Who was Betty?

Who was Betty?

Ever since Bettys first opened in Harrogate in 1919, customers have been intrigued by the true identity of ‘Betty’. And even 100 years later, the truth behind the name remains a mystery though many explanations have been suggested. Here are some of our favourites.

Betty, the Musical

Bettys founder, Frederick Belmont, and his wife Claire may have seen this musical theatre show about a kitchen maid named Betty who wins over the affections of a young duke. Perhaps Frederick had a fondness for a rags-to-riches story.

Betty Lupton – a Harrogate Legend

When Frederick wrote to his sister Ida after arriving in Yorkshire he described Harrogate as a ‘Spa of the first order’. Did he choose to attract locals to his smart café by naming it after Betty Lupton, ‘Queen of the Harrogate Wells’, who served the town’s spa water to visitors in the nineteenth century?

Betty Rose

Perhaps the story closest to the truth tells of a young girl, Betty Rose – the granddaughter of Mary Wood, first Chairman of Bettys – who is said to have run into the very first Board meeting carrying a tea tray as the name was being discussed.

Although many tales are told and explanations offered, perhaps some mysteries are better left unsolved…

Winifred Barnes as Betty, the kitchen maid, from the musical ‘Betty’

Betty Lupton ‘Queen of the Harrogate Wells’