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I AM intrigued to see that the brogue is back. Or at least it is according to John Church, chairman of uppercrust shoe company Church, who says the classic brogue was very much back in favour last year.

Bunhill has, of course, been wearing little else this winter season, though one has stepped out in a well-turned Oxford or Gibson on the right occasion.

Others in the posh shoe sector are not sure what all the fuss is about. New & Lingwood, whose prices in its Piccadilly emporium average a heady pounds 190, say the brogue is not an item affected by the whims of mere fashion but a staple feature of any gentleman's wardrobe. 'It may be back for Mr Church, but it's never been away for us, sir,' says a Lingwood salesperson. 'As far as we are concerned the brogue is always in vogue. Oh dear, I'm sorry about that.'

(Photograph omitted)