|SHUCKLAND Introduction Alphabetical List of Locations|
|Legend:||"...'old Black Shuck', who 'often runs over the Gogs of a dark winter's night'."|
|Source:||Letter from Dave Bradford (nephew of son of man who is the source of this tradition) to me, 28/10/1983.|
|Place Name:||Stapleford - OE 'ford marked by posts'|
|Other:||The Gog Magog Hills are crossed by the Stapleford/Gt. Shelford parish boundary.
See also encounter below.
|Encounter:||"Jack Bradford was a gardener who lived at Heath Farm which is the other side of the Gog-Magog Hills also bordering the Wandlebury estate and the golf-course...He had been visiting his young lady with whom he had been 'walking out' for some time. Her name was May and she lived with her parents in a farm cottage on the farm which backs onto the Wandlebury estate which then belonged to Lord Grey.
She worked as a house-maid in the mansion, now unfortunately mostly depleted but part of which still stands at the heart of the Wandlebury Ring....Unfortunately on the night in question his bicycle had got a puncture when he came to go home after saying goodnight to his sweetheart. It was a dark and windy night and he walked up the hill pushing his bike, his path illuminated by a flickering acetylene lamp.
Suddenly he heard a strange unearthly panting sound coming up behind him along the grass verge at the side of the [A1307] road [at c.TL493531.] He had lived on a farm all his life so he had no fear of any normal animals however big. The sound and presence of this beast was however different and he felt a strange chill of fear sweep over him. The great black dog, for this is what it was, brushed past him almost knocking him aside though not quite touching him.
It was loping along at great speed, its great tongue hanging from the side of its mouth and making a fearful panting sound. It was the sheer size of the beast that struck him and what stuck in his mind most years afterwards, as he related the tale to me. It was, he swore, the size of a small donkey and in his words 'black as sin', 'shaggy and gruesome looking.'
He was badly frightened and had to stop for a while leaning on his bike to compose himself before hurrying back home. After telling his father the story he was told that he had probably seen 'old Black Shuck', who 'often runs over the Gogs of a dark winter's night'."
|Source:||Letter from Dave Bradford (nephew of late witness) to me, 28/10/1983.|
|Comments:||Approx.105 yards from Wandlebury Iron Age hill-fort.|