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We were delighted to discover that our longest serving Poetry Book Society member joined in 1979! We sent Barbara some Christmas flowers to celebrate almost forty years of loyalty and invited her to share her experiences of being a PBS Member over the decades:

I came to be a member through my Speech and Drama teacher, one Mary Kilduff.  I suspect she may have been a founder member but I’m not sure.  I was studying for my LRAM to become a teacher of Speech & Drama.  Poetry featured a lot in my lessons as I love it.  Mary told me about the society and I joined and have continued to enjoy its benefits ever since.  Mary died in 1990 and I have inherited some of her collection of Poetry Book Society early editions.  They used to be hard back in the early days!

Another thing Mary bequeathed me beyond her love of poetry was a Choral Speaking Group, called The Troubadours, she founded in 1961.  When she died I took over as leader and we continue on performing at concerts and festivals.  We are much reduced in number now as people die; move away etc and somehow choral speaking has become a dying art – due for a revival I think.  I only know of one other adult group run by Sally Grace the actress in Bristol.

Your poetry books are the source of material for us – so useful for that reason as well as personal pleasure.

About me, I was born in Bradford in 1951 and still live close by.  I actually trained and worked as a Pharmacist and a teacher of pharmacy technicians.  The poetry and the flower work fulfil my need for creativity.  I sometimes write poetry but haven’t had much time recently.  I am in my local Saltaire WI which keeps me busy as do family and church things.

- Barbara, Longest Serving PBS Member

Do you have a PBS story to share? We love to hear from our members. Send your  PBS stories and poetry memories to or join our poetry community on social media @PoetryBookSoc.

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