson Way (novelist), St. Paul’s Church and Monastery founded by Benedict Biscop back in AD 681 to AD 685, the many walks and nature trails, and let us never forget the people, families, and individuals that suffered poverty back in 1936 – The Jarrow Marchers. Their march was for much-needed work not just for themselves… no politics … no one town or village… but the area in general. These concerned individuals tried to bring life back to their forgotten towns (as they saw it).