In the late 1970s and during the 1980s, the contraction of the international market and strategic decisions that were taken to a large extent outside the local communities led once again to profound transformations and crises for the workers living in Jarrow and the North-East.
This situation had a devastating impact on coal mining iron and steel working, shipbuilding and most of the industrial activities connected to the River Tyne. The Tyne Dock underwent a significant decline, and it is probably in this context that, in 1985, twenty of the oil storage tanks north of Jarrow Hall were demolished. When rolling mill of Jarrow was closed in 1986, leaving 250 people without a job, the borough became the area with the highest rate of unemployment in the UK. In the same year, working-class protests revived the slogans of the march that had taken place fifty years earlier in 1936.
In any case, the government’s policies favoured privatisation. The service sector increasingly replaced the manufacturing service, which had been vital to the area for centuries. In 1988, the government established the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation, which implemented a programme that involved the “Bede Monastery Museum”. A new structure for the Museum was then built next to Jarrow Hall House. Also, the area previously occupied by the twenty oil-storage tanks that were demolished in 1985 became an experimental farm aimed at investigating rural life in early medieval Northumberland.
Virtual Museum | Jarrow and its Museum | The excavations at St Pauls and the new local Museum | The monastery and the medieval landscape | Jarrow and the Industrial Revolution | Modern Jarrow | Jarrow in the first half of the 20th century | Jarrow across the 20th century | Jarrow in the late 20th century | The new local Museum and Gyrwe’s farm