Emotional day as ex-Bettys waitress returns after 50 years

91-year-old Phyllis Simpson back at Bettys in Harrogate.

91-year-old Phyllis Simpson back at Bettys in Harrogate.

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One of Bettys' oldest-living and most loyal ex-employees has made an emotional return to the famous Harrogate tea rooms after half a century.

Phyllis Simpson, 91, returned to celebrate her birthday in Bettys, her first visit since her service as a Bettys waitress more than 50 years ago.
Phyllis visited the Harlow Carr branch with friends from The Hawthornes Care Home, where she has been a resident for the past year.
Born in Wetherby and brought up in Leeds, Phyllis worked for Bettys for approximately twenty years, in both the Leeds and Harrogate branches.
It's not surprising at this distance of years, she doesn’t actually recall the specific dates.
The Leeds branch closed in 1974 and Phyllis’ appearance in a remaining photograph shows her dressed in her uniform in what appears to be the 1960s.
Presented with a fondant fancy and a candle by Bettys waitress Chelsea De Mola, Phyllis spoke at length of her fond memories of working for Bettys.
She said: “I worked for Victor Wild. He would greet me each morning, saying ‘Hello Felice (sic)’, he was ever so kind. We worked hard but they were such lovely people to work for.”
Phyllis also said how lovely she found the Harlow Carr branch: “It’s so beautiful here, what a treat, I love everything about it.”