Whitby's historic ballroom on Baxtergate to reopen after decades

Hetty & Bettys ballroom.
Hetty & Bettys ballroom.

Can you help bring back to life one of Whitby’s hidden, and oldest, gems?

Hetty & Betty on Baxtergate – which was once known as Mill’s cafe – is celebrating its 91st birthday this year.

The venue has been a family-run cafe since 1928 and includes a spacious ballroom on the first floor.

Owner Lois Mee said: “During the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and so on, if you got married in Whitby, had a baby, or funeral, or anything else that required a function, the ballroom at the cafe was where you went. It was a focal point for the community.”

However, in more recent years, the ballroom has become somewhat of a forgotten place.

According to Lois, many of her customers who have lived in town for a long time are unaware of its existence – something she is very keen to change.

“As you enter the downstairs cafe from the Baxtergate entrance, you don’t imagine that a beautiful piece of Whitby’s history is directly above your head,” she added.

“The room spans over the downstairs cafe and over the shop next door, creating a large period room, with a large fireplace in its centre.

“I am asking for local people to share their photographs and memories as part of an exhibition at the cafe showcasing the events that took place there over the years.

“The ballroom truly is a hidden gem and we want it to be a part of Whitby’s future as well as its past.”

From this summer, the historic venue will reopen to the public for wedding receptions, birthday parties and wakes.