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Pint-drinking pub pig dies

Frances Bacon, the resident pet pig of The Conquering Hero in Norwood, South London has died at the age of 13.


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Bacon, a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, passed away on 30 January after a “short illness”. According to a Facebook post from the pub’s owners Ian and Victoria Taylor-Ross: “As a piglet she rampaged through the house, made herself at home in the kids beds and established herself as part of the family, she grew up alongside our children and they are feeling this loss deeply.”

The decision to opt for a pub pig was because Ian had grown up around farm animals. Reportedly, Bacon was house/pub trained in just a couple of days, though she could be one of the more challenging regulars.

As well as snaffling up leftover crisps and nuts (though presumably not pork scratchings), the pub’s porcine resident was known to finish off the last drops of pints. Bacon was, according to Ian and Victoria, “something of a terror” as a piglet, having developed a taste for pub snacks: “She would wait until the bar was locked to check the hatches and see what she might steal from behind the bar, she would nudge the kitchen door endlessly to convince us that she needed a treat. Often in the mornings we would find she had overturned the bar stools and chairs whilst checking for snacks.”

An intervention had to be staged regarding Bacon’s beer drinking, according to the Daily Star, because she would headbutt customers to get their drinks.

In spite of, or perhaps because of, Bacon’s behaviour, she became a star attraction of the pub, with visitors coming to the Norwood watering hole just to meet the famous trottered local.

“Friends made her an outdoor pen on our roof garden and a piggy ramp for access, she thanked them by nipping at their ankles! As she aged and suffered with arthritis, she was no longer able to manage the stairs to our flat and so she took up residence in the pub, happy in front of the fire, happy foraging in the beer garden and cosy in her private pen dozing on the carpet and enjoying heating that was so kindly installed,” the social media tribute continued.

“To most you were the ‘pub pig’ but to us you were so much more than that, you were family and we could not have loved you more.”

Animals in pubs can be a contentious issue. While a pub cat is a common (and welcome) sight, with some such as The Bag of Nails in Bristol having a whole roster of resident feline friends, larger animals are also not unheard of. In 2022, there was outrage when Patrick the stout-drinking pony-mayor of Cockington, Devon was barred from his local pub.

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