“I always knew I wanted to join the family business” – Dennis


When I was a child, I used to tell people my ambition was to open a Clark’s Pie shop at the top of Snowdon! I always knew I wanted to join the family business that had been established by my grandmother, Mary Clark, in 1913. It was a thriving company by the time I was born in 1930, and before leaving school at the age of 14, I was already working at my parents’ shop at 454 Cowbridge Road East, just around the corner from our family home at Victoria Park.

This was in 1945, and the end of the Second World War. Canton and Grangetown in particular had seen much damage and significant loss of life, especially during the Cardiff Blitz of January 1941. I clearly remember nights spent in the air raid shelter in our garden, and the bomb that dropped on Lansdowne Road, shattering windows in our shop. It was business as usual soon afterwards, but with food on ration, the number of pies we could produce on a daily basis was limited.

We had no fridge at our premises, so a local butcher used to store our meat for us. One of my jobs was to collect the meat at 7am before production began. Because of the rationing, customers would queue for hours before the shop was due to open. On Saturdays, families would often send their children along to buy pies, and they would begin queuing from as early as 6.30 in the morning. On days like these we would sell out of pies within 45 minutes.

But it wasn’t all about work. Canton was a wonderful place to grow up and I had plenty of friends in the area. I spent many hours playing tennis in Victoria Park, opposite my family home, and played football for the Victoria Vikings. Always a keen gardener, I had an allotment near Llandaff Cathedral from the age of 14, and I was a member of Wesleyan Methodist Church and an Officer in 9th Cardiff Boys Brigade.

Everything changed in 1948 when I was called up for National Service at the age of 18. I was stationed at RAF South Cerney near Cirencester. I was lucky enough to secure a much sought after job as a driver, but, despite this, I wasn’t happy about being away from family and friends in my beloved Cardiff. I came home every weekend and, because I was in church every Sunday, some of the congregation didn’t even know I’d been called up!

The Boys Brigade was an important part of my early life and one of my proudest memories is when 9th Cardiff Company reached the finals of the Cardiff Competition. The finalists were to parade in the Assembly Room at City Hall and I was at the front swinging the mace. We were all nervous and knew we would need to put on an outstanding performance to win. I took a last minute decision to throw the mace up in the air at the end, knowing there was a risk of hitting one of the chandeliers that hung from the ceiling. The risk paid off. I managed to catch the mace without dropping it, the chandeliers remained intact and we won the competition!

In May 1955 I opened my own Clark’s Pie shop and bakery at 23 Bromsgrove Street, Grangetown. As well as a small number of staff that I’d employed, my mother also helped out during the first week. Things were up and running in no time and the shop soon became established. We have seen some tough times over the years with the BSE crisis and economic recession, but in 2005 we celebrated the shop’s 50th anniversary with a surprise visit from Frank Hennessy who sang some of his songs for staff and well-wishers.

I celebrated my 80th birthday in 2010 and, as a surprise, my family arranged for us all to see Cardiff City play. We had a meal beforehand in the corporate suite, met Craig Bellamy and I got to choose and award Man of the Match to Jay Bothroyd. Cardiff City won 4-0. The whole day was perfect and felt like a dream.

A year before I turned 80, I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. I had been worried about my memory for some time and was referred to the Memory Clinic at Llandough Hospital. It was upsetting to receive the diagnosis but I am determined to be positive and live a full life. Two of my three daughters now run my Grangetown shop, but I am still actively involved in the business. My family give me a lot of support and I go out for social trips with two Care Workers from Crossroads Care (both called Janet!) during the week.

This means I can still do my own shopping, enjoy meals out and visit the garden centre. I have a good laugh with Janet and Janet and we often talk about our memories of Cardiff. Mine go back much further than theirs though!

Dennis Dutch was born in August 1930 to Arthur and Winifred Dutch, the third
of five children. The family lived at 23 Victoria Park Road West and Dennis
attended Lansdowne Road Primary then Cardiff High School. Dennis left
school at the age of 14 to work at the Victoria Park shop with his parents
before opening his own Clark’s Pies shop and bakery at 23 Bromsgrove
Street, Grangetown, in 1955.


“The stranger arrives to a city, alone” – Wayne


The stranger arrives to a city, alone,
In search of himself, in search for a home,
He stands in the street, the buildings are tall,
The stranger is big, at that moment he’s small,
So many faces, go rushing by,
The stranger don’t know if he’ll smile or he’ll cry,
But filled with excitement the stranger persists,
And wonders if true happiness really exists,
As days turns to weeks, and months into years,
There’s moments of fun there’s moments of tears
But the stranger works hard and the stranger fits in
And to his surprise things start to begin
His friends and his work and a place to call home
The stranger’s content and never alone,
He socially climbs and reaches the top,
He’s busy enjoying the stranger don’t stop
His life’s been a journey a beautiful ride
To a wonderful place with great friends by his side
The stranger is happy the stranger feels free,
I’m ever so glad that stranger is me!

Originally from Pontarddulais in Swansea, where he worked as a gravedigger, Wayne Courtney moved to Cardiff in 2007 and is now a full-time nurse and part-time events organiser. Wayne now calls Roath his home, and he is a regular in the pubs, clubs and coffee houses there, where he has been christened Roath’s Premiere Socialite.

Wayne was photographed in the beer garden of The Albany pub by Adam Chard


“Street Pastors are there for those who need a helping hand” – Ruth


I was born in Cardiff and other than a seven-year trip to London, I have lived here all my life.

I’m a city girl and have spent many a night out in the City Centre over the years and like
a lot of people I can proudly say I love the ‘Diff!

Being the Welsh capital, Cardiff is a significant tourism centre and in 2010 had 18.3
million visitors it also has the most licensing capacity than any other city in Europe and
has turned into one of the top city destinations for a weekend away. Therefore when
the idea of Street Pastors came along it was no surprise that over time the scheme
would be a welcomed addition to the city centre’s night time economy team.

Street Pastors?
What is Street Pastors? The idea of Street Pastors was introduced in the UK by the
Rev Les Isaacs after he had visited Jamaica, where the scheme originated. He saw
the difference that could be made by churches and night clubs working together to help
reduce knife and gun crime, he was so impacted by the scheme that when he travelled
back to the UK the idea became a reality and in 2003 the Ascension Trust initiated their
first London scheme. Today there are more than 200 schemes throughout the UK and

Where do I fit in? Well the Cardiff scheme was piloted back in 2008 when I was working voluntary for a charitable Christian organisation called Big Ideas/Ignite; I was part of a team who were involved in setting up a project called IgniteHope. The project saw hundreds of young people come together from local churches throughout Cardiff, the Vale and the Valleys to undertake thousands of hours of community acts of kindness which involved fun days, litter picks, painting, clearing people’s gardens and lots more.

One of the project ideas over that weekend was to send a group of adults into the city centre to assist people in vulnerable positions whether it was because of losing their friends, money or mobile phones, not knowing where there were or just falling asleep after a good night out. The team came across people in all those situations and helped those people that needed it, and because of this the team contributed to making a reduction in violent and alcohol related crime. As a result plans were made to initiate a scheme in Cardiff and so in September 2008 I was asked to take on the role as the Co-ordinator for Cardiff Street Pastors scheme.

In three months a team of 18 applicants from local Churches in Cardiff had applied to volunteer and be trained for the scheme and by November 28th a team of five Street Pastors (myself included), hit the streets of Cardiff City Centre for the very first time!

The response we received from members of the public was, and still is, amazing and even though Street Pastors is a Christian initiative it has been welcomed by people of other faiths and those who have no faith. Street Pastors aren’t there to preach, they are volunteers who are bringing the church in action on the streets, they are passionate about their community and are there for those who need a helping hand.

Street Pastors want to ensure that people have an enjoyable but safe night out. The teams of volunteers assist with situations that enable the emergency services to deal with situations that are emergencies.

Nearly three years later there are now a team of 45 volunteers who on a Friday and Saturday night from the hours of 10pm – 4.00am patrol Cardiff city centre. The teams come across many situations and no one shift is the same. We expect the unexpectable! Many people have been helped as a result of the scheme, eg; the guy who had crawled into a bin for warmth in the Winter and would have been put in a rubbish truck with hideous consequences had he not been helped out, or the person who had collapsed and would have died from hypothermia if he had spent any longer in the cold and numerous other people who have been reunited with their friends, or met by family members to go home safely are just a few of the many situations that we assist with. There are far too many to tell but even if it was only one person that was helped and got home safely as a result then it’s all worthwhile!

Together with the night time economy workers Street Pastors are making a difference and great partnerships have been formed. Local licensees even support the scheme by providing water for the Street Pastors to give out. It’s a team effort and it shows what differences can be made when people and organisations partner together.

After three  years of working on the scheme my time is coming to an end but Cardiff Street Pastors will continue and I will support the great work that happens as a result. I am proud to say that I was there from the start and what a great opportunity I had to work with so many people and organisations who are so passionate about Cardiff they want
to make a difference! Keep up the great work and thank you for all your support.

If you are interested in Cardiff Street Pastors or would like to support the scheme in
anyway please email cardiff@streetpastors.org.uk

Ruth graduated from UWIC in 2007 with a BA (Hons) degree in Community Education which has provided many opportunities in working as a Youth Worker and having a role within the community. In 2008 she was part of the core team for a project called “IgniteHope” where approximately 700 young people worked together over the Bank Holiday weekend to offer acts of kindness to people in their local communities. It was an amazing weekend from which Cardiff Street Pastors was piloted. For the last three years Ruth has been working as the Co-ordinator for Cardiff Street Pastors which has been one of her busiest and most challenging roles yet! Ruth currently lives in Rumney.

Ruth was photographed at the Welsh Tabernacle in the Hayes by Adam Chard