Jarrow March: Luton To London
On the 29th of, October the men left Luton and journeyed to St. Albans. St Albans is the main urban area of the City and District of St Albans, around 22 miles (35 km) north of central London. The city’s one of several places that, by repute, has the most pubs per square mile in the country. It also claims to have the oldest pub in England, in which Sir Walter Raleigh is said to have stayed, named Ye Olde Fighting Cocks.
St Albans area has a long history of settlement. The Celtic Catuvellauni tribe had a settlement at Prae Hill a mile or so to the west. The Roman town of Verulamium, the second-largest town in Roman Britain after Londinium, was built alongside this in the valley of the River Vera little nearer to the present town center. The local economy is made up mainly of offices, small enterprises, retailing, and tourism-based enterprises.
The center of the city suffers significant road traffic congestion because of the city’s many small surrounding streets, high car use, inadequate roads, poor take-up and provision of local public transport, to persuade motorists to drive around rather than through the center. The council estimates that 75% of traffic entering the city is through traffic. The Picture shows the Abbey Church, now St Albans Cathedral formally the Cathedral & Abbey Church of St Alban, but still known locally as The Abbey.
As mentioned earlier Friday found the marchers entering Greater London here they would rest up overnight at Edgeware. Like a road, it runs north-west from Marble Arch, and as the A5 road, it passes underneath Marylebone Road, through Maida Vale, Kilburn, and Cricklewood (as Cricklewood Broadway). It is joined by the North Circular Road before West Hendon at Staples Corner. After this, the road continues even further north, through The Hyde, Colindale, Burnt Oak, and finally, to Edgware. The picture is of a piece of Sculpture known as “The Window Cleaner” by Allan Sly outside of the tube station.
The southernmost part of the road forms part of the London Inner Ring Road and as such is part of the boundary of the London congestion charge zone. It is principally a shopping and residential area and is known by those who regularly use the London Underground as being one of the northern termini of the Northern Line. It has a bus garage, a shopping center called The Mall, a library, a large hospital, Edgware Community Hospital, and two streams, Edgware Brook and Deans Brook, which are tributaries of the Silk Stream, which in turn merges with the River Brent at the Welsh Harp.
Finally, on the morning of Saturday the 31st October the men had reached their goal, Marble Arch, almost one month after leaving their hometown of Jarrow. There they were met by Alderman William Thompson, The Mayor, Mr. Charles Perkins, the Town Clerk, and a number of Jarrow councellors who had arrived overnight by train. Apart from a few poor days, the weather had been on the marcher’s side for almost the full month. Sadly here at the end of the line, it let them down. London was in the grip of its worst downpour for months. So much so, that the men had to use their groundsheets as capes to protect themselves from the elements.
This then was the journey that has gone down in our history books. Some people are of the opinion that the march did little good. My own opinion is it gave standing to a town that had been crippled by the loss of the very industry that England had depended on. So the way I see it Jarrow had nowhere else to go but up. The townspeople did the one thing no one else had done. A march where there was no politics involved a whole community (town) was represented by 200 men whose only crime was a need to work. This then was the Jarrow March. Whatever you may make of it?
For those individuals among us who like facts and figures, the Jarrow Appeal for donations brought them £1,567. 0. 5p old English pounds shillings & pence, before decimalization. If you do have an interest in who made donations to the marchers see the bottom of the page.
I have tried to re-create what it may have been like to march 300 miles in only the clothes you stood up in. These men/women knew what hardship and deprivation were all about. My version of the Jarrow March was inspired by The Jarrow March 1936 compiled and organized by Bede Gallery (1936)/ Bede’s World Jarrow. Text by: David Dougan, Photographic Interpretations by: Irene Reddish.
If you hold an interest in bygone days this book makes an emotional point and sticks to it. If you think the here and now is tough I would recommend you read this book.
It reminds me of rough justice, a blind Government, and an I’m all right jack to hell with you attitude.
As for poverty it still exists today… will it ever be stamped out. I doubt it very much, not in my lifetime anyway
Jal Jineseyo… Thank you for your visit.
General Public Donations:
- Jarrow £183. 15. 2:
- Tyneside Towns £55. 1. 9p
- Rest of the UK £400. 0. 0p
- Grand Total = £680. 16. 11p
- Donations from the three main parties: Conservative, Labour, Liberal £ 61. 1. 10p
- Donations from Trade Unions £134. 6. 5p
- Donations from the Co-operative Societies £323. 2. 7p
- Collections en route £317. 12. 8p
- Special Supper donation £ 50. 00. 00p
- Grand Total = £885. 18. 6p -Over All Total = £1,567.0. 5p
St. Alban’s Cathedral Image: Webshots
Marble Arch Image: Webshots
Edgeware Road The Window Cleaner Image: Wikipedia
If you would still like to watch the video the following Youtube link will open a new page where you can watch the video it will take you on a journey of the River Tyne, showing a slide show of both old and new images. The background song, The Big River, is sung by Jimmy Nail. If you would prefer another singer this link will take you on the same journey with the exception of the song being sung by Joe McElderry
Just like natural-tys (my old website) no longer exists neither do the shipyards… It’s appropriate to use their words. It’s a song of forgotten Memories and tremendous pride and the right to be a so…superb song… a brilliant video… Never forget your roots and be proud of who you are.