Sunday, October 05, 2008

200 men, 300 miles, 72 years ago today

On October 5th, 1936, two hundred unemployed men left their homes in Jarrow to march to Westminster, three hundred miles to the south. The Jarrow Crusade was a response to 85% local unemployment, but more than that, it was a crusade for respect.

My grandfather, Edward Scott, was one of the marchers. He died 30 years ago, but I still remember his stories of what he regarded as the greatest event of his life. The marchers received support, food, water and lodging from well-wishers along the way, and gathered 12,000 signatures on a petition. It wasn't a party political protest. There were Labour, Tory and Liberal marchers, as well as a few Communists.

More information about the march, and the names of all the marchers, can be found here (click on Crusades).

I frequently return to my grandfather's home town (often I'm there for the Great North Run - also today, co-incidentally). I'm immensely proud of his role in one of the greatest citizen protests in the last hundred years. Well done, Ted.

1 comment:

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Lets hope there'll never be a need for a repeat!