On 5th October 1936, 200 men left the town of Jarrow to march around 280 miles to London in protest at the hardships being faced by those families whose breadwinners were being made unemployed due to the closure of factories, ship builders and other works as a result of the Great Depression. In Jarrow, the local shipyard had recently closed. The route was covered in 22 stages stopping at Chester-le-Street, Ferryhill, Darlington, Northallerton, Ripon, Harrogate, Leeds, Wakefield, Barnsley, Sheffield, Chesterfield, Mansfield, Nottingham, Loughborough, Leicester, Market Harborough, Northampton, Bedford, Luton, St Albans, Edmonton, Marble Arch, London.
The men left Jarrow with nothing but the clothes they wore. They carried banners with the words ‘Jarrow Crusade’ signifying the fact that they were on a mission to gain jobs, security and dignity for their families. They were fed by well-wishers along the route and by the time they reached London they had collected around 12,000 signatures on a petition which was to be presented to the Prime Minister.
the marchers eventually reached London on 28th October 1936 but the Conservative Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, refused to meet the marchers in person.