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Friday, 5 October, 2001, 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK
Jarrow crusade captured in bronze
Jarrow Marchers statue
The bronze sculpture is called "Spirit of Jarrow"
A life-sized bronze statue to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Jarrow march for jobs has been unveiled on Tyneside.

A special multimedia exhibition about the march has also been opened at the town's Viking Gallery.

It was created by sculptor Graham Ibbeson, but was named by two local residents who entered a competition.

The work was commissioned by the Morrison's supermarket.

In October 1936, 200 shipyard workers from Jarrow marched to the Houses of Parliament to highlight their poverty.

At the time a 12,000 signature petition was handed in by the MP for Jarrow, Ellen Wilkinson.

The march is international now... we get students from all over the world asking about it

Vince Ray, gallery creator

Vince Ray, 50, the curator at the gallery told BBC News Online: "I think the statue is beautifully cast... it isn't something way out.

"It shows two marchers, two children, a woman carrying a baby and a dog, which was the march mascot.

"They are all walking out of the ribs of a ship carrying a banner.

The "Spirit of Jarrow" was unveiled in the Viking Shopping Centre at 1100 BST, the time the original marchers set off for London from the Jarrow Town Hall.

Jarrow Crusade
The Jarrow Crusade caught the public attention

Vince Ray said: "The march is international now... we get students from all over the world asking about it, so there should be a resource centre for this by now.

"In those days there were hundreds of marches and none of them were as successful as the Jarrow march.

"It was well disciplined and they were very well received.

"The march was not party political, it was all persuasions letting the country know their plight, they were all skilled tradesmen who over 80 years had produced 80,000 ships for the British empire, but they had been unemployed for six years.

"At the time, a Daily Herald reporter marched with them and sold his reports to the world."

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