The Thatcher Crisis Years

1980s politics blog from TV historian Tony McMahon

It all seems a long time ago now – and yet mass youth joblessness is back with us in Europe. The People’s March for Jobs in 1981 was a very big march streaming into Hyde Park and made up of many young people who had come from all over Britain. Grim economic times but a real gritty determination to fight back in those days. This leaflet may jog some memories.

10 thoughts on “Was anybody on the People’s March for Jobs in the early 80s?

  1. ricc says:

    I remember it well leaving Huddersfield on the 1st of may 81. Have just seen peoples March for nhs.

  2. Irene currie says:

    Hi I was on the people’s march for job’s 1983 and so was my husband my dad did the 1981 march

    1. Do you have any photos from that demo you’d like to share on the blog?

  3. Mark Lemon says:

    I was on it from Liverpool. The biggest impact for me was when the police tried to stop us joining up with the Jarrow march. but we were all of the same mind the 2 marches collided with running induced hugs on mass. A magic moment, more than 30 years ago but still awesome.

    ps W
    here is the plaque in London, has it been moved?

    1. Greig Campbell says:

      Hi Marj. My name is Dr Greig Campbell, a Liverpool based labour historian. I’m currently working with a group of unemployed volunteers who are collecting oral history interviews with participants in and witnesses to the March. We are conducting interviews both in person and remotely via Teams, Skype and/or Zoom. The testimonies will go into a public exhibition, educational booklet and short film. Is this something you’d be interested in supporting? You can email me at or contact me on Twitter . Thanks.

      1. Greig – Sorry for the late reply – would be delighted to Zoom – let me get in touch unless I’m too late now.

  4. Karen says:

    I was on the 1981 March aged 17 and with my mother from Bedford the last leg. I still have our photo IDs and sweatshirts. Has anyone or the TUC done any collection or published an account of this March, who the marchers were, the hosts along the route and why it happened, it’s significance/impact?

    1. Think I was on that march too!

  5. Tim Hughes says:

    ” what do we want , JOBS FOR YOUTH, when do we want them, NOW” remember it like yesterday

    1. We might be back on those marches soon enough!

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