A Letter from the Editor

Dear Reader,

Welcome to Issue 29.

The Jarrow March, which took place in October 1936, remains of great importance to the people of North East England. For those unfamiliar with the event, the march was a protest held by the unemployed of the town. Poverty, overcrowding, poor housing, and escalating mortality rates combined with 70% unemployment drove around 200 men from the shipbuilding town to march almost 300 miles to Westminster to appeal for help. Their MP, Ellen Wilkinson, was with them as they came to petition parliament.

As many readers are already aware, StepAway Magazine is based in the North East of England, and given that our focus is on walking, in seems remarkably fitting to publish a poem commemorating one of the most significant walks in the history of our region. The opening poem of our twenty-ninth issue does just that. “Jarrow Crusade: The Woman Left” by Bloodaxe published poet Tom Kelly is a corridor to our not so distant past. His work captures the stoicism, determination and passion of ancestors. As a northerner, I am deeply proud to publish this poem.

Meanwhile, Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon’s “Homeless in Winter” approaches homelessness in the North East in the twenty-first century. It is fascinating how, read back to back, Ceinwen and Tom’s poems speak to one another of a shared struggle that spans generations.

Our twenty-ninth issue then whisks us away to Ireland, China, Australia and elsewhere, courtesy of a line-up of alarmingly talented writers: Francis Bede, David Francis, Matthew James Friday, Gregory Luce, Ilona Martonfi, Gearoid O’Brien and Mo Ogier.

I hope that you enjoy reading this, our twenty-ninth issue – thank you to our contributors and readers for your support.

Yours faithfully,

Darren Richard Carlaw