As I have known Pentewan, as a local for may years it has an immense sense of happy times.To begin from the 1950’s as a young girl visiting the beach and harbour, in the summer and the spring in particular. A drink of pop and a packet of crisp with my sister sitting with me and my Mum and Dad.My legs swinging on the outside seats as they were not long enough to reach the ground.
Later the same place with different people as I grew up and enjoyed some of my courting years meals there. Then a group of us met up and sat outside in the evening summer sun. Drinking gin and tonic before having a meal.
At one time I worked in the community looking after the elderly and one of my patients was in the square of Pentewan. It was around this time that I sang carols in the square after my work had been done. A lovely atmosphere.
Right up to date with my Yorkshire family staying in the caravans at the beach, and joining them for an evening at the club house.
I have also worked the August festival there, giving readings and then later in the day enjoying the atmosphere of open air music.
The fireworks going off at the end of the evening. Friends come along without needing a phone call. It is just part of our yearly calendar.As we all meet up like magic.
Further back in history the village of Pentewan had three public houses, Ship Inn that is still here today, The Square , and Jolly Sailor have been long gone but not forgotten. In fact the small gift shop was where one of the old pubs had been then.
There was the Pentewan block and sand works that made blocks for local buildings. It took four men to make a batch of blocks. About a hundred were made in a day.
The Pentewan railway is long disappeared but when it was up and running it was something to be proud of. As far as I know there were not many such railways in this area. It ran from Pentewan to St.Austell transporting clay and coal for many years. In the summer it was seen that at times passengers were taken up and down in trucks that were cleaned out , it was usually a Sunday treat.
The harbour has seen many a ship laden with clay and coal among other merchandise.
Pentewan is also well known for the quarry at Polrudden, with it’s elvan – type stone, which is harder than granite, to work.
It was used for churches, and the such. Some of this stone went to Lostwithiel by boat. Also stone went to St.Antony house near Plymouth. Then repairs for the St.Austell parish Church were done with this stone.
Walks from Trewiddle to Pentewan are still very lovely. The pathway runs alongside the river that at one time was known as the white river due to china clay spillage running into it. Today of course none of that is allowed and the plant and bird life shows the benefits of it’s clarity. I have walked that pathway many times, and still I enjoy the natural world there including an owl I have seen many times on walking back after a pint in the pub.
Written by Gayle Force 2009