Quex Park Recce Sunday – 6th May 2018

Having lived in Kent now for the best part of 34 years, it is not often, having raised a family here, that there are places that I have not taken the three kids to have a day out. … I am going to reset this precept with my grand children.

As many of you know Chris West has provided us with at least four really great places to display our Alfas and we have all taken advantage of prime locations and gorgeous sunshine to exhibit at the Classic Music and Motors series. So it came as a bit of a surprise to hear “whispers,” that the latest edition to this series in 2018 was not going to be particularly well attended by AROCKES, at least by initial returns to our Secretary Jeff Kaby. The location; Quex Park and it evokes images of a field? I was curious. So considering it was a gorgeous May Bank holiday weekend, myself and the C.E.O set out to find out why Chris West would choose a field? Bearing in mind I have never been there before, we were about to be quite spectacularly surprised!

Quex Park is basically a quick gallop down the M2, A299 and is a 45 minute journey from J4 M2. On arrival and having parked up we were greeted by a stately home built in 1415  and has been updated to its present lavish incarnation and now has the Powell Cotton Museum on site. Powell Cotton was an Anthropologist and a very Green one, who spent £5 million (by our values) on expeditions to deepest darkest Africa. The museum hosts fantastic displays of his own exhibits.

The house itself hosts incredible history and I was lucky enough to be allowed to photo one of the prized exhibits … Napoleon Bonaparte’s campaign travel clock/watch and although it’s a poor photo the watch is about 5” in diameter.

Next on the agenda was the secret walled Edwardian Kitchen Garden and the garden centre that was better priced and better stocked than most; the craft village that sold everything from original leather ware to wood turning.

Now I have to admit, Alfa wise, you don’t often get to meet families and kids at shows. But get this, there is a dedicated children’s adventure play area with an attached cafe….

There are cafes aplenty around the site. In the Barn there is a restaurant, deli (Italian stuff aplenty), a butchers and a really good restaurant. There is even a bar and bottled beer on sale. For those wanting a little extra light entertainment there is a crazy golf course with a cafe/ice-cream parlour to boot.

Now to the important bit, the display area for the show is huge!! There is no way anyone is going to max this site out!

I know this event is new on the agenda and we are all used to what is familiar but this is a prime opportunity for our families and children to experience. I know I find it strange promoting other people’s events, but this really is a step up location and I really urge the membership to attend. In short if my wife shouts, “Shotgun,” to the passenger seat, even when she is not a great lover of car shows, then that only bodes well for this next generation of AROCKES. Personally though, the thought of hoovering out plant parts from the back of my Alfa (AGAIN !!) is amply awarded by the thought of this show including those that keep AROCKES supported. Make this show a date, this recce completely sold the upcoming display as a must for me and my family on the 10th of June 2018 and application forms are available by contacting classicmusicandmotors@gmail.com

When I spoke to staff at the venue, they informed me that there would be a 25% discount for exhibitor tickets to the museum and formal gardens. My wife, being the ever so resourceful person she is, bought the May issue of the Gardener’s world magazine, within which is a two for one entry to the garden and museum at Quex and nearly 100 such other places. Which meant we got everything for just over £8 for the both of us, well worth a trip to W.H Smiths I think!