Search

‘Beast of Hackney Marshes’ - has Kula Shaker drummer solved the mystery?

13:12 25 May 2012

Willow the dog - the "Beast of Hackney Marshes"?

Willow the dog - the "Beast of Hackney Marshes"?

Carmen Valino - freelance on shift

The mystery of the “Beast of Hackney Marshes” may have become a little less mysterious – the drummer from Kula Shaker believes the monster is none other than his massive pet dog, Willow.

Last week, the Gazette published photographs taken by terrified student Helen Murray who says she saw a huge animal as she walked through woods near the River Lea earlier this month.

“I managed to get away but was scared half to death,” she said, adding that the creature was bigger than a person and covered in shaggy black fur.

But within a day of the Gazette appearing on newstands, Paul Winter-Hart, the drummer from the 1990s chart-topping group, reckoned he’d solved the mystery.

Paul’s wife Nicole contacted us to say she “beast” looked suspiciously similar to the family’s pet pooch.

“I’m still laughing,” said the 42-year-old, who designs clothes for the children’s fashion website www.nixieclothing.com. “I think this poor girl, Helen, saw Willow our dog.

“My husband recognised her straight away when he saw the paper. He bought a copy to show me and said, ‘Look, Willow’s made the front page!’

“I knew it was her immediately. It’s funny because our friends call her ‘The Beast’ and now she’s ‘The Beast of Hackney Marshes’!”

Willow is a four-year-old Newfoundland, a giant breed of dog, and Nicole and Paul, 40, and the couple’s children Ivy, 12, and Faye, nine, often walk her along the river near their home in Lower Clapton.

Nicole said: “I don’t know where we were when those pictures were taken - Willow must have run up ahead of us.”

Chunky Willow stands over 5ft tall when she is on her hind legs, but Helen, who was frightened on the Marshes, doesn’t believe the family pet is the monster she saw.

“That dog is so cute,” she said, when the Gazette showed her photos of Willow.

“I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a dog as it was far too big. And its build wasn’t dog-like.”

• What do you think? Is Willow the Beast of Hackney Marshes or does something else stalk the area? Write to us at hackneygazetteletters@archant.co.uk.

0 comments

Latest Hackney News Stories

Yesterday, 15:43
Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan said he will be a mayor 'for all Londoners'

Labour’s Sadiq Khan told Hackney’s Jewish community tackling anti-Semitism would be a top priority for him should he be elected as London Mayor on Thursday.

Yesterday, 09:16
Samuel Evans is raising money to be able to go to New York University by taking on 2,000 odd jobs

A playwright is doing all he can to realise his dream of studying theatre in New York – including cooking, cleaning, dog walking, waitering and giving massages.

Thu, 17:00
Beth Powell

When Beth Powell nervously entered a summer camp for seriously ill children to volunteer for the first time in 2012, she couldn’t have imagined the impact it would have on her life.

Thu, 15:59
The scene of the crash in Heathland Road. Picture: @999London

A pedestrian has been hit by a car in Stoke Newington.

Thu, 12:10
Suki Jehangir

Grieving Dalston Kingsland station staff this week paid tribute to a popular colleague following her sudden death.

Thu, 12:09
Ruby Wax with the cast of Midsummer nights dream at the Rio cinema

Heads turned in Dalston yesterday, as none other than comedian and actress Ruby Wax turned out to the Rio Cinema with the High Commissioner of Barbados in tow for a film premiere with a difference.

Thu, 07:00
London Fields Brewery

London Fields Brewery is facing “12 rounds” with neighbours over plans to host boxing and wrestling events until 3am.

Wed, 19:43
Aylam in The Runner, played by Rubin Falcao, age 15, photo Sophie Le

Sunnie Sidhu graduated as an actress but she soon learned she needed to make her own opportunities to survive in the movie business.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hackney Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe