LADY Starmer was a woman ahead of her time and left a remarkable legacy to the town of Darlington.

At last someone had the foresight to think of older people in society and the importance of companionship.

What a shame then that her former home and gardens have become forgotten.

Home to the Abbeyfield Society, many of the rooms lay empty and the gardens are a shadow of what they once stood for.

Many of us of a certain age remember her amazing garden parties and her generosity of spirit.

It’s time Darlington started to honour this trailblazing woman who wanted to help cherish the twilight of lives. The house and gardens should be restored to their former glory, and the Abbeyfield Society should pay homage to their benefactor in a fitting fashion.

It’s a neglected shrine to a woman ahead of her days.

B Powles, Darlington.