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‘Salford’s poverty was carved out of stone’: the incredible story of Dirty Old Town

  • “Ewan MacColl didn’t want to be from Salford, from what he thought of as a filthy, industrial place,” says Peggy Seeger, the late singer-songwriter’s widow. “He used to insist later he came from Auchterarder, Perthshire, and I never could understand that because it wasn’t true. His parents were Scots and he wanted to be a Scot, too. But he was born in Salford.” You can hear the folk legend’s love/hate relationship with his Northern birthplace in his much beloved 1949 song Dirty Old Town, which h
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