Madge Goodall. performing 'Sack Dive' Bognor Pier 1928

Madge Goodall. performing 'Sack Dive' Bognor Pier

Madge Goodall Bognor Pier 1928. B/W photo. Performing sack dive from Bogner Pier

Madge was an exhibition swimmer in the 1920s and announced several times she would attempt the Channel but it never happened

Madge Walkden Goodall of the Cross, Littleham, Exmouth. She was the daughter of George Goodall and Alice Walkden of Moss Side, Manchester; they married in 1879 in Prestwich. Maggie Walkden Goodall was born in 1886 in Chorlton. By 1901, Alice was a widow, aged 42, working as a confectioner; she was living with her 5 children at 36 Chapman Street, Manchester. In 1911, she was living with her children at 9 Everton Rd, Chorlton on Medlock, Manchester; Madge, aged 24, was described as an actress.

Contemporary press coverage described Madge as a performer, dancer, actor and singer; she was a support act for Harry Houdini in his show at the Palace Theatre, Aberdeen, 28 June to 3 July 1909. She toured the UK – for example, in 1916 she visited Glasgow, Cork, Shipley and Wolverhampton. Reviews described her as a comedienne, dancer and singer; her permanent address was 34 Robert Street, Chorlton.

By the 1920s, Madge (or Maggie) was working as a high diver and exhibition swimmer. She spent the 1922 season at the Extension Pier, Southend-on-Sea; in 1923 and 1924 she was at the Promenade Pier, Felixstowe, and in 1925 she was at the Pleasure Pier, Shanklin, Isle of Wight. She had a daughter in 1913 in Chorlton, who married in 1940.

Madge died in a German bombing raid at The Cross, Exmouth on 18 January 1941, aged 54. In the early hours of the morning, three high explosive bombs hit the built-up area around The Cross and Chapel Street. Nine adults and three children lost their lives.

From the Sam Rockett Collection.

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