Sunday, May 25, 2008



On May 6th 2008 John Trayhorn, the second son of Charlie and Joan Trayhorn died suddenly at his home in Grange-Over-Sands, Cumbria. He is survived by his wife Denise. John was just 53 when he suffered a sudden heart attack.
John was born on August 15th 1954 in Enfield, Middlesex. He attended Lavender Road Junior School and Chace Boys School. On leaving school John went to the Barbara Speake Stage School, Acton, London where he met fellow students Jack Wild and Phil Collins. A career followed and throughout the end of the 1960's and early 70's John appeared in some of the most controversial film and plays. He was in Ken Russell's very sexy and blasphemous 'The Devils' starring Oliver Reed, Stanley Kubrick's 'A Clockwork Orange' and 'Child's Play' with Lawrence Harvey and Rupert Davies.
He understudied Jack Wild in Lionel Bart's hit film musical 'Oliver'. He made a number of TV appearances including 'Z Cars', The Benny Hill Show', 'Doomwatch' and 'The Wednesday Play'.
His only starring role was in the Children's Film Foundation Film 'Hoverbug'.
In 1972 John decided that acting was not for him so he worked for Metro Sound, Waltham Cross as a Hi Fi Technician. He left for a post as Manager for 'David Way Furnishers', Winchmore Hill, London N21.
John married in 1981. In 1990 he and Denise left Enfield for the Lake District, an area they both knew well having had many a walking holiday there. John worked as manager for 'Edge of the World' outdoor supplies, Bowness on Windemere until his death.
John was a larger than life character, short of stature but big on personality he loved his family, his wife Denise and the view from his front room of Morcambe Bay, but most of all John loved life.
His funeral was held in Lancaster Crematorium on Thursday May 22nd. Attended by friends, family and colleagues the Humanist 'Celebration of Johns Life' was led by Ian Abbott, with music by the Bonzo Dog Dooda Band and Billie Holiday.
Now John was a born entertainer
And right from the start this was seen
At the Barbara Speake Stage School at Acton
For the future of stage and screen.
With the likes of Jack Wild and Phil Collins
He learnt the craft of the stage
Then Lionel Bart's 'Oliver' hit the West End
And musicals made the front page.
It made it for young master Trayhorn
This keen theatrical lodger
If Jack Wild had gone sick, then John would step in
and we would have a new 'Artful Dodger'.
Then two old dears of the B.B.C.
Arthur Howard and Cardew the Cad
Made a film about hovercraft just for the kids
And John was there as the 'Head Lad'.
'Child's Play' was Johns next performance,
With Lawrence Harvey who made women swoon
And Rupert Davies who was famous as 'Maigret'
In a black post war Citroen Saloon.
Then the Tick Tock Tick of 'A Clockwork Orange'
Stanley Kubrick on teenage youth
Where John was thrown through a window
In the Directors search for the truth.
Now was the time for the 'Z Cars'
When Z Victor One hit the screen
And John played his part to perfection
He fell off a ladder to finish a scene.
Then the serious stuff with Ken Russell
The 'Devils' with Oliver Reed
And demur Vanessa Redgrave as a hunchbacked nun
Giving piety whenever the need.
Then the world of commerce beckoned,
Though John was an actor still,
He managed 'David Way Furnishers'
Down there in Winchmore Hill.
But the call of the wild beat faster
For a place he knew so well
To where he walked for many a mile
Across the Cumbrian Fell.
'Edge of the World' Lakeland Products
Knew talent at a glance
And grabbed John in as manager
While they had the chance.
John was a man who was larger than life
Sort of chap you could never forget
He walked, he climbed, canoed played guitar and drums,
He did them all well and yet?
His other side shone through as well
Antiques became a passion
And model railways in the loft,
They'll always be in fashion.
Nostalgia for his favorite films
When Ealing Studios held sway
And England looked so different
In an austere sort of way.
But in our memories, we've all got John
And these memories will never go cold
For when they made John Trayhorn
They threw away the mould!
(David Murphy)

2 comments:

Tony Upson said...

I have just learned of the sad death of one of my oldest friends, John Trayhorn. John and I were best pals at Chace Boys School in Enfield, and he introduced me to drumming. We were both drummers in the 1st Enfield Boys Brigade, and we then went on to play in various local bands, which I still do to this day. I bumped into John in May 2007, and had intended visiting him sometime in Cumbria.
My thoughts are with his family at this sad time. Tony Upson

Les said...

I too am very sad to learn of Johns death. I was at Lavender Road School with him and we both joined Chace Boys together. I well remember him knocking at my front door with the news that he just got his first part in a movie "The Devils". A school friend in a film, it was unbelievable.I also remember the cache of airguns in his bedroom-what happened to all of them? Sadly we lost touch around the time we all left school. But it was a priviledge to have known him. All the best.
Les Wainwright.
Hi to Tony.