THE Luton & Dunstable Hospital has treated many famous people since it was formally opened by Queen Mary in February 1939.
But none more so than Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, below, who was taken to the L&D with a broken thigh in September 1950.
Although he was 94, Shaw still enjoyed attending to the grounds at his home, Shaw’s Corner in the Hertfordshire village of Ayot St Lawrence, just a few miles from Luton,
But he was badly hurt when he fell from a ladder while pruning a tree.Word of Shaw’s accident quickly spread and local and national reporters and photographers descended on his home.
The Luton News reported that Shaw, who wrote more than 60 plays, arrived at the L&D “armed with a small library”.
He was operated on by Dr Lawrence Plewes, the L&D’s orthopaedic surgeon, and was later reported to be “very comfortable”.
He was discharged after several weeks and the photo top left shows the ambulance waiting to transport him home and hospital staff gathering to say farewell. The other pictures were taken at Shaw’s Corner as he arrived, although he was hidden from public gaze by a large sheet stretched between the back of the ambulance and his front door.
Sadly, he died on November 2 from renal failure hastened by injuries he suffered in the fall. Shaw’s ashes, mixed with those of his wife, Charlotte Payne-Townshend, were scattered along footpaths and around the statue of Saint Joan in their garden.