Coming to terms with Leeds

Leeds is not a popular place. It is not loved by neutrals. People don’t tend to wish the best for Leeds.

Part of it is the name: “Leeds” sounds grimy and low-spirited compared to peppy “Manchester” and intriguing “Sheffield”, but there’s more.

1) Leeds isn’t cool. 

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Salts Mill, Saltaire: Nice but not enough for UNESCO

salts mill saltaire

Salts Mill, Saltaire. Tourist Info in this mill, the cafes and galleries in another.

Generally UNESCO World Heritage Sites are designed to process tourists. These are supposed to be the great common heritage of humanity. They show themselves off.

Saltaire is different. Its centre piece, Salts Mill, isn’t for tourists. There isn’t even an obvious way in. You see, Salts Mill isn’t the UNESCO destination you’d expect. It’s not a record of industrialisation, textiles and our modern ambivalence about paternalistic Victorians. It’s a island for West Yorkshire’s middle class.

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