John Gregson – His Family Home at Creek House, Shepperton

Last evening I watched an episode of Gideons Way on Talking Pictures – with John Gregson as Inspector Gideon – and it got me to looking more into John Gregson and his life. Sadly that life was cut short when he suffered a fatal heart attack while on holiday with his family at Porlock in North Somerset , England.

Just over a year ago – in an episode of Eggheads on TV – one of the challenging team was the son of John Gregson and he was asked briefly about his father and his father’s film career, so maybe this was just another reminder for me.

Creek House Shepperton

Film Actor John Gregson lived at Creek House, from 1958 until his premature death, aged 55, in 1975.

John Gregson had  become involved in amateur theatrical productions as a young man, before serving in the Royal Navy during World War Two. After the conflict he made acting his profession. He married the actress Thea Gregory in 1947, and moved to the London area, eventually having a family of three sons and three daughters.

John Gregson with his Daughter - at Home

John Gregson at Home

 

John Gregson with his Son

 

John Gregson 1956-cath-and-baby-johnny

Creek House 1969-jo cath-nick-anna-trev-jim-mum-and-dad
John Gregson appeared in 40 films between 1948 and 1971, including ‘Angels One Five’ (1952)’, ‘Above us the Waves’ (1955) and ‘The Battle of the River Plate’ (1956), as well as the Ealing Comedies ‘Whisky Galore!’ (1949), ‘The Lavender Hill Mob’ (1951)’, and ‘The Titfield Thunderbolt’ (1953).

Perhaps his best known performance was in ‘Genevieve’, which was selected for the Royal Film Performance in 1953 and won a BAFTA award for best film. Despite being based around the London-Brighton veteran car run, parts of the film were actually shot in Spelthorne, along Stanwell Moor Road and at Stanwell Mill in Horton Road!

I personally remember him more for being in The Titfield Thunderbolt a year or two after Genevieve

John Gregson also appeared in several TV programmes, notably as Inspector Gideon in the 1960s series ‘Gideon’s Way’.

In 1959  John Gregson and his wife Thea puercahed Creek House from Bernard Braden and Barbara Kelly and lived there with their six children.

The pub just down the road from Creek House had been the focus of Hollywood gossip, as it was where trysts between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were conducted while Taylor was still married to Eddie Fisher.

The Gregsons held parties at Creek House  where they played host to stars such as Peter O’Toole, Peter Ustinov and Vivien Leigh.

Thea Gregson stayed on in the house for several years after John’s death.

Creek House :

Creek House

Creek House 2

Creek House 3

 

Thea Gregson  is still alive and living in the South Cotswolds at Wotton Under Edge,  and until recently made twice-yearly pilgrimages to Creek House. A devout Roman Catholic as was her husband –  she built a small – and unconsecrated – chapel  in the grounds which still stands today on the acre of land across the creek.

John Gregson attended the Roman Catholic church of St. John Fisher in Wood Road, Shepperton Green.

He was buried at Sunbury Cemetery.

posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have Comments (5)

5 Responses to “John Gregson – His Family Home at Creek House, Shepperton”

  1. Steph Bilton says:

    Many happy memories ofCreek House, next door to where I lived. John and his lovely family were often at parties in The Square at Shepperton. Kindest regards to Thea and Nick. The photos are lovely!

  2. It was lovely to see this article. If people want to find out more about my dad, they can visit my website: http://gregsonimages.co.uk/john-gregson-the-actor/

    • Movieman says:

      John. Thanks for your comment here about the article on your father and family and your former home at Creek House. Your father had a very successful film career and watching him on screen, he seemed well able to hold his own no matter who he was acting with. Also of course he was in such classics as The Titfield Thunderbolt at the start of his film career, and that certainly puts him high on a list of actors of that classic era. Neil

  3. Ivan butler says:

    I got to know john while working as a young actor. In 1969 onthe film hans brinker. John treated me as a good friend an was very kind to me I was 17’at the time when we all arrived back in London when filming was over john invited me to his home when I might be in the area I remember meeting his wife at the airport an she left an equally pleasant impression upon me as did john john was a unusually kind nice person.

    • Movieman says:

      Ivan, Thanks for this comment from someone like you, who knew John well. As you will see his son has read this and commented before on here and will no doubt be very appreciative of the words you wrote. The film you worked on together is not one that I know at all. John Gregson features very often in films of the era on Talking Pictures and he always seems good and able to hold his own no matter who is in the film with him. He never seems overawed by the more famous actors in his early films – after that of course he was one of the top stars. As you have put it far better than I can, John was a very nice, kind person with a lovely family. Neil

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