Judi Richards was born in Cardiff and studied at The Welsh College Of Music And Drama. She then went on to be manager of The New Theatre.
The town centre was much smaller and there were many, many fewer chains. There were a lot more privately run shops. It was a busy centre and a good shopping centre. There was a wonderful cafe called the Dutch cafe and that was next door to the Capital cinema. It was full of lovely old oak beam chairs, very olde -worldly. There was another cafe called the Cadena and that would have been opposite the Castle in Castle Street. That would have been the place that ladies took tea. That would have been little cakes and tea and ladies would wear hats. Howells had a coffee room and that is where ladies who lunched would go for coffee. If my mother was going to the Orchid room for coffee she would go on the bus wearing a hat and gloves. I mean, certainly until the early 60's, if I was coming into town I would always wear gloves. In the orchid room ladies would sit there with large hats and dogs on the end of leads. It was another world completely.
There were of course lots more cinemas than we have now. The park hall cinema which was really quite splendid, the capital cinema, I always loved going there and there would be a live organist.
The Centre of Cardiff really was Queen Street and St Mary's Street and the Street was St: Mary's Street. Queen Street was a busy bustling street and St Mary's Street was the posh street.