An appreciation

IAN James Quigley, who has died aged 72, was a successful entrepreneur whose business interests ranged from publican and property developer to garage owner, who once held the world record for the largest Lada dealership outside of Russia.

Born in Dalmuir on November 13, 1947, Ian was the middle of three children of Catherine and George Quigley. His mother was a shop manager while his father worked as a skilled cabinet-maker; both were employed by Singer Sewing Machines, Clydebank. He had an older brother, George, now deceased, and a younger sister, Margaret, to whom he remained close throughout life.

After school Ian trained as an electrician in the John Brown shipyard, Clydebank. He married Jane in 1968 and they had a son, Ian junior, in 1970. Ian worked hard but had a yearning to do something bigger and better and was always brimming over with ideas and enthusiasm. In the 1970s, with Margaret’s husband Ronie Wishart, Ian and another business partner, John Dickson, set up the car company, Archers of Airdrie, which in time expanded to have branches all over central Scotland and England, and also secured several other car-brand franchises.

Ian’s second wife, Helena, had first met him in 1979 when she worked in the local paper’s advertising team. Ever the entrepreneurs, Ian and his business partners hatched innovative ideas to sell more vehicles, at one point encouraging shoppers who wanted a shiny new Lada to trade in anything on wheels – including roller-skates and prams. Helena recalls returning to her office a tad concerned to verify if Archers’ more unusual marketing campaigns were legal and could be run in the press.

Both Ian’s and Helena’s careers and life-paths then went separate ways. Helena married, too, and had daughters, Claire and Hayley. But in 2000, in a sliding-door moment, the pair met again in Glasgow city centre, and became a couple in 2004. They married on the special date of 10/11/12 after two years of secret planning to surprise guests at Ian’s 65th birthday party in Edinburgh’s Prestonfield House. They were soulmates, happily synchronising their lives, melding their two families.

Lifelong passions of football and music had led Ian to play in goal well into his 40s, after a successful amateur career, and he and Helena toured the UK and further afield attending gigs by some of his favourite artists, among them Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan and the late Leonard Cohen.

In later life, his electrician skills led him into property development. Social skills led him into hospitality, buying several pubs, including the Rhu Inn in Helensburgh and the Cardross Inn.

In his retirement – a concept he rarely enthused about – he kept busy, splitting his time between the couple’s home in Lenzie and their beloved holiday home near Helensburgh. He also spent as much time as possible with his beloved extended family members.

He was also an enthusiastic dog lover, particularly keen on rehousing rescue dogs and, in the process, walking daily for miles on end.

When his son Ian became seriously ill with renal failure more than 20 years ago, he did not hesitate to donate one of his kidneys, which transformed his son’s life.

Ian was a keen and generous supporter of charities which helped epilepsy, renal and cancer research.

Ian and Helena travelled extensively on driving holidays with his sister Margaret and husband Ronie throughout the USA, Europe and the Scottish islands. These trips were fuelled by much laughter and Ian’s joie-de-vivre, though his often dubious navigation skills caused his passengers to raise their eyebrows.

With pride, Ian would tell everyone how he loved Helena’s fashion sense and joked about his own. He preferred to dress ‘smart casual’ though sometimes just slightly too casual for Helena. He once met her at the Glasgow Film Theatre wearing his pyjama top under his coat. They later enjoyed telling everyone about this fashion faux pas.

The laughs continued, focusing on the sartorial difference between a housecoat and dressing-gown. This debate then worked its way around everyone visiting his hospital bedside, with votes being taken and laughter to the fore.

A man always regarded as healthy and robust, Ian died suddenly in Glasgow Royal Infirmary. The feeling of shock felt by all who knew him was an understatement. At his funeral service his son described him as his hero; celebrant Frances McGlinchey summed Ian up as a “charismatic character, an organiser and a lover of life who was generous”, adding: “life was treasured, enjoyed, not taken too seriously and savoured.”

Ian is survived by Helena, son Ian, sister Margaret, stepdaughters Claire and Hayley, and grandchildren Ross, Rachael, Harrison and Jackson.