Return to Quex
Once back at Quex in 1962, Christopher took the role of chairman of both the Quex Park Estates Company and the Museum’s board of governors. His mother, Hannah, had continued to support Quex and the wider community since the death of her husband. However, her advancing years and declining health had seen the return of her daughter, Tony, after almost twenty years in nursing. Now, with Christopher home, both brother and sister were there to support her.
December 1964 Hannah Powell-Cotton died aged 83. Tony remained, devoting the next twenty-five years to Quex and her growing passion for archaeology and the nearby Bronze-Age site at Minnis Bay. Christopher embarked on an ambitious expansion of the Museum.
A long awaited gallery and cinema had opened in 1958 but further exhibition space and improved facilities were now required. During the 1960’s two new galleries were built, ensuring the improved display of much important ethnographic material. In 1974 a further gallery was constructed. This linked the Museum to the House and marked a significant phase in the development of Quex.
For the first time several family rooms were made open to the public. This soon proved a great attraction for visitors although Christopher, sensitive to his father’s memory, was unsure if he would have approved of this initiative.
When the ‘Friends of Quex’ was formed in 1984 Christopher was appointed Lifetime President. He was an active committee member and joined enthusiastically in events and coach outings. This support did not wane as the years passed.
Christopher developed an open paternalistic relationship with Quex Estate, it’s staff and tenants. He had learned much from his father and was particularly sensitive to the changing needs of farming and estate management and welcomed informed advice. As Quex changed and grew during his chairmanship he realised that to diversify was to succeed.
With the increased expansion of the Museum buildings during the early 1990’s, providing a splendid restaurant, new offices, shop and a welcome seminar room, great opportunities were available for ‘Quex Museum Enterprises’. These improved facilities provide a magnificent venue for education, conferences and celebrations.
1.Filming an interview for local television during the late 1980’s
2.After a busy day entertaining guests at Quex, August 1994
3.Christopher at one of many events in the Park at Quex
4.Group staff photograph to mark Christopher’s 80th birthday, 1998
5.A family Christmas at Quex c.1980
6.At a reception in 1972
7.Christopher Powell-Cotton back at Quex during the early 1960’s