School Archive
Tracy Higgins

The town was saddened in September to learn of the death at 74 of Mr Tracy Higgins, for 40 years a teacher at the Bury Street Schools and headmaster for 10. He was a stem disciplinarian but an excellent teacher and many a schoolboy in later life found himself grateful for the guidance and practical help he received from "Tracker" Higgins. Indeed one of Mr Higgins' proudest moments was when old boys came back from Dunkirk to tell him that they owed their lives in that evacuation to the fact that he had taught them to swim.

In this Mr Higgins had carried on the tradition of a previous headmaster, Mr Orson Bull, and insisted that every boy had swimming lessons at the Willen Road Bathing Place. As soon as a boy could swim across the river he received a 3d piece and a certificate.

Mr Higgins' teaching methods in the classroom were sometimes unorthodox and, if he thought a pupil showed extra promise, he would keep him in after school for additional tuition. But one thing never changed. If you misbehaved, out came the cane. You held out your hand, "Tracker" gave the palm a couple of gentle brushing strokes with the springy stick and then brought it down with lightning speed, keeping the fingers tingling for what seemed hours afterwards.

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