BY JACK 03/11/22 (updated 05/11/22)


Neil Carnegie was devoted to his beloved Ardrossan Winton Rovers
(Image: Ardrossan Winton Rovers)


3rd NOVEMBER 2022

It is with great sadness I have to report the death of my old pal, and fellow presenter on Weekend Music Radio, Mike James. Morag, a member of one of the local bands I am keen on, sent a text on the night of the 1st of November 2022. The text never arrived until around 4am for some reason, and my phone woke me up with the whistling. I wrongly assumed this to be just junk from Vodafone or something. But I was too nosey, and had to get up to find the phone. I was quite taken aback when I read the news that old Mike / Neil had died at only 66. He lived in the same town as Morag, in Ardrossan, Ayrshire.. Neil was from Glasgow, but moved to Ardrossan by the coast in around 2004. I have to thank Morag so much for getting in touch, as his obituary was only on his football club web site and football related reports in the local paper, neither of which I would have read in a hundred years.

I thought I would let the memories take over for a few lines here, which for non radio people reading may become somewhat of a chore. Apologies about that, and the specialized radio terminology and abbreviations used here, but there was so much more to old Neil than the football tribute the papers published. In fact his alter ego would probably take some of his football colleagues by surprise! (And no doubt his following of Pollok FC, see below)

Apart from football, Neil’s other passion was for years, radio. He loved making radio shows and used to spin the vinyl, the tapes, followed by the appearance of the CD. And in later years, he was quite at home recording his shows using MP3 files and computer systems.

Way back when, in 1978 or so, Neil had a letter published in the Radio Caroline Newsletter for like minded enthusiasts in Scotland to contact him, which I did. He was also an active Caroline Movement member, again asking like minded enthusiasts to contact him. He even had a personal top 30 played in the summer of 1978, part of which is available on line somewhere. I think it was a Mark Jacobs tape. I heard this before I even knew Neil, but always remembered it because this personal top 30 was more local to me, and not in Essex or Kent, so it caught my attention way back then.

I had also been in touch around the same time with Ian, who ran SW pirate Radio Mercury from his house in Kilbirnie. Mercury closed in September 1979, and the three of us planned to start up a new project... Weekend Music Radio. Neil was a few years older than Ian. I was the youngest, about 16 then!! So it was through Neil, and him having a car that made WMR broadcasts work in the early days. Well he was the only one of us with a driving license at that time. He was instrumental in Ian aka Dave A and I meeting up in July 1979 for the first time. All three of us young lads lived quite a bit apart. Ian and I were three buses and a two mile hike from each other!! But we still did this sometimes for the cause..

During that first meeting of the three of us at my place, the lads let me hear a tape. I remember asking who the voice was. It was Neil making some trial announcements, in his "unique" squeaky voice, which was soon to become infamous on the airwaves of Europe for nigh on 40 years. He soon after gained the nickname squeaky, although initially he was unaware of that, much to our amusement.

Neil used his house in Glasgow in Corrour Road for a Radio Mercury transmission on 26th August 1979 or there abouts. Ian had a studio set up in Neils house for the occasion. I just do not remember the logistics of how we all got to Neil's house that day, or when Ian brought his studio gear to Neil's. It was over 40 years ago mind you. I was a kind of a “Two Can Dan” type of a young lad at that time, and became “steamin” during recording shows on a couple of cans of Tennents Lager. The ones with the various good looking chics on the back… remember them.. We still have the tape of the joint programme that was meant to go out on the air that day, which I don’t think did, of us three young guys in our early days of pirate radio.. Surprisingly I don't have the empty lager cans...

I guess Neil had room for antennas in the front garden, but we tried to keep it to the back, but inexperienced as we were in all things, not just aerials, the dipole was supposed to be going across a railway line at the back. In fact that wasn't quite the full story as Neil promised there were no trains running on a Sunday, and sure, erect the wire across the railway he told us. Next thing a train came steaming through of course!!! Neil's train spotting skills were not quite as he made out!! Hence the space at the back was not used and the antenna crushed from the back door at the EDGE of the railway, through the upstairs windows, through the house, and back out to the front upstairs window of the house, into the front garden. Amazingly it worked and there is still a recording heard in Leeds on the dx archive site of that day.

Corrour Road with lots of room in the front garden. The one with the goal posts

I also remember a day in Feb 1980 trying to set up the first mobile WMR broadcast from the woods between Lugton and Beith in North Ayrshire. We drove for what seemed like miles in the snow, not knowing really what to look for in a site. We chose a very unsuitable young fir wood, but at least it was by the main road with a lay by beside it, and quite isolated on this quiet road. Well it was quiet at 6am!! We ended up soaked, freezing, and achieving no transmission, as the oscillator valve had vanished somewhere in the woods. I will never forget Squeaky trying to dry these thick tweed fishermans type trousers he was dressed in that day at the fire that wasn't on, while running around with only a long coat to hide his pride in front of the family. We were back at Ian’s sisters house, and as a single parent at the time, things were tight, and the fire wasn't even on!!! Ah great days..

Neil also took over editing the FRC Scotland magazine from Ian who had taken over from Jackie Gribben. The Free Radio Campaign magazine was called AIR, but this was to be the last issue before it folded. There were none of the PC terminals in those days that we have today, and typing up this kind of hobby publication was no easy task.

In the summer of 1980, the three of us lads were on board the Manor Park ship in Sunderland harbour, with a view to assist fitting out the ship for broadcasting from the high seas. This was a proposed offshore radio project that was doomed to failure due to lack of money. Amazingly some time later it was Neil who had somehow managed to convince some American backers of the projects viability, and I saw his letter with the available funding of up to a million dollars. According to the Bank of England inflation calendar, it would be approx 4.5 times that amount today. I wish I had a copy of that letter now. Alas, the timing was just too late and the whole project had already fallen apart. I do still have an old letter addressed to Neil which I found in one of his LP sleeves from an outfit in Hong Kong, who said they were not interested in the offshore radio project at this time. An amazing achievement though for a young Clydeside shipping clerk. At least Neil earned a brief mention in the book, THE LID OFF LASER.

In August 1980, just after we had been on the Manor Park, we had a broadcast to make on the second Sunday of the month, 10th August. How this all came about I just do not remember. Was Ian still on the Manor Park? I think he was? But Neil and myself, along with another enthusiast were in charge of the broadcast anyway, and decided to take a break from the usual broadcast site we had used for what, only two broadcasts. I don't remember why we were on the road we were, but we chose a woodland on a hillside, just by the village of Uplawmoor. We parked in a kind of a side road by some trees, but we had to carry the two car batteries, transmitter, antenna, and anything else like a radio to monitor the signal up this hill. The trouble was we had to carry this stuff across quite an expanse of open field. Talk about crazy. There we are trying to keep our heads down and not be seen, and we are carrying boxes over an open field in view of who knows how many houses. Nothing suspicious, for anyone looking out their windows? The transmission was a success though, and we got away with that one!! We even received our first reception report from Switzerland for that day. The things you did in your youth, and all for pirate radio.

There were many stories and transmissions over the course of the 1980's, and Neil was always there or there abouts. Neil called himself Mebo 2 during the CB fad. We even had a bash at fairly low powered MW broadcasts for a time.

Neil left Scotland for a radio project in Ireland in 1987, but eventually moved across to London for some years, and never returned to Glasgow until 1995. That was when he called me out of the blue, saying, "Hello, it's Neil", as though I had spoken a few days before, and not 8 years back!!

He was coming to visit, and of course we had WMR on the air from a qrp mobile transmitter in the woods. When we went for the traditional pint, I can still see old Squeaky pouring the draught Becks down his neck, as though prohibition was coming in. I told him the Becks was far better than the normal Tennents. (Which it was). I can still see him rolling around the floor in a friends house well after closing time and into the wee hours, telling rotten jokes and laughing and joking, and generally having a good time.... But let me promise you, he was no use to man nor beast the next morning.... lol. Mike James was back!!

During the latter part of the 90's, and up until the last few years, we had so many memorable times, and laughs, far too many to write about here.... A few examples spring to mind straight away, but there were so many more.

Neil was a man who became adamant if he thought he was right about something.

I remember the time around Christmas time 1997, he insisted... and ranted and raved and ranted even more about it, that on an up and coming (possibly Christmas) night out in Glasgow, that I wouldn't get into a pub on a Saturday night with jeans (denims) on. He repeated this till he became such a jolly boring fellow!!

Neil treated the chic of the day, Samantha and myself to a surprisingly nice meal. He had obviously taken so much time to prepare this masterpiece. So much better than I could produce on my own even today, without the womans touch, if you know what I mean. And we were both genuinely taken aback. Serviettes and candles and wine, the good cuttlery etc. We had a lovely meal. But Neil had chosen not to drink just quite then, as he was going to drive to the pub and dump the car.

We arrived at the pub, which was at the end of Neil’s old street, Corrour Road, called the Newlands Hotel, (since demolished sadly). Neil went to the hole in the wall for cash. Sam and I, both dressed in denim, went in and got settled and bought Neil his first drink of the night. But he took such an age in making his entrance. After quite some time, we could see the two guys on the door looking over at us. Odd. Then one came over and asked if we had a friend Neil Carnegie? Aye of course, what’s up. Sorry, but he has had too much to drink and we can’t let him in..!!!!! LOL.. Poor old Neil suspected of being drunk, even with his swanky trousers and shirt on!! We had to of course drink up, or did we have to leave it, and go elsewhere. I will never forget poor Neil standing looking dejected, and his face tripping him at the front door waiting for us, in our jeans!! Did he get forgetting this night after all his ranting?? I will leave that to you to take a wild

Image - Glasgow Chronicles

There was another time he was adamant he was not going to drink the Tesco crap Irn Bru someone had given him. And he went on and on that och aye, he could easily tell the difference between the cheap shite and the other National drink, the Barr’s Irn Bru.

So a few of us that were hanging around at that time, set up a test for him. A simple A/B test. All done fair, labeled on bits of paper which was which.

“That’s the muck there”, he proudly announced, after the initial tasting.
And yes, you guessed it. He had a 50 / 50 chance of being right even if he hadn’t a clue, and he got it wrong.

One Sunday he turned the place here upside down looking for some CD or other, and of course he was blaming everyone else.... He had me moving fridges and filing cabinets and all to see if it had fallen down the back. This went on for what seemed like hours, but was only maybe around an hour. It showed up eventually in his car, where he had already looked more than once!!! One of my little cousins who would be about 10 at that time drew a portrait of Neil with a CD above his head and question marks and stuff. It was just so funny. I would still have that somewhere.

Oh and how he used to fight with technology with his various PCs.. Messing around in studio 2 here with his own piece of shit, and you could hear him mumbling./..What have you done now...blaming me. I was in the next

In later years, Neil used to help out at the occasional disco a couple of us got involved in. He always enjoyed the Christmas bikers dinner and dance type thing. There was always a good band playing as well as us. There was one time Neil, myself and Alex (who I used to do the discos with), all drove our own cars to the town the gig was in, and then wondered how we were going to get the 10 miles or so back to pick them up the next day. We had to scrounge a lift that Sunday with red faces for being so silly and all three of us taking our cars to the venue!!

I remember coming back from the same said venue another year after picking the gear up on the Sunday, Neil never arrived back at the house here for a long long time. He had spun his car on ice, so he said, and ended up half in the hedge, and ripped the bumper off.

Apologies for painting out the background, there were a few folk around that probably don't want their faces on line!!


“That’s a fucking banger”, I said to him rather unhelpfully, when he eventually

My own suspicion was that he had been more likely too busy with the Marlborough full strength. AFTER ALL, how can you go off the road at 25 mph…lol. That wee car was written off for this!!!

When Neil moved to Ardrossan around 2004, he discovered a thriving local live band culture which I was sort of unaware of. This also made for some really great music nights, which I still very much look forward to when I can. In more recent years old Squeaky, who would never miss any of the gigs, fell by the way side as he became involved in his football club at committee level, taking up so much more of his time.

Neil and I went a load of places, often with the various friends over the years. … An Anorak party in Blackpool (geeky radio enthusiasts!!), at the AUK location, a visit to the Irish pirates, a visit to the Radio Free London crew, more than once in surprise surprise, London. Or camping at a bikers do in winter up Killin way at the foot of Loch Tay, where those breathtaking waterfalls of Dochart are, that feature in the classic film, The 39 Steps. The various bike camps all over the place, each one with it's own set of tales. Removing a friend from Scotland to Kent in a big hired van, and recording a WMR show mobile on the motorway. It was certainly a fun way to get in the hours on a long road trip. I remember passing Watford Gap, and all three of us bursting into song at the same time. "Watford Gap, Watford Gap, Watford Gap and his black and white cat", to the tune of kids tv show, Postman Pat. The daft things you do to have a laugh!!

Neil was also a regular during the live broadcasts around the Christmas period, especially on boxing day. This was mostly on Short Wave, for hobbyists. But some years we had one off broadcasts on FM under various guises, from the top of the highest hill in the area, with line of sight so far and wide in all directions. Even on low power of about 10 watts, this was hammering out. The equipment was taken up the hill by a friendly farmer on a quad. One year, the thing turned upside down going up the hill, and oh the squeals of old Squeaky. He thought it was falling on top of him, when I was actually holding on to the thing!!! Before one of these broadcasts, we went to a "farm shop" type place for a new battery. The large kind used in pairs in trucks. Neil's face was a picture when the guy pipes up, "Is this for the radio Jack"...... LOL..

There was a time we had been having some wine during I think a boxing day broadcast, when Neil went outside to take a leak. By this time darkness had fallen and he tripped and fell over the edge of a drop and broke his ankle. He was lying on the ground and stuck there. We managed to wrestle him into the house, but we were stuggling to get him into the car to go to accident and emergency. The way it was achieved was to wrap him in a carpet and get him hawled out that way. But as we struggled to get him in the back seat, a car passed the door, with this body in the carpet, like you see in the movies. Who knows what they must have thought....LOL...

Or how about the time we were in a house in another town a few miles from the studio, when Squeaky was going up to take a leak in the "cludgie" upstairs. But the lassie of the house had a large Weimaraner dog who was lying upstairs, and saw this stranger trying to go upstairs. I had never seen old Joey like this, but he was only doing his job. Neil had to be called back by the said woman of the hoose, before he got eaten alive..LOL... He was later properly introduced to big Joey the dug.

Around 2009 the two of us went to see a gig advertised as Spencer Davis with the Animals. It was the real deal, the real guys, in a smallish venue called the Vic in the holiday town of Largs. (Victoria Hotel) We had a great evening, trumped only by old Spencer by chance coming over to the bar after his stint and standing having a couple of pints with us. He was such a nice old chap, the real deal, been there done it kind of a guy, so he was so laid back and we enjoyed listening to his tales for a while. Also playing was one of Dury's Blockheads. I also managed to get a chat to him, and he almost fainted when I mentioned the Loving Awareness Band to him. He told me I was the first person ever to mention this to him, and there we were chatting about Radio Caroline, Ronan and the likes. In Largs, Scotland!! I arranged to have a chat with a recorder at the next gig that was booked not too far in the future, when they were booked again, but sadly the venue closed soon afterwards, and the next gig was canceled.

We got to do a disco at a New Years bikers disco during the heavy snow of 2010 at a farm in Lanarkshire. We only just got there with the weather. We went there complete with ready made programming and an 80 watt SW transmitter and antenna, which were installed as soon as we arrived. Later, the disco music was switched off for the bells, and the television was switched on in the converted cow shed we were in. The farmer and the bike club folks I guess were wondering what the disruption on the TV picture was all about. But Neil and I both knew..LOL..

Neil also did some discos on his own over the years. Not every week or anything, but just the odd one here and there.

I last saw Neil about a year ago, and he had been kinda tied to the house for a few years looking after his old mother in her last days. He had been at a football match near me. I am embarassed to say I never saw him even once since that day. That's just the way things go in life sometimes.

He had been very involved in his new local football club, Winton Rovers, rather than his previous local team, Pollok, who were quite near his old house in Glasgow. I used to wind him up ( about being a turncoat, but of course he really was just supporting his new local team, when he moved to the coast.

Well I think that is enough of the memories for now. I could go on until I fill enough for a paperback.

So here's tae you my auld pal, and how sad it really is that ye never got tae wear an auld man's jaiket.. I will be sure to have a drink tae ye this coming Saturday while watching one of your favourite cover bands, the one and only SLUTCAKE.

Yer Auld Pal of over 40 years,



Tributes have been flooding in for an Ardrossan football stalwart who has sadly died.

Ardrossan Winton Rovers director Neil Carnegie was described as a 'true gentleman' and 'Winton through and through' after the club announced his passing on social media last night.

Mr Carnegie was hugely respected for his selfless devotion to his beloved team which included writing match reports, supporting the youth academy and updating the club website.

In a heartbreaking statement on Twitter, the West of Scotland League club said: "It is with the deepest regret that we need to inform you of the passing of club director, Mr Neil Carnegie.

"Neil was nicknamed 'Scoop' due to his match reports and was an avid supporter of the youth academy.

"He held the position within the academy of vice chairman whilst also keeping our website up to date.

"Neil stayed by himself after the recent passing of his beloved mum. Those that knew Neil will have lost a good friend and our club has lost a stalwart. RIP Neil."

The sad news also led to an outpouring of messages of condolences from former players, supporters, and rival clubs on the club's Twitter and facebook pages.

Former Winton Rovers striker Ian Cashmore said: "Such sad news ! What a guy, will be sorely missed."

Sandy MacLean, who served as the club's manager, added: WR. I. P Neil.

Absolute gentleman. I can hear his dulcet tone on the phone gently reminding me I hadn't sent him the managers page for the programme. Usually followed by an email."

Kenny Pollok said: "Sad to hear this, Winton man through and through, done so much for the club over the years and was always a real gentleman. Rest easy Neil."

Missie Muir posted: "A true gentleman with a wealth of knowledge, Neil you will be missed by us all."