The Centre in Birchington to mark its 50th anniversary with exhibition and memories of Quexpo

A Garret traction engine named Rob Roy standing with its crew in front of Quex House, Quex Park, at the very first Quexpo in 1970. Photo © Bill Evans Collection.

By Nick Evans

People living around Thanet for any length of time may remember a three day steam fair in years past called Quexpo.

Held every year from 1970 to 1986, it was organised to pay for and fit out the Village Centre in Alpha Road, Birchington.

At the end of this May The Centre, as it is known today, will be marking its 50th anniversary since opening in 1974. Celebrations will include an exhibition of photos and memorabilia about The Centre and Quexpo to be held on the morning of Saturday 1 June.

If you would like to loan photos or items relating to The Centre and Quexpo, The Centre’s trustees would love to hear from you.

The trustees will have a table at the Birchington Model Railway Exhibition, to be held at The Centre on Saturday 4 May between 10am and 4pm, when you can bring along anything you may wish to lend.

Perhaps you have photos of events you took part in there at some stage or you kept programmes from the numerous plays and pantos performed at The Centre?

The Birchington Model Railway Exhibition itself will feature 17 exhibitors showing off model railway layouts or static exhibits – they come in different shapes, sizes and scales – and alongside them will be a number of traders selling pre-loved model trains and accessories. Light refreshments will be on sale at The Centre too, so there is plenty for everyone to enjoy.

Adult admission is £5 while accompanied children under 16 get in free. The Centre trustees table will be in the foyer so you won’t have to pay go into the exhibition to find them – but we hope you will want to stay and see the show anyway!


  1. Before my time, but I really wish they’d bring a local steam fair back (the Preston one was really good!).

    • As was Carter’s Steam Fair in Dreamland. It attracted far more visitors to the rides than Dreamland does today.

    • The Preston steam fair was brilliant,never understood why it stopped .Always went to the small church for food or drinks,fantastic days

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