Alumni Services

Moragh Bradshaw

No stranger to helping people out, Moragh Bradshaw MBE tells us about her involvement in everything from student campaigns to extensive voluntary work, and shares her reason for supporting the University through a gift in her will.


Mrs Moragh C Bradshaw MBE



Year of Graduation 1960

Your time at the University

Moragh Bradshaw on her graduation day

My father considered that Scottish universities provided a broad education. He had been at Herriot Watt. I looked forward to being nearer the mountains.

Particular fond memories are of skiing at Glen Shee with the Ski Club and getting snowed up (unfortunately only for one night), walking in the Pentland Hills, helping start the first Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) group, cycling everywhere, climbing Arthur’s Seat on May morning, dressing up for a Charities Day float, lectures with Professor Geddes and, just before I graduated, seeing the original production of “Beyond the Fringe” – really memorable.

I joined the Society Of Friends (Quakers) while at University and we did some voluntary work. I particularly remember visiting a very sick old gentleman in an appalling tenement in the Lawnmarket.

My parents camped every summer at Tayvallich on the Argyll coast and one summer I had a job cooking in the Stag Hotel in Lochgilphead and cycled all around the Knapdale peninsula researching my thesis on changing land use. My “gap experience” had been six weeks working as an assistant warden in a youth hostel in North Wales, climbing every mountain around on my days off.

I decided to support the University through leaving a legacy because I feel grateful that my student years were basically free, partly paid with an exhibition grant.

Moragh Bradshaw MBEMember of the Carlyle Circle

Tell us about your experiences since leaving the University

The reason I chose Town Planning was partly because it was something that did not need further full-time study, which social work or teaching would have. Careers advice had suggested secretarial or librarian work, neither of which appealed. So I walked into my first job two months after graduating earning £650 a year – a princely sum even for London in those days. (I still have my bank book from my undergraduate days in which I drew out £4 at a time for coffees, lunches etc.)

I was told it was advisable to do town planning training and so I did a three-year evening course at what was then Regent Street Polytechnic, and obtained my AMPTI (professional town planning qualification) in 1963. I worked for a total of nine years in various jobs in London, Skelmersdale and back in London. 

By now I had married and we were expecting our first child. We moved to Liverpool to bring up our family. My husband, a solicitor (Cambridge, not Edinburgh) had found a job there leading to a partnership. We had met volunteering on the Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales. My “employment” from then on was voluntary work. Quite a lot of this was related to my training so I have never felt the years of study were wasted. I worked with a housing association, with Citizens Advice, the Community Health Council, taught for the National Childbirth Trust and served on the Board of the Groundwork Trust working to green derelict industrial land in St Helens and Knowsley, for which I received the MBE.

I have always found life more interesting when I said yes when asked to do something providing I felt I could help in some way. Now we live in happy and busy retirement in North Wales and I spend much time playing with textiles – patchwork etc. Needlework has always been a hobby. I am only sorry I am so far from Edinburgh and not so mobile so am unable to get to events of the Carlyle Circle but am with you in spirit. The more I read about Edinburgh University’s history and achievements, the prouder I am of it.

I decided to support the University through leaving a legacy because I feel grateful that my student years were basically free, partly paid with an exhibition grant. I certainly did not end up with any debt. Life seems to be so much harder for students these days. Also, education, especially further education, is so valuable for everyone and the research that the University is doing in various topics is so vital in today’s world.

Alumni wisdom

Get involved with as many activities as you can. Take up any opportunities available for social activities and meeting people, but do your academic work as well - that’s what you are really there for. No doubt you will feel everyone is getting on much better than you, but everyone feels rather lost and unsure at first. In time, you will find who you get on with and how you can help other people.


The Carlyle Circle

The Carlyle Circle is a network of alumni and friends who have decided to make a personal pledge to the University through a gift in their will. Members are invited to receptions, lectures and special events.

The Carlyle Circle