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Princess Anne and Family

Princess Anne makes surprise visit to Cannon Hall Farm to open new ‘super-size’ dog cafe

HRH The Princess Royal
UK IN THE PHILIPPINES/(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/FLICKR

On Thursday, The Princess Royal unveiled the new Lucky Pup dog-friendly cafe at Cannon Hall Farm near Barnsley. The cafe is an expansion of a previous venture, and the cafe now allows for seating for about 150 people.

The project has been three years in the making after the owners, the Nicholson family, realised their smaller dog cafe outgrew its own building. Offering a variety of treats for humans and canines, the cafe is outside the main Cannon Hall Farm complex allowing dow walkers to enjoy a treat without paying the Cannon Hall admission fee. Upon her visit and a sampling of treats, Princess Anne was given a tour of the site and heard about the farm’s Facebook Live broadcasts and animal adoption scheme.

“It has been some years in development and has faced a few bumps along the way, but we are thrilled to reveal our 150-seat brand new dog cafe has now been officially opened by Her Royal Highness – who took a break from her duties for a spot of afternoon tea with Roger and Cynthia, the founders of the attraction,” said owner Robert Nicholson.

“It was a real honour to show Her Royal Highness our family farm, and she seemed genuinely interested in what we had to say. She was here quite a few hours, and it was a wonderful tribute to the hard work of our staff who have really pulled together to keep the business going throughout lockdown.”

The Lucky Pup story dates back more than 50 years. A neighbouring farmer, Farmer Roger, was just 16-years-old and was struggling to make ends meet when his dad suddenly died in 1958. Will Roe, or as some called him, Uncle Will took him under his wing and helped to put him on the right track. When Will retired, he sold off his farming equipment, and Roger bought one of his old trailers. Along with the trailer, Roger was given Lassie, Will’s trusted and faithful sheepdog.

Roger liked Lassie so much he decided to have a litter of pups. Shortly after she gave birth, Roger knew something was wrong with Lassie and took her to the vet. Two days after the other puppies were born, Lassie gave birth to a stillborn pup and another pup named Flossie, who was very lucky to survive. Despite her developmental delay, Flossie because a much-loved part of the family and lived a long and happy life. Today, the cafe is named in Flossie’s honour.

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The Princess is also a dog lover. She has cared for English Bull Terriers for decades.

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.