Community & Final Years
Service to the community was as important to Christopher as it had been to his parents. He served for almost five years on the council of the Museums Association and for 15years on the council of the Area Museums Service for South East England, giving practical assistance where needed- for instance arranging collections loans to local museums.
Christopher was appointed justice of the Peace in 1965, first at Broadstairs and later with the amalgamated local benches based at Ramsgate where he served as chairman for seven years. He was renowned for his courtesy, clear thinking and compassion. When he retired from the bench in 1988 he noted that there were now fewer custodial sentences and more in the way of fines, probation and community service.
In 1970 a project, launched to develop a village community centre for Birchington, was gaining momentum. Through Christopher’s generous offer of Quex Park as a venue, an annual fundraising event held over several years, aptly named ‘Quexpo’, ensured the project’s success. This generosity continued: The Park was later used for a variety of events- plays, horse shows, guide and scout camps- and in the 1990’s the outdoor ‘Prom’ concerts, hugely popular occasions raising many thousands of pounds for the local ‘Cancer Care Appeal’
Perhaps less well known is Christopher’s practical involvement in small local charities. For example, the Crispe Charity, founded by the Will of Anna Gertruy Crispe of Quex in 1707, still supports local young people in education and training. He also served as a Trustee of the Michael Yoakley Charity in Margate, which maintains and administers the Drapers Almshouses.
Christopher Powell-Cotton died on 12 April 2006. On the evening of his funeral a half muffled quarter peal was rung on the Waterloo Tower bells by the dedicated group of Quex ringers, so inspired over the years by his personal support, generosity and encouragement.
The loss of this highly respected and well-loved man – ‘a true gentleman’ – has been difficult to accept. However, his legacy will remain with us all. Without doubt, his life was a ‘life of service’.
1.Christopher as chairman of the Bench at Ramsgate during the 1990’s
2.Tony & Christopher Powell-Cotton in the dining room at Quex, mid 1972
3.Laying the foundation stone for the Birchington Village Centre, August 1972
4.Christopher at a reception in 1972
5.Serving tea at an event at Draper’s Almshouses around 1980
6.President’s farewell address to the Birchington Village Centre Association in 1986