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Omens turn to charm in Ted Hughes' badlands

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Mexborough, South Yorkshire No longer ‘more or less solid chemicals’, the gunmetal waters of the Don are clean enough for salmon

There were wisps of snow in the liverish sky over Main Street, Mexborough. I passed a shop offering cash for clothes, 40p a kilo, across the road from a tattoo parlour, and then stopped outside its shuttered neighbour. This was, from 1938, the family home of Ted Hughes. The poet’s parents ran it as a newsagent’s.

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