Gregory’s education from the start at Hook Lane School for infants was greatly interrupted by the German Air Force plus the many Doodlebugs that flew over Kent - the whine from that craft, made everyone dive down the nearest hole available.
Transferring to Westwood Secondary Modern School was short lived when he passed his eleven plus examination and eventually arrived at Dartford Grammar School for Boys, where Dramatic Arts were just beginning to happen. It was a very slow progress, starting with talks in the Assembly Hall. He was picked out of over three hundred boys on “How to look after Chickens”.
Not one of the most exciting topics to chat about, but he earned his pocket money of Half a Crown week, it was worth the trouble.
On leaving School he took an Apprenticeship with a firm in Shoe Lane off of Fleet Street to learn the trade of becoming a Compositor which he managed to pass (and in those days they tarred and feathered you, although the tar was printer’s ink)!
He joined the Royal Air Force and served abroad mainly being posted to Aden where he experienced active service. Five months later he was posted to a Fighter Station/Staging Post at Sharjah, where he served out the remainder of his service.
On leaving the R.A.F. he became a Civil Servant and worked in the Passport Office, and then United Nations Department in the Foreign Office. He had to leave through bad health and managed to obtain employment locally - International Computer and Tabulators, working both on the Shop Floor and Office, The company made parts for the early version of Commercial Computers and Tabulators.
In between times he married his first wife and due to unfortunate circumstances the relationship didn’t work out.
In 1962 he was diagnosed as having Multiple Sclerosis and had many operations and tests of one sort or another and spent a very long time in a Neurological Ward in Brooke Hospital in Woolwich.
He has written and had four poetry books published. Four one act plays and one three act play, a number of short stories. Has written lyrics for 3 Carols and 4 Hymns.
He received first class merit for his poem “The Wayward Seed” about a Sunflower and when the Afghanistan conflict began, he wrote the poem “Will They Call Them Heroes If They Die!”
In between times he met and married a lovely lady called Brenda and this will be their 35th year together. There are no children, just a cat called Patience who will be 19 years old this year.
He is a singing and acting member of Eastbourne Gilbert & Sullivan Society and has served on the Committee in various posts and this will be his 35th year with them on the Committee.
He is member of the Sectional Committee and Editor of NODA South East News Magazine (National Operatic & Dramatic Association) and Collection Secretary for NCH Action For Children Charity East Eastbourne. He is also a member of Methodist Church Choir.
He has walked several marathons for “Sudden Adult Death Society” and personally has raised over £3,000. “NCH Action For Children” £700.
Gregory will be contributing news and reviews from the entertainment world from next week. Welcome aboard Gregory!