How Bettys biggest refurbishment transformed Harrogate's famous cafe - and gave us takeaway cakes

Staff members Claire Kell, Sarah Young and Bekki Simpson in 2008.
Staff members Claire Kell, Sarah Young and Bekki Simpson in 2008.

Bettys opened its doors to a brand new shop in Harrogate, ten years ago this week.

The tea and cakes shop was the first phase to be completed in the biggest refurbishment of the ever popular Parliament Street cafe.

The new shop in 2008.

The new shop in 2008.

The cafe offered customers a more extensive range of lunchtime specialties including salads and sandwiches, all freshly made on the premises, as well as handmade Bettys breads, cakes and chocolates.

Bettys had already restored the verandah cafe as well as the spindler gallery in the downstairs part of the cafe.

The next phase of the refurbishment in June 2008 was the opening of the Bettys Cafe Bar, serving cold food, cakes, pastries and drinks.

The project also restored the old imperial room for special events and musical evenings and was expected to be completed in early 2009.

More recently Taylors of Harrogate has done work on the exterior of the Bettys cafe, retouching paintwork and other general repairs to keep the ever-popular town centre attraction in tip-top condition!

10 years ago

More than 15,000 people turned out to watch the Knaresborough Bed Race in June 2008.

There were 70 teams participating in the race which was dubbed by visitors at the time as ‘the best Bed Race ever’.

This year almost half the number of teams took part with 41 participating but visitor numbers were far higher with an estimated 34,000 spectators.

20 years ago

The World Cup in June 1998 prompted ‘stringent safety measures’ in Harrogate after ‘drunken and rowdy’ football fans caused trouble in the town centre after England’s first match.

Groups were spilling from bars and fighting in the streets, hurling bottles and glasses after the final whistle which saw England beat Tunisia 2-0.

30 years ago

Two Harrogate brothers gave a £50,000 donation to Harrogate Borough Council for the creation of the town’s Mercer Art Gallery, 30 years ago this June.

Local businessmen Gavin and Terence Mercer made the donation in memory of their father, Agnew Mercer, who was an accomplished watercolourist, after a public appeal was launched to reach the £400,000 cost.