To kick off woman’s history month in the UK, every Friday in March we’ll be bringing to light women in Gloucestershire, often overlooked or under appreciated.
This week’s new arrival for our local studies collection was ‘From Me to you – Love poems’ by U. A. Fanthorpe and R. V. Bailey. The authors were a couple who lived together in Wotton Under Edge until Fanthorpe’s death in 2009.
Ursula Fanthorpe was a teacher at Cheltenham Ladies’ College and went on to run the English department there. She later left that job to work in a hospital and started publishing her own poetry in 1978.
Rosemarie Bailey met Ursula when she was also working in the English department at Cheltenham Ladies’ College. Later, she worked as a University lecturer in Bristol.
They first lived together in Merthyr Tydfil, before moving to Wotton Under Edge in Gloucestershire. Both have spoken about their faith in the Quaker community, and how accepted they felt in it, which features in this book. Neither indicated which poem was written by whom, calling it a kind of ‘comic modesty’.
We think it’s fitting that Gloucestershire Archives should hold a copy of this book for future generations to peruse and learn about the life and love between these two women which inspired these poems.
You can find it by searching in our local studies collection, under B739/60038GS.