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.

Support your community by viewing your local businesses

Please wait

You will be able to read the article in 5 seconds

Thank you for supporting your local community

You may now read the article

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 News Stories

Friday, December 19, 2014
Protesters demonstrate towards Downing Street against the house price rising in the New Era estate against the house price rising in the New Era estate

US investors that bought the New Era estate earlier this year and planned to evict 93 households by potentially trebling rent just before Christmas have now sold the site to an affordable housing provider.

Friday, December 19, 2014
Hackney Council released the personal and financial details of 15,000 residents online.

A massive blunder has seen the sensitive personal details of 15,000 Hackney residents – including address, sexuality and rent accounts – leaked online.

Thursday, December 18, 2014
Joel Adesina was stabbed on December 5 in Padbury Court off Bethnal Green Road

A 20-year-old man will today appear in court charged with murdering Dagenham teenager Joel Adesina.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
The Metropolitan Police said McKoy hit his partner in the head with a hammer at least 17 times [Photograph from Metropolitan Police]

A Hackney man has been found guilty of battering his ex-partner to death with a hammer and slashing his baby daughter’s throat – whilst her elder daughter overheard the horrific events on the phone.

Most read news

After weeks of challenges and cringeworthy boardroom showdowns, Lord Sugar made a decision – and Twitter was watching.

And we were all invited to the happy couple’s big day!

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hackney Gazette e-edition today E-edition