Cardiff FRIEND

Based on St Mary Street and later Charles Street in the 1970s and ’80s, the Cardiff branch of FRIEND (Fellowship for the Relief of the Isolated and Emotionally in Need and Distress) was a helpline providing advice and support for lesbians and gay men.

Francis Brown, who worked with FRIEND in the early 1980s, recalls:

“One of the things we did was to meet people and take them to the gay pub, not hand holding as such, but to show them it was there and just to sit and have a drink. In a relatively small city like Cardiff, there was also the risk you’d be spotted. With the Kings Cross, for example, you could be seen coming out of it and being spotted in Cardiff, it was a small world.”