LETTER : Northern secret

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The Independent Online
From Ms Madeleine Kingsley

Sir: Not every northerner endorses Robert Cockroft's sour salvo ("Dear Harvey Nichols", 7 June) to Harvey Nichols. Leeds is about to gain a branch of mass-market home furnishers, Ikea, so Harvey Nicks will represent an opulent balance. Even those of us who can't run to pounds 400 Dolce & Gabbana bra tops can enjoy looking. Surely Cockroft doesn't visit the Hockney Gallery at Salt Mills, Bradford and sulk because he can't afford the original works there?

It's all too sadly true that some Leeds folk have trouble raising pounds 400 for an nth-hand Cortina. But so do plenty of people in Shepherd's Bush, just a bus ride from Knightsbridge. Perhaps it's meant to be a well kept northern secret that middle-class families here live far better than their southern counterparts. They have smaller mortgages and far more disposable income than their southern counterparts.

Delis dispensing balsamic vinegar and exotic crostini proliferate. Even in my rural, sheep-filled hamlet, there is a strong taste for the bon ton of Bond Street. I celebrate the richness of choice.

Yours,

MADELEINE KINGSLEY

Fellbeck,

North Yorkshire

8 June

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