Madge Moore MBE

'Skipper' of the Sea Rangers

Madge Moore is on the left in the early years on Canvey

Madge Moore was a pharmacist working at Venables chemist shop, she also ran the Sea Rangers a branch of the Girl Guides receiving a long service award in the early 60’s. She originated from Northumbria, where she returned in later life.

Although she never married she made her life working with the young girls on Canvey Island who speak of her with respect and fondness. In the 70’s she was awarded a medal from the Rotary Club and a MBE, for her voluntary work.

Below are some of the memories about Madge and the girls, from two ex-Sea Rangers. If you can add your memories please comment below we would love to know more.

I first met her when I joined the sea ranger crew SRS Triumph when I was 14 – she was a softly spoken, kind lady but did have an air of authority.  I, along with the rest of the crew, spent several years learning how to row, canoe, tie knots etc – all the things needed for boating.

Madge Moore in the early 60’s

At weekends, whenever the tide was right, we would be out in the creek practising our boating skills and in the summer months “Skipper” as she was called would take us out to “The Ray” (sandbanks between Canvey and Southend) in her 26 ft Bermudan sloop towing dinghies and canoes  – we would spend the day out there swimming, boating and generally having a whale of a time before the return trip on the incoming evening tide.  Sometimes we would canoe or row over to Leigh have an icecream and then return to the creek.

Every year a regatta was held where other Sea Ranger crews from places up to Maldon, Brightlingsea etc. would join us on Canvey for races and the winners of each category would then go to a regatta on the Thames (not far from Hampton Court ) where crews from all over the place would compete against each other.  Those years I spent as one of Madge’s sea rangers are remembered fondly – we had a great time and learned much – not only about boating but about ourselves too.

Nicola Pontius (Stevens)

Madge actually ran the Sea Rangers and was known to her ‘girls’ as Skipper.  I became one of those girls when I was about 14 in the early 60s, I can’t remember the entry age, but remained a member until I was in my late teens, and remained in contact with Madge until she left the Island due to ill health to live with relatives in Northumbria.

Our headquarters were situated in a large wooden building which used to stand opposite the Canvey Supply Depot at the Point, a property was build on the site for Madge’s occupation at a later date.  We had a number of small craft which we launched from a jetty nearby but near the site of the old Yacht Club. The Sea Rangers was well attended and was part of the Girl Guide movement.

There were races and regattas organized with Sea Rangers from other areas.  Sometimes in the summer, we used to go out to the Ray, as Madge had a 30 foot Dauntless sailing boat; towing canoes and a sailing dinghy and we spent the day there, boating in the Ray.  The Sea Rangers also had an annual regatta on the Thames near Surbiton, at a place called Raven’s Ait.

Madge taught us how to row, canoe and sail and maintain the boats and our headquarters, the interior of which was constructed like the inside of a boat, having lockers down each side, a poop deck with stairs each side.

Pat Hunt (Diamond)

Thanks to Joan Liddiard and Pat Hunt for supplying the pictures

Comments about this page

  • Is that the Colvin Bridge in the background?

    By David Bullock (25/03/2009)
  • I too belonged to the Sea Rangers and I have a feeling that I am the fourth girl on the left standing on the jetty. I also remember the days out in the Ray and the regattas etc. and I recognise/remember several of the other girls. What lovely memories these pictures hold.

    By Pat Marshall (Bones) (25/03/2009)
  • What a great Photograph

    By David Bullock (25/03/2009)
  • There is a correction that should be made in your article on Madge Moore. She received the MBE not the OBE, and it was awarded for all the Community Service she had given for so many years.

    By John Walker (06/04/2009)
  • Thanks John for putting us right. But there is no way of checking. All anyone could remember was she was given this award and it was thought to be the OBE.

    By Janet Penn (06/04/2009)
  • I remember this picture! We had competed with the Romford Sea Ranger crew for the canoe cup by canoeing from Canvey Point to the Benfleet Bridge. Pat Diamond and Marion Robinson won the cup this year (shown holding it), but Tina Prout and I won it the following year, or the year after. I still have the minature that bears our names.
    I don’t believe that is Tina Prout on the end – I think it is Jane Prout – Jane and Angela Prout, Pat Diamond, Marion Robinson, not sure of the next girl’s name though I remember her, then it’s me, Evelyn Henson, Avril Bowden, and on the end, I believe her name was Jackie. The tall Romford Skipper is next to Madge Moore in the back row, with two Romford Sea Rangers to the left of her. Not sure who the girl is on the right end next to Bernard Griffith – either a Romford Sea Ranger or a friend maybe.

    By Evelyn Henson (18/04/2009)
  • This was great to find this photo that shows Bernard who was one of my God Parents.
    Me and my sister used to spend hours looking through Bernard’s old photos and hearing all his stories which also included many of Madge and the Sea Rangers.
    Thank you for bringing back those memories of such happy times with Bernard, before he sadly passed away a number of years ago now.

    By Phillip Wright (21/06/2009)
  • I remember this picture too! Evelyn is right, it is Jane Prout, I was still too young to join Sea Rangers. The girl next to Marion Robinson is Marion Chambers. I think it’s Stephen Prout (my cousin and Jane’s younger brother) standing next to Bernard. Thanks for the memory, Evelyn, I remember our race well!

    By tina prout (25/02/2010)
  • Madge was my husband’s great aunt and she returned to live at Consett, County Durham with her sister. We believe she may have been involved in the D day evacuations, can anyone give us any information?

    By Enid Winter (31/05/2010)
  • Sorry to alter my previous post but it should have said Dunkirk evacuations. We are not sure which medal she had but could it have been for work during the floods?

    By Enid Winter (01/06/2010)
  • Thanks for the picture I remember it well the Romford Skipper was Miss Elfie the Romford rangers used to visit our headquarters once a month in the summer and use our boats. Skippers boat The Sea Ranger was in fact only 21ft the first 21ft built by Mr Patten at Dauntless and was gaff rigged.

    By marian patten (robinson (26/01/2014)

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