Black Shuckery … on the One Show

I know, you wait ages for a Suffolk folk tale on national tv and then two come along at once!  The One Show is apparently having a Suffolk fest at the moment, and this time it is Suffolk’s most famous celebrity beastie who’s in the spotlight: Black Shuck.  A little while ago they found the bones of a giant (devil?) dog buried at Leiston Abbey, and this investigates the dig and their discoveries, as well as relating a little bit of the Shuck legend.  Although: Blythburgh isn’t mentioned by name – why? and Bungay isn’t mentioned at all – no fair!  The article plays at 25.51:

Interesting they say it’s a Great Dane.  There was a Great Dane in the village where I grew up, Lower Layham, with whom I think my lifelong unease with dogs (was terror when I was younger) began.  It was huge, and, though I might be wrong, I think this was the dog that scratched (lightly) my face when I was a toddler.  I also met what seemed to ME Black Shuck or his Somersetshire equivalent in Rocks East Woodland, near Bath … also, I later found out, a Great Dane.  It was the size of a PONY and it followed me…

The actual Suffolk folk tale plot thickens as there have been a couple of sightings of Shuck in Leiston, though not at the Abbey, Mike Burgess in his excellent Hidden East Anglia website records James Wentworth Day in the 1950s describes how ‘a slinking, sable shadow slipped among the gravestones like a wraith, leaped the low churchyard wall and slid down the dark lane towards the sand hills like an evil whisper’ that Lady Walsingham and Lady Rendlesham saw when they went looking for the Galley Trot…

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