Collection CG - Ambrose Congdon Donation

Carnegie 1936-37. Black leather photo album Carnegie embroidered blazer badge The Carnegie Physical Training College Leeds Prospectus. Carnegie Physical Training College Session 1936-37. Information Carnegie Physical Training College Session 1936-37. College Rules Alphabetical list of Carnegie students Session 1936-37 Carnegie Physical Training College Session 1936-37. Voluntary classes Letter from E. Major dated 18 February 1936 Letter from E. Major to Mr. Congdon dated 21 July 1937 Letter from E. Major to Mr. Congdon dated 13 August 1937
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Identity area

Reference code

GB 2830 CG


Ambrose Congdon Donation


  • 1934 - 1953 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 box containing 11 celluloid films, photographs, letters and printed material

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Ambrose Major Congdon was born on 2 January 1909 at West Barton a farm near Horwood in Devon, the son of William Congdon and Bessie Major Maire. His father William was a farmer; the Congdon family had laboured in this small part of the North Devon landscape throughout the nineteenth century. Congdon was a student at Carnegie Physical Training College during the 1936-37 academic year. Like many of his peers attending Carnegie at this time, he had already begun to teach Physical Education in schools. As a result, many students were in their mid-twenties when they participated at the College. Carnegie had opened three years earlier in 1933 under the stewardship of its first Warden, Ernest Major.
After Carnegie, Congdon taught PE at Bromsgrove and other schools in the Midlands and kept in touch with his Carnegie pals for many years afterwards; his letters often refer to his passion for golf. In later life, he returned to his native Devon where he died at Tiverton on 26 July 2000.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated by Ambrose Congdon's family in 2003 subsequently passed to Andy Bowles, Principal Lecturer, Carnegie Faculty of Sport and Education who then passed it on to the Archive..

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The donation contains ten 16mm and one 8mm films showing Carnegie College of Physical Training shot by Ambrose Congdon, a keen amateur filmmaker, during his time at Carnegie in 1936-38. Congdon caught on film his fellow students at work and play, including shots of Mr and Mrs Major relaxing in their garden. He also filmed the beginning of land clearances for the 1938 extensions to Carnegie College. The films capture the 1937 Festival of Youth. There is also a photograph/scrap album from the same period. Included are letters received by Congdon during the months after he and his contemporaries left Carnegie.

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ISAD(G), Second edition


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Dates of creation revision deletion

Interim description in December 2006, revised June 2013




Archivist's note

Compiled by Keith Rowntree

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