Archaeodeath at Bede’s World, Jarrow

outdoor open air
Bede’s World – Anglo-Saxon learning at Jarrow UK

For locals and international visitors, Bede’s World, was an educational highlight for tourists to the North of England(like myself).

I’m sure the school children would grow up with pride at how their town was home to the Venerable monk and scholar in Europe.

A.D.735.  Jarrow was the source of shining enlightenment of human history, literature, science and creativity and is now CLOSED. My husband and I were visiting in 2010 from Australia, having family history links there. To learn of the funding cuts reinforces the damnable policies of austerity for the poorest.

Jake Campbell’s poem about Govt. funding cuts.

Bedes-World-059  A Museum Closes in the North

Soon an insolvency firm will arrive

with clip boards and check boxes,

begin listing assets. Next door

to the gallery whose worlds

will not be viewed by those with jobs

to do, tapestries by Geordie

ex-blasters on part-time craft courses

will peel to the floor like the memory

of Palmer’s and Red Ellen.

Pigs and chickens gone, the farm

out back will be measured to straw

and sinew. The market value of pork

timesed by square hectares of site.

A fortnight ago, when we hung

the exhibition, took spirit levels

and pencils, hammer and nail,

we did so thinking of our selves.

Now, as our poems and paintings

become potential resources

to shore against liquidation,

we think of the school trips,

the broke and the breaking.

Because if a museum isn’t just

a repository; if it means more

than a funnel we attach

to people’s heads

expecting history to go in,

coins to come out,

then let the North rise

and hear it sing before another part

of our past fades to a phantom limb.

.              monasteryBede_(History_of_the_English)

IS KNOWLEDGE only for the ELITES, who can trace their pedigree to the Norman invasion? Remove Educational opportunity and inspiration to higher education, and you are likely to perpetuate poverty of  living and spirit. Parliaments of yore never wanted ordinary folk to vote, wanted them to feel alienated from power.

GETTING A PERSPECTIVE WITH HIS & HER STORY

My husband’s father Archibald McNeill was a Geordie of Jarrow in 1918.

His parents were both Jarrow born too: McNeill – Kelman families.

Jarrow Mon
St Paul’s Church and Monastery home to the boy monk Bede who gave us footnotes and Anno Domini dating system.

Archaeodeath at Bede’s World, Jarrow this link explains more on the Venerable Bede’s legacy of dating Before Christ and In the Year of our Lord( BC/A.D)

How many millennia did it take to “Educate Rita” – It wasn’t until 1900 A.D. our working-class ancestors finished school, not write their name with an X.

Parliament only opened the Treasury when the business owners requested an up-skilling, literate work-force. Governments only cared for the health of it’s people when they needed an army with resilience. 

Jarrow was infamous for it’s shocking housing and living conditions. The Jarrow Town Hall were highly resistant to improving them, even when the child and mother mortality was highest in the country, but they had to provide a basic education by Act of Parliament.

poster

The government and the armed forces had been shocked by the physical health of the young men of Britain when they were trying to recruit for the Boer War (1899-1902). They had found that many of the young men were too small or under-nourished to join up. As a result of this, a ‘Committee on Physical Deterioration’ was set up(Ulterior Motives Archives). The McNeill boys of my father-in-laws generation would be the recipient of free milk and school dinners introduced by the Liberal Government.

gordon baby
1925 oldest son Archie with baby Gordon

ALL OR NOTHING

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. “Stop the Madness,” interview with Economist John Galbraith.

grange rdThe neglect and prejudice by the British Government is expressed at this link: North-South Divide – Lord Melvyn Bragg, the Labour Peer, from a working-class background is incensed by the closure of BEDE’S WORLD and other educational museums and groups North of London is a sign that Westminster never learns and doesn’t care. st bedes east jarrow

My husband’ Australian long service leave, and we went to the UK including  our Jarrow crusade, with cousin Phil and his wife.cookson

My husband’s family had emigrated to Melbourne, Australia in 1964. It was 2010 when we visited the town where the cousins father’s Archibald and Gordon were born – JARROW, by the River Tyne.

Gran Kelmans Collingwood 13
Collingwood St. Jarrow where Grandma McNeill grew up as Kelman 1901, daughter of a Scotsman/painter & decorator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Western democracies exalt the ideal of social equality, but our economic system arguably emerged from 16th-century Calvinism, a Protestant religion whose members believed that God showed favor by bestowing wealth and other forms of success on what they called ‘the chosen.’ Martha Beck

RED ELLEN

 

My husband’s family left Jarrow Durham in 1933 to find work in Leeds, Yorkshire. The last cry for the working families was the 1936 JARROW CRUSADE.

The hungry shipbuilders walked to London with a petition asking for the steel and iron industry to be rescued and revived by investing in the steel works and shipbuilding industry.

The 26-day trek, ended in heroic failure when Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, head of the Conservative government, said he was too busy to meet the bedraggled marchers.jarrow_old

shipyard labourer
Engineworks at Palmer’s shipyard where the first Archibald worked as a labourer in 1851.

Of the Hunger March Archie & Isabella McNeill Grandparent’s  view from their new home in Leeds, Yorkshire, was Their comrades effort would be a waste of time – they still had horrifying memories of when Winston CHURCHILL set the British troops on the Welsh coal-miners strikers, in the Tonypandy Riots of 1910.

 

Greenock Scot, Great-Grandfather Archibald(1841-1907), was part of the big migrant wave to Palmer’s shipyard when at peak productivity in the 1850’s. The population of Jarrow grew but hardly enough building of new or older houses for the families who came down from Scotland, across from Ireland and elsewhere was of affordable rent and standard.

Western democracies exalt the ideal of social equality, but our economic system arguably emerged from 16th-century Calvinism, a religion whose members believed that God showed favor by bestowing wealth and other forms of success on what they called ‘the chosen.’ Martha Beck

ALL OR NOTHINGwork

1st Archibald MCNEILL was born in Greenock , Scotland, and had been a labourer on the Glasgow dockyards.

There is some family rumour he was on the run for his Union activity but I have no proof for that, yet.

Maybe he had word the wages were higher at Palmers Shipyard at Jarrow. By 1875  Archibald had a wife Anne Laird, nee Johnston from Carlisle, who had been widowed 3 years earlier. The youngest LAIRD step-son was three years old, and 4 more siblings.

1881 Arch&Ann (1)
1881 Census McNeills/Lairds of 89 Ellison St. Jarrow

Tragically his wife Anne died from an infection of childbirth. She was 45years when she died. They had two daughters together though one daughter died aged 2yrs. JARROW had the highest mortality rate for women and children in England. (a reduction of the causes were not on the agenda at the Jarrow Town Hall).

It is only recently that the Church of England prayer book removed the service for the ‘churching of women who had recently given birth’ which starts by giving thanks to God for:

‘The safe deliverance and preservation from the great dangers of childbirth.’

 Archibald must have had something going for him because 3 years later he married 20 years young, Margaret Slaughter Hunter from Westoe. Four children later, in 1907, Archibald died of a stroke at 66yrs.

christ church jarrow
Jarrow Christ Church – Roy & Phil walk by Jarrow Grange Christ Church where Archibald McNeill 34yrs & Ann Johnston wed 1875.
1901 Scots born McNeill
1901 Scots born McNeill a Plumber & Ships Labourer. Grandad Archibald is 9 years old.
Isabella Kelman 1894
17 Frederick St Jarrow; Grandma McNeill nee Isabella Kelman born 1894 to a Scots father like future husband Archibald McNeill.

Isabella was 13yrs when her Mother Mary Blake Kelman age 37yrs died in childbirth 1907, which meant she would leave school to become the older sister, “mother”.

Isab1901
1911 census – Isabella is house-keeper for Dad.

When Isabella met Archibald he had finished his apprenticeship and worked as an Iron ship Rivetter. She learned his father died of a stroke in 1907 when he was 15yrs. His mother had re-married so he had a step-father so his mother was now Margaret Leadbetter.

holidays grandparents
Archie & Isabella

On my father-in-law’s Archibald’s birth certificate Grannie Margaret Leadbetter is witness to his birth on October 16th 1918 at 101 Back of Western Rd.

.Western Rd

holiday c
Our 3 sons-McNeill family c.1933

Source:read all about it at  Archaeodeath at Bede’s World, Jarrow

Bede's world

Summer 2010 The McNeill cousins wait for a train at JARROW STATION to take them for an Indian curry at NEWCASTLE. We checked with a local lad of about 18yrs dressed for a night out. Were we heading in the right direction?

“Yer not from here then?”  “What yer doin’ comin’ to Jarrow for?” he said incredulously when we described ourselves as tourists! The McNeill cousins said their fathers were born there……

By the time young Archie  was 14yrs he had earned a scholarship to continue his education, but the advice of the Head Master was bleak – there was no future in Jarrow for them. He should get out of Jarrow.

The industry had died. Archibald had arrived in Jarrow 1850, and the last Archie leave 1933. 

HMS_Queen_Mary_LOC_10459
Battlecruiser built by Palmers at Jarrow, HMS Queen Mary completed for Royal Navy 1913 and sunk 1916 Battle of Jutland 1266 men died. 20 men survived.

How did Archie McNeill feel after helping to create a state of the art battle ship

then hear it was destroyed by the Germans with a grave loss of those on board?

Human beings, from the time they can walk love to build things and then destroy them. It’s a Game. How do people invest in a building to house and educate about their unique place in English/European history, then dismantle it?

Brexit

 

 

revised text 12 July 2016 (c) copyright all rights reserved by Julie McNeill as author of blog

 

 

 

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