Thursday, 6 September 2012

Winston Fletcher, 1937-2012

Dear reader, our blog has moved to a new address.

Do come on over (and change your bookmarks accordingly): rationalist.org.uk

We are very sad to hear that our friend and trustee Winston Fletcher died suddenly of heart attack on Tuesday, 4 September, at the age of 75.

Winston joined the board of our parent charity, the Rationalist Association, in 2008 and, as our Chair Laurie Taylor recalls in his tribute on our website, brought with him precisely the kind of no-nonsense expertise you would expect from someone involved in governing a charity dedicated to reason and free thought.

A Londoner through and through, Winston was born in the city on 15 July 1937, and after studying philosophy at Cambridge he went on to enjoy a long and extremely successful career in the advertising industry, working to establish several agencies during what you might call the "Mad Men" era, albeit on this side of the Atlantic. He later served on the boards of numerous charities including the Royal Institution (where he was Chair), Barnado's, Autistica and the Rationalist Association.

Winston was also a talented and prolific writer, publishing 14 books, including his history of advertising, Powers of Persuasion (2008), and a novel, The Manipulators (1988), and contributing to many leading magazines and newspapers. You can read his contributions to New Humanist on our website, including a witty account of his exploits drinking alcohol during a 2008 trip to Damascus (a sad reminder that the city previously enjoyed a thriving tourist trade), an acerbic assessment of the world's most successful PLC, the Catholic Church, and a dissection of all that's wrong with the government's census question on religion.

We're very fortunate to have been able to enjoy Winston's expertise and, more importantly, his company here at the Rationalist Association, and we extend our condolences to his family and friends. He will be missed.
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