Madge Moore MBE
'Skipper' of the Sea Rangers
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.
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