This film is part of Free

Who Knew Retew?

Community spirit is not lost on the residents of soon-to-be demolished Retew.

News 1967 4 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Retew is a village near St Austell and they are holding one last children's carnival on the village green. The twenty-four cottages are condemned and have lost out to an expanding china clay industry. The remaining twelve families are being moved out and rehoused. Mrs George Martin has lived in the village for forty-five years and Shirley Witford has been a resident for ten, both are sad that the village is at the end of its life.

Retew was built on land which belongs to quarry owners, the English China Clays PLC or ECC. Wheal Remfrey china clay quarry and waste heaps are encroaching on the village. Mrs Clemoline Bunt was the last resident to leave. Henry Remfry with John James of Truro purchased shares in the Virginia Clay Pit from Jacob Olver in 1874 at the end of a slump in clay exploitation. George Rogers purchased Wheal Remfry once known as Wheal Edith in 1878. Henry and James sold out to Joseph Rogers of Newquay who in turn sold to Pochin and Co in 1919. The pit was absorbed into ECC in 1932. Henry Remfry also owned a knitting mill in Retew. Retew Hill as a place name still exists near St Dennis, the only reference left to an extinct village.