The Foxearth and District Local History Society

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Meetings, announcements and notices for the Foxearth and District Local History Society, and associated organisations.

A Spooky Affair: 8th October 2013

The meeting of the district society on 8th October was a spooky affair but members didn’t get too excited and minimum lighting was maintained!
Prolific Bury St Edmunds author on local folklore and paranormal happenings, Robert Halliday, related some Suffolk ghost stories. He included three of his own inexplicable experiences in Walberswick church ruins (twice) and at Deadman’s Gully on the Walberswick/Blythborough boundary. If there are rational explanations for the blue-lit figure he saw or the failure of his recording equipment to work in a particular place he did not know them.
In detail – and with slides (of locations, not spectres!) -Robert told of experiences said to have been described by the various occupants of Borley Rectory and the investigations that psychic researcher Harry Price made. This case came to national prominence when Rev. Small (a successor to the Bull dynasty) wrote to the Daily Mirror asking for help in dealing with unnatural sights and sounds. Another well-known instance near to home is the reported visions of Our Lady at Middleton Church. One of the staunchest advocates of this long-running legend was the Rector in 1931 – one Father Clive Luget – who claimed to have seen the Virgin Mary on many occasions. For a time he had a number of convinced followers. He gave up the Anglican liturgy in favour of the Latin mass which led the Protestant Truth Society to demonstrate outside the church during his services. His congregation dwindled and he was quietly retired. Then there is the case of the mummified cat found in a wall at Sudbury’s Mill Hotel and the mysterious fires that occurred in places where it was temporarily located until it was replaced where it had been found. Finally Robert mentioned the apparition of the Blythborough Black Dog or Shuck which has been running about on the coast of East Anglia since at least the mid 16th century – and, according to some, is still to be seen!
It’s a great pity that only 12 members came along to hear Mr Halliday’s fascinating talk on a subject about which he has written a number of books. He was warmly thanked by Treasurer John Geddes.

Next meeting: Tuesday 12th November in Foxearth Village Hall when archive films of Suffolk Past will be shown.

Ken Nice

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