Bettys at 100: Questions remain over why Belmont decided on the name 'Bettys'

The very first Bettys cafe was opened in Harrogate in 1919 on Cambridge Crescent.
The very first Bettys cafe was opened in Harrogate in 1919 on Cambridge Crescent.

Many people have asked why the café was called Bettys’ – was it named after someone famous, or was it a nickname for Claire, Frederick Belmont’s wife?

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The truth is that no one actually knows. But that has not stopped people from speculating.

One moving story claims that Frederick named Bettys after the daughter of a doctor who practised next door to the new café’s premises.

The young girl was dying of Tuberculosis and Frederick said he would do something to immortalise her name.

Bettys at 100: Humble beginnings of a Harrogate institution

Another story claims how the business was named after Betty Lupton, dubbed ‘Queen of the Harrogate Wells’, who for nearly 60 years was in charge of dispensing the sulphur waters to visitors to the town’s spa.

Many people’s favourite story, though, revolves around that of little Betty Rose. She was the granddaughter of Mary Wood, a major investor in the business, and legend has it that she interrupted the first board meeting where the new directors were trying to decide what to call their new café venture.

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Instead of telling her off for walking in on the meeting, the grandmother looked at Betty carrying a toy tea tray and said: “We will call it Bettys!”