Birthday Boy

George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw (GBS) celebrated several birthdays during the festivals in Malvern. On his 75th birthday a reporter asked him if he had a special birthday message, “Certainly not,” he replied. “Please send out a message suppressing the fact that it is my birthday.”

The following year another reporter congratulated Shaw on being 76. “How would you like to have people ask you how it feels to be 76?” “I don’t expect to live as long,” replied the reporter. “That’s all very well but you never can tell,” said Shaw. “The worst may happen.”

GBS planting a Mulberry tree

Shaw celebrated his 80th birthday in Malvern during the 1936 festival. He said no one was to buy him anything that cost more than sixpence (worth £1.40 in 2011). So everyone went to Woolworths. Their presents included a money box, paper clips, a pencil sharpener, razor blades, a comb and some nuts.