Chat to us about Clearing
Chat to us about clearing button


Bernard Higgins - Certificate of Education Physical Education, 1977

Originally born in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Bernard came to Leeds Polytechnic in 1974 to study PE and history at the Carnegie School of Physical Education.


Image from 1977 of students from outside Rich Hall on Headingley Campus

Originally born in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Bernard’s family moved to Kirkintilloch, north east of Glasgow when he was still young as his father was Head of Physical Education at St Ninian’s High School. Bernard came to Leeds Polytechnic in 1974 to study PE and history at the Carnegie School of Physical Education.

Bernard has many fond memories of his time at Carnegie and enjoying living in the Headingley part of Leeds where the Cricket and Rugby League grounds were a short distance away. He also enjoyed going along to Elland Road and watching the famous Leeds Utd side managed by Don Revie with Scottish greats like, Billy Bremner, Peter Lorimer and Eddie Gray.

In the Easter break of his second and third years at Carnegie (1976 to 1977), a group of 22 students went to Berlin to play football. Don Curry who was a PE Lecturer at Carnegie and ran one of the College's football teams organised the Berlin trips each Easter. They stayed at the Smuts Barracks in Spandau with the British Army, which was right next door to Spandau Prison where Rudolf Hess was still held prisoner. They played eight football matches against teams ranging from Berlin University to the Combined Services and the Royal Scot Dragoon Guards. They were well looked after and visited the tourist destinations such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Riechstag, Checkpoint Charlie, the Olympic Stadium and Treptow Park.

After spending the first years of his teaching career in secondary education, Bernard moved into Special Education where he worked tirelessly to enable the pupils to take part in community activities. By 2008 he had completed 17 London Marathons raising a substantial amount for the school's he worked in as well as for several local and national charities.

Bernard now lives in Knaresborough and was the Chairman of the John Metcalf-Blind Jack of Knaresborough Tri-Centennial Anniversary Committee in 2017. As part of Leeds Beckett’s Heritage Open Days in September 2019 Bernard presented an exploration of the life and achievements of John Metcalf, more commonly known as Blind Jack of Knaresborough and a pioneer of the 18th century responsible for transforming the North's road infrastructure.

Bernard has kindly donated several items to the university’s archive as a record of his time at Carnegie. The memorabilia includes a Carnegie blazer, tie and gymnastic vest, a Carnegie 50 golden jubilee glass tankard, Carnegie college football shirts from 1976 and 1977, a tie and photo album from his halls of residence - R.W. Rich Hall (now the site of Carnegie Village), and photo albums from his trips to Berlin in 1976 and 1977. Bernard has also donated to copy a series of documents including his application acceptance form to the college, a letter about passing the matriculation exam for the BEd (Hons) course (pictured below) and some exam papers.

What will your story be?

Studying with us is a great choice, check out some of our courses and see for yourself!

In Clearing
Students playing rugby in a sports hall

More Stories

All stories