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Ripon to Wakefield

Bright and early on Monday the 12th of October 1936, the marchers leaving Ripon behind resumed their southerly journey, next stop Harrogate known widely for its health resort.

Queen Victoria Monument Harrogate
Queen Victoria Monument Harrogate – Image: Webshots

Covering the 11 miles they arrived in Harrogate later that day. Even here the marchers were given a warm welcome. The people of Harrogate had hung a banner saying Harrogate workers welcome Jarrow crusade. This lifted the spirits of the marchers as being welcomed could have gone a different way.

After checking that everything was set for their overnight stay The men were given an impressive meal and a comfortable place to sleep. All had been provided by the council and members of the Rotary Club. Defeating the Conservative Member Mr. Pearson in the 1935 elections Ellen Wilkinson now the town’s Member of parliament re-joined the marchers at this point and announced she intended to walk the rest of the journey to London.

Later some 30-plus years into the future Ellen Wilkinson would lend her name to Jarrow’s first-ever high-rise tower block of flats/apartments.

The marchers arrived in Leeds on the 13th of October completing the first 100 miles of their 300-mile journey. Leeds turned out to be the warmest reception of the whole journey Given by Mr. William Nicholson President of the Leeds Conservative Party. Mr. Nicholson was also a newspaper proprietor and provided the marchers with a five-course meal in the Town Hall even the dog Jarrow was not forgotten. After the meal, Mr. A. Burrill, president of the Leeds Trade and Labour Council spoke of his sympathy for the march and wished the men every success on behalf of the workers of Leeds.

East Window Wakefield Cathedral
East Window Wakefield Cathedral – Image: Wikipedia

Arriving in Wakefield on the 14th of October the welcome did not match that of Leeds, but never the welcome was warm and sincere with tea and free cinema tickets. That night found themselves sleeping in a disused church next to a graveyard.

Wakefield stands by the side of the River Calder in West Yorkshire. The Duke of York had been defeated close to the city (then a town) in the battle of Wakefield at Sandal Castle.

The Cathedral is a 14th-century parish church. With around 3,000 full-time and 10,000 part-time students,[9] and campuses in both the city center and surrounding towns, Wakefield College is the major provider of further education in the area.

The picture shows All Saints Church. In 1888, the Diocese of Wakefield was created and All Saints church became the diocese’s cathedral. The Cathedral stands on the site of a Saxon church in the center of Wakefield in the northern English county of Yorkshire, and the present building was mainly built during the 14th and 15th centuries in the Perpendicular style. The 15th-century spire is 247 feet (75 meters) tall and is the highest spire in Yorkshire, as well as being the fourth loftiest spire in England.

Follow the Marchers: Wakefield to Chesterfield