Mel Moore 1933-2014
Remembered by Ian Fraser


Mel was born in Mylor near Falmouth in 1933. He was a budding magician in his youth, having been given a pack of cards, to occupy himself, during a brief hospital stay. He subsequently joined a schoolboy magicians' club.

Mel did his national service in the Royal Marines, after initial commando training, he spent his time at the Royal Marines' School of Music as a Marine Educationalist. Here Mel's interest in magic developed further, following visits to Ken Brooke's Magic Shop on a leave pass. Ken was to become Mel's magic mentor and a good friend, as was Edwin Hooper at Supreme Magic.

He did his teacher training at St Luke's College, Exeter, during which time he met Lynn. When first married they lived in Surrey and Mel taught at a primary school in Fetcham. He next taught in Norwich for 11 years, before finally moving to Thornbury, near Bristol in 1971, where he was Head of Year at Berkeley Secondary Modern School. All this time he had great fun following his hobbies of theatre and music, as well as becoming a performer in magic and clowning; he also took up acting and appeared as an "extra" in several television programmes including Casualty and Trollied.

Mel was a driving force in the in the Bristol Society of Magic, being its third President, and he subsequently held the position of President on two further occasions in his life. He was also a member of the Invisible Lodge, The Magic Circle and the International Brotherhood of Magicians, including British Ring 25, where he received the honour of being awarded the Member of the Order of Merlin Shield.

Mel took an interest in charity work, doing shows to raise funds for charities, such as the local Bristol children's charity the Jessie May Trust, and enjoyed entertaining on the BBC's "Children in Need" train.


When he had the opportunity to take early retirement from school teaching, Mel bought "Playtime Balloons", then a small business selling modelling balloons. Mel took great pride in building it up to be the biggest in the UK. Mel had a regular presence at magic conventions across the UK with his balloon business and will have influenced the development of many balloon modellers, both on his stand and via his balloon lectures, before selling on the business and taking full retirement at the age of 70 in 2003.

He and Lynn enjoyed many memorable holidays, including visits to the USA, cruising on the QE2, including magic cruises where he lectured, and also incorporating visits to the Magic Castle and IBM Ring meetings as guests.

Mel passed away peacefully at home at the age of 81 on Saturday 6th September 2014 following the return of an illness he had overcome for a period of some 18 months. In the words of Lynn, his wife, "He had a wonderful fortunate life, due to hard work, love and friendship".

 

Ian Fraser, September 2014

 

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