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Location: Woodbridge, SUFFOLK
Encounter: " experience I had in early 1973. At that time I had not heard of any legend or story about Black Shuck, and only realised that relevance...some years later...I worked an evening shift in Ipswich at the time, leaving for home in Woodbridge at midnight. I arrived in Ipswich Street, Woodbridge, about 12.20 and shortly after taking the left fork into Old Barrack Road, I became aware, in the side glow of my motorcycle headlight, of a huge black dog, bigger than any I had ever seen before or since, keeping pace with me at a distance to my left of about 3 to 4 feet along the edge of the road [c.TM26004850]...
I...was very concerned because of its extraordinary size and proximity, but what made me most alarmed and made me feel that it was more than a real dog, was its gait. The animal was much larger than a Great Dane, pitch black all over, heavily built, I would say about the weight of a growing calf, the mouth was open but not panting, and I did not see its tongue, and it ran or loped or glided alongside me with a smooth motion and no apparent effort whatsoever.

It was not bounding, leaping or running hard but seemed to glide smoothly and effortlessly in what I felt to be an unnatural I was riding a motorcycle at about 30mph alongside this huge black dog, I was alarmed, and it...'gave me the creeps', so I increased speed sharply to leave it behind. However, I found that it easily kept pace, still smoothly, and looked round at me as it did so, and, by this time...thoroughly scared, I sped down the road, over the brow of the hill and down to Seckford Street. It was just over the brow of the hill that I lost sight of the dog [c.TM26404906.] Overall, the experience must have lasted over a distance of 400 to 600 yards, and I was so shaken by the meeting with the dog that I was white and shaking when I arrived John's Hill..."

Source: Letter from Mr. Keith Flory (witness) to me, 26/8/1983.
Place Name: Woodbridge - OE 'wooden bridge'
Other: See unrelated legend below.

Location: Woodbridge/Burgh area
Legend: "Gally-Trot. This is the name of an apparition or cacodaemon, that has sorely frightened many people in the neighbourhood of Woodbridge. It sometimes assumes the shape of a dog; and gives chase to those whose alarm compels them to run. Its appearance is sometimes as big as a bullock - generally white - and not very definable as to outline. Its haunts are more particularly at a place called Bath-slough, meaning a slough or bog in the parish of Burgh. But the place in question is not in, or very near, that parish, nor is there any slough. I can make nothing of the name; nor much of the story, though I have heard it related by more than one person who had suffered from the apparition." (1)

A local man however recorded that the 'Galley Trot' (his spelling) haunted the area around the church. (2)


(1) Edward Moor: 'Suffolk Words & Phrases' (Hunter, 1823), p. 141.

(2) Edward Martin: East Anglian Archaeology Report No. 40: 'Burgh Iron Age & Roman Enclosure' (Suffolk County Council, 1988), p.1.

Comments: It's a pity that Moor wasn't more precise about the location, since neither I nor anyone (as far as I know) has been able to find this 'Bath-slough' anywhere near Woodbridge.
Place Name: Burgh - OE 'fort'

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