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Jarrow: York Avenue

When the A19, referred to today as the tunnel approach road (a few miles to the east) opened back in 1965 York Avenue was considered a major roadway carrying traffic to Boldon and all points beyond. The tree-lined dual carriageway was thought to be the first of its kind in the country.

York Avenue Jarrow South Tyneside 1949 Approximately
York Avenue Jarrow South Tyneside 1949 Approximately

It was officially opened by HRH The Duchess of York back in 1928. By the bus stop to the left and right of the highway was and still, is Valley View Park also known as Monkton Dene Park, or The Jarvis Park, set up by Sir John Jarvis with money from the Surrey Fund, shortly after the Jarrow March of 1936.

Because speeding became a problem in this particular part of the town a system known as Pinch point road narrowing was adopted in 1995, at the junction of York Avenue and Bede Burn Road. After the system became a success it was used to Pinch point various intervals along the length of York Avenue. this resulted in it becoming a single-lane system, with the creation of parking spaces for residents.

York Avenue Jarrow South Tyneside 1949 Approximately
York Avenue today 2022

Apart from the new road markings, a different style bus stop, and the fact my pictures cover the same area only looking south little has changed. However, it is still as far as I am concerned making for a really lovely highway to drive down before entering the town center more so when the tree-lined dual carriageway is in full blossom… I wish I could say the same about the town of Jarrow.

It was and still is a lovely place to live, but sadly the area has been in the hands of a Labour stronghold for many years, so much so I do believe they (the council) have fooled themselves into thinking they will never be put out of office. The result is Jarrow, a National Heritage area, in and around her streets, has been allowed to deteriorate. With Jarrow becoming the poor relation of South Shields.

York Avenue Jarrow South Tyneside 2022 Approximately
York Avenue Jarrow South Tyneside 2022 Approximately

I am more than sure somebody living in or around the area reading this will disagree with me. Well, Don’t bother, this is how I see it. I lived in Jarrow through the late ’60s and ’70s, as well as the ’90s, and later, and it’s a widespread thought to those who live there, as time has gone by certain parts of Jarrow are not receiving the support it should be. Maybe now is a good time for the Independent, or dare I say it, Tory candidates to start knocking on doors. No, I’m not council bashing they’re doing that themselves. I’m just telling it as I see it.

I am under the belief that the Jarrow Marches may have left for their march to London via. this road. Whether it looked as it does in the above photos back then I do not know. I think (Oops I see smoke rising)… Jarrow has its share of places to visit starting with The Venerable Bede, The Bede Museum, Bede’s Walk, Catherine Cookson Way (novelist), St Paul’s Church and Monastery founded by Benedict Biscop back in AD681 to AD685, the many walks and nature trails and let us never forget the people, families, and individuals that suffered poverty back in 1936, The Jarrow Marchers. Their march was for much-needed work not just for themselves… no politics … no one town or village… but the area in general. These concerned individuals tried to bring life back to their forgotten town (as they saw it).

Whether they did or didn’t do any good depends on how you view it. One thing can’t be contradicted they were proud people marching for the right to work.

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