Sunday, 2 October 2011


The name Jarrow is synonymous with unemployment and hardship brought on by global depression. Sound familiar? In 1936, a band of protesters 207 strong took part in the Jarrow March, making their way on foot all the way to Westminster, accompanied by their local Member of Parliament Ellen Wilkinson, otherwise known as “Red Ellen”. Sadly, although there was much public sympathy, the marchers did not get much out of the Government, apart from receiving £1 each to pay for their journey back up north. However, in the years that followed a ship-breaking yard and engineering works was established, and a steelworks was opened in 1939. As if to underline the parallels between those grim times and what we are facing today, just yesterday it was reported that a new Jarrow March had begun involving hundreds of people protesting at the cost of education and the lack of jobs. Best of luck to them, I hope they get more attention from the Government than their 1936 forerunners.

This town on the south bank of the River Tyne has historic remains dating back to Saxon times, when the Venerable Bede lived and worked in a monastery here. There is a Saxon dedication stone dating from 685 AD above the chancel arch of St Paul’s Church. Nearby, Bede’s World tells the story of medieval Northumbria, and includes a reconstruction of an Anglo-Saxon farm from those times. For the beer drinkers, the town has its own brewery, the Jarrow Brewery, which only began brewing in 2002, but got off to a flying start by winning a CAMRA award in its first year of brewing.

Map of the area.

'Jarrow Close' photo (c) 2001, AJ Alfieri-Crispin - license:

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