Family to remember Alex with 150-mile charity cycle

Former conservator Alex was a keen cyclist and a talented painter
Former conservator Alex was a keen cyclist and a talented painter
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The family of a man who dedicated his working life to the Royal Museum in Edinburgh are to raise funds in his memory.

Alex Quinn passed away in October last year at the age of 64 following a battle with prostate cancer.

Now his family, who are spread across Edinburgh and Fife, want to generate cash in his memory and will take on a coast-to-coast cycle in April, covering almost 150 miles of English mainland.

After a short spell working as a primary school teacher in the Capital, Alex began working for the Royal Museum of Antiquities, based on Queen Street.

He worked there for two years before moving to the Royal Museum of Scotland – now the National Museum of Scotland – on Chambers Street as a conservator, where he remained until his retirement.

His job was to look after objects being exhibited or loaned elsewhere and this saw him travel as far afield as Japan, the US and Sweden, mostly with Celtic and Roman artefacts.

Alex also spent a great deal of time at locations in the UK, particularly Orkney, Harris, Uist, Stornoway and Applecross. He often looked after the Scottish contingent of the Lewis Chessmen, the 800-year-old figurines found under mysterious circumstances at Uig on the Isle of Lewis. He would take them to various exhibitions, each time compiling reports on their condition and installing them in their temporary cases.

He prepared numerous stunning exhibitions for the museum.

Away from museum life, Alex was a talented painter, creating many portraits of family members and landscape images.

After his retirement, before he fell ill, Alex continued to work in a consultancy role with the museum.

Alex used to regularly cycle between Edinburgh and his home in Innerleithen, which he shared with wife Maggie, and his family have decided to raise money by mirroring his enthusiasm for cycling.

His 25-year-old daughter Rosie, who lives in Edinburgh, will take part in the event which spans from Whitehaven, in Cumbria, to Tynemouth on the North Sea coast.

Another participant is his niece Lindsey Alexander, with funds raised going to Macmillan Cancer Support.

She said: “Alex was an amazingly enthusiastic and talented person; he gave us a tremendous amount of encouragement throughout our lives and was a good friend as well my Godfather and uncle.

“Shortly before he died he told me how fantastic Macmillan had been, so we decided to do something which would celebrate his life and thank the charity for making his last few months a bit easier.”

The three-day event begins on April 19 and will involve 15 cyclists.

To sponsor the team, contact Lindsey on 0775-917 2667 or visit and search Alex Quinn.