A SOLIDARITY march is to be held in Tredegar, the birthplace of NHS founder Aneurin Bevan, to coincide with a national protest over the privatisation of the health service.
Tredegar residents proud of their NHS connections will be marching through the town on Saturday, September 6.
It is hoped that footage from the march will be streamed live from Tredegar to Parliament Square in London when the People’s March, which began on August 16, arrives in the capital.
The People’s March, set up by a group of mums angry about the privatisation of the NHS, is following the basic route of the 1936 Jarrow Crusade, 300 miles through 23 towns and cities to Parliament.
The Jarrow marchers are currently in south Yorkshire.
Yesterday, the marchers were travelling the 15 miles between Barnsley and Sheffield, and holding a rally at Weston Park in Sheffield in the evening.
Today the marchers will be walking almost 14 miles from Sheffield to Chesterfield.
Co-organiser of the Tredegar march, Darren Price, who is landlord at the Castle pub, said: “Marianne [Phillips, co-organiser] got contacted by the Jarrow March and we thought it’d be a good idea if Tredegar did something on the same lines seeing as it’s the birthplace of Nye Bevan and the NHS.”
Marchers are asked to meet at the Aneurin Bevan Memorial Stones in Sirhowy at 10.30am, before setting off at 11am.
The route will follow Church Street, Commercial Street and Castle Street before finishing up by the former medical centre, Number 10 The Circle.
Mr Price added: “It’s a show of solidarity from the birthplace of the NHS in Wales to the people in England who are marching to save it.
“The interest has been massive, it’s over-taken us a little.
“Tredegar Town Council unfortunately could not support the march due to time constraints which is understandable but all the councillors are attending personally.
Mr Price also invited health care charities to fundraise during the march and appealed for volunteer stewards and marshals to help.
He added: “We literally don’t know how many people will turn up, it could be very big.”
Aneurin Bevan was elected as a Labour MP for Ebbw Vale in 1929 and as minister of health in the post-war Labour government established the NHS.
One of its models was the Tredegar Workmen’s Medical Aid Society based at The Circle.
When he created the NHS, Bevan said, “All I am doing is extending to the entire population of Britain the benefits we had in Tredegar for a generation or more.”
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