Fruition of a vi­sion

The Oldie - - THEODORE DALRYMPLE: THE DOCTOR’S SURGERY MEMORIAL -

SIR: Jane O’grady asks, ‘What was Fre­sto­nia?’ (De­cem­ber is­sue), and is then at least par­tially dis­mis­sive of its aims and suc­cesses. Fre­sto­nia was a very pub­lic demon­stra­tion of the power of in­di­vid­u­als com­ing to­gether and act­ing in con­cert as a com­mu­nity to achieve real so­cial ben­e­fit. Go there now and see the tan­gi­ble re­sults.

Ni­cholas Al­bery’s In­sti­tute for So­cial In­ven­tions had a happy life for an­other 30 years, and both col­lated and in­cu­bated ideas for in­no­va­tive so­ci­etal im­prove­ment from around the world. Oth­ers of his projects are still go­ing strong: the Po­etry Chal­lenge, the Satur­day Walk­ers Club, and not least the Nat­u­ral Death Cen­tre, which goes from strength to strength giv­ing ad­vice to thou­sands ev­ery year through its pub­li­ca­tions and helpline.

These are the re­sults of an al­ter­na­tive vi­sion, not of a hal­lu­ci­na­tory prank. Michael Jarvis, Lon­don NW5

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