The Dark Crimes Of Jarrow From The Turn Of The Last Century Revealed In New Book



Jarrow’s Victorian and Edwardian era was a town of “shipbuilders, pub crawlers, newcomers, bar brawlers, traders and sex workers”

Mention the town of Jarrow, think about its history, and it’s likely that grainy black-and-white images of unemployment, hardship, and the famous 1936 “crusade” for work will come to mind.

Before that, Victorian and Edwardian Jarrow was a booming city – but one that also had a darker side.

The 19th century brought heavy industry, transforming it from a small market town on the southern banks of the River Tyne to a powerhouse for shipbuilding and coal mining.

READ MORE: 1936 meets 2021 on South Shields’ Ocean Road

People flocked to the city from all over Britain and Ireland in search of work and new opportunities, but many discovered that life in Jarrow at the turn of the last century could be tough and at times cruelly cut short. , and that the punishment was just as severe.

A new book, Dark Crimes Of Jarrow by Natasha Windham, recalls the seedy side of life in the town of South Tyneside which was part of County Durham at the time.

The tales were originally told in the Jarrow Express – a long-defunct weekly newspaper that was published between 1873 and 1920 and whose stories covered daily city life in detail.

In this book, published by Amberley, the author delves into the archives to uncover stories of murder, manslaughter, fights and theft.

Sometimes it looks like something from the American “Wild West”.

Stories include the attempted murder of a police sergeant by a former officer who drowned in the River Tyne as he fled the scene, with the potential murderer dealt with at a hero’s funeral; a deadly sprint through town one night by an armed gunman, which left two dead and seven injured; and a love triangle that ended in death outside the gates of Palmer Shipyard.

With over 100 illustrations (some of which are shown below), the book includes compelling chapter titles such as Now, You Old Bastard; They are now in their coffins; I will do for you; and no man loves a woman better than I love him.

The real protagonists of these stories are all long dead, but the author brings those past times to life.

Nastasha, who for many years researched the history of Jarrow and that of his ancestors who lived there, writes “It was a town of shipbuilders, pub crawlers, newcomers, brawlers. bar, shopkeepers and sex workers, with poker guns, clubs, guns, knives, feet, teeth, fists, stones, stones and boiling water. “

For the most part, life in Victorian and Edwardian Jarrow, with its largely hardworking and God-fearing population, would have been uneventful. This fascinating book recalls some of the times when that peace was shattered.

Dark Crimes Of Jarrow, by Natasha Windham, is published by Amberley and is priced at £ 15.99. It is on sale in bookstores and online, including directly from the publisher here.

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