10 often gritty photographs from the ChrionicleLive archives recall scenes captured around Tyneside in 1936
With banners spread out and marching in neat columns, the black-and-white images of men in flat caps making the long journey to London are among the most iconic images of the 20th century.
The Jarrow Crusade of 1936 came to define both the city and a difficult inter-war world where unemployment and misery plagued the former industrial areas of northern England during the Great Depression. .
The march for jobs was sparked by the closure of the massive Palmer’s shipyard in Jarrow in 1933, a cataclysmic event that immediately put about 80 percent of city dwellers out of work and plunged family after family into immediate destitution.
In the short term, the Jarrow Crusade came to nothing, but a powerful argument had been made that would inform Britain’s long-term welfare policies in the aftermath of World War II.
Our main image showing walkers leaving rainy Jarrow on their long trek to London is one of 10 ChronicleLive archives that recall scenes around Tyneside 85 years ago.
Among them we see the well presented Marks and Spencer store which had opened four years earlier on Northumberland Street in Newcastle; The young people of Gateshead at Bensham station, waiting to see a very special train as it roared; and a new subdivision in North Shields called the Ridges, which would make national headlines 55 years later when it was known as Meadow Well.
In retrospect, we know that Europe was on a countdown to war in 1936, but what else was going on in the world?
Britain was outraged by the abdication of King Edward VIII, who relinquished the throne after less than a year so that he could marry the twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson.
Elsewhere, July saw the start of the Spanish Civil War; the following month, Jesse Owens made headlines at the Berlin Olympics; and in November, the BBC broadcast its first “high definition” television programs.
In popular culture, the book Gone The Wind has been published; the Hollywood film Follow the Fleet, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, has been released; and the first music charts were published by Billboard magazine.
Closer to home, our 10 images are reminiscent of what was happening around Tyneside 85 years ago.
Check out our Memory Lane local history website which is full of archival photographs and features an easy-to-use image colorizer.