The Jarrow Crusade

July 18, 2019

The Jarrow Crusade

Just arrived in the gallery is a personal commission organised by one of the Leigh Lambert Galleries clients and one we felt was worth investigating a little further due to its significant historical content.

A shipyard was established in Jarrow in 1851 and during the resulting 80 years 1,000 ships where built and launched from the town. After the First World War a period of mismanagement and decline in the global economy lead to the shipyards eventual closure, and despite promise of a new steel yard to ease the mass unemployment in the area this didn’t materialise and lead to the decision to march.

The march took place between the 5th and 31st October 1936, and was an organised protest against the unemployment and poverty suffered in Jarrow. Approximately 200 crusaders marched from Jarrow to London carrying a petition to the British Government requesting the re-establishment of industry in the town following the closure of the main employer Palmers Shipyard in 1936. Received by the House of Commons the petition was not however debated, and the march produced few immediate results and the Crusaders returned deflated believing their efforts where futile.

Despite the sense of failure, the Jarrow March became recognised by historians as a defining event of the 1930’s and it is believed to have helped to foster the change in attitudes which prepared the way to social reform measures after the Second World War.

Leigh’s commission brilliantly illustrates the start of the march from the closed gates of Palmers yard, and the personal element of the pieces is highlighted by the client and his brothers and sisters appearing outside the gates.

If you are interested in organising your own commission from Leigh, then please contact us in the gallery to discuss in more detail.

You can now purchase a limited edition of the Jarrow Crusade for more information please click here 


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