Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

Alastair Owen (TO Technical Operator)) and me in studio A, Radio Clyde

New Years Eve 1973 at 10:30pm Radio Clyde produced its first program with Tony Currie at the helm. I was to join Radio Clyde during 1989 and not as a sound technician but a draughtsman.

I got a job from a news paper add that Radio Clyde/Clyde Electronics were looking for a draughtsman. I had an interview with the Chief engineer of Radio Clyde John Lumsden who was starting a new side line making sound desks and ancillary sound equipment.

My background with a company called Controllogy Techniques stood me in good stead as I had everything John was looking for. I got the job and amazingly it was only then I realised I had stepped into the most successful local Radio Station in Scotland. Radio Clyde and Clyde Electronics were in the same building at Anderston Cross in the centre of Glasgow.

Not only was I a fan of Radio Clyde but I was working among the famous DJs like Tiger Tim, Dougie Donnelly and Dave Marshall to mention a few. My extra skill that wasn’t mentioned at my interview was photography and I soon put it to good use staying late and coming in at the weekends photographing the Radio Clyde Roadshows.

One of many Radio Clyde Road shows (I recon this wee girl will be about 46 years old today)
A Schematic diagram with a Printed Circuit Board

During the day I was given a schematic diagram produced in a rough state and I had to reproduce it on a drawing board as above, then transfer that information onto another tracing film to finally produce a PCB (Printed Circuit Board).

Me in Studio “A” photographed by Tim Stevens

My evenings were spent learning the ropes with some great teachers like Mark Goodyear who taught me how to edit reel to reel audio tape, in those days it was marking the sound edit with a chinagraph pencil then physically cutting it out of the program with a razor blade and sticking the two ends with splicing tape.

Tim with one on his many fans

It wasn’t all work, I spent many a Monday evening in Studio A with Tiger Tim Stevens who was a very passionate and kind person. We both got on like we were brothers and what a laugh. I remember one evening in particular when Tim had a problem with his desk, there was a buzz on his mic channel and he decided live on air to ask Phil the engineer in the studio to have a look. As you can imagine I was dumfounded as technically I was not an engineer but Tim did not realise this. I got a dressing down the next day at work from my manager but as I told him I did nothing as I was well out of my comfort zone. As it happens a lot of these issues were resolved by cleaning out the fader but that meant a swap over of that module, not recommend during a live program. There was an engineer in the workshop who came through and swapped Tims mic onto another module, the desk had seven modules either side so it was relatively easy to resolve the situation.

The 50th anniversary documentary came about because Radio Clyde was so much fun to work in and I had exclusive footage from a previous employment at Clyde Cable Vision. Latterly I bought my first video camera a Sony HVC-3000 Betamax camcorder which I took into work to film the boys in the engineering department, Jimmy Sanderson and Richard Park (Lunchtime) and the cute ladies that worked in the newsroom along with my buddy Alex Dickson. This was all done during my lunch hour to avoid any problems with my manager.

Interviewing my old boss John Lumsden

During October 2023 I approached Norman Ross who was heading the 50th Anniversary of Radio Clyde if I could be involved and film some interviews. He said yes and could we double up filming for Quality Radio as well. I also wanted to meet my ex boss John Lumsden.

Photograph © Iain Douglas (Glasgow City Chambers)

January the 18th 2024 was the evening at the Glasgow City Chambers to celebrate fifty years of Radio Clyde. There was a few people I did not capture on the evening but as it turned out it was a blessing. To interview everyone in the City Chambers would have been samey so I was glad to be able to film a few of my ex colleagues in their own environments.

As a wee aside I discovered via Scottish Televisions web site two 16mm films shot on the week leading up to Radio Clyde going on air. After a bit of negotiating I bought the rights to show both films outright. Cost double what I was expecting but keeps me on the right side of copyright. Both films were sent as MP4 files and were 4:3 SD footage. I processed them via Topaz Video AI upgrading them to HD. Tim Stevens interview was a tad in the CYAN (Green) but with Final Cut Pro easy to correct. I also had my own edited footage from Clyde Cable Vision on VHS of the Kings Park Gas disaster and Jimmy Sanderson/Richard Park at Hampden to run through Topaz Video AI, a remarkable software.

Kit used : Panasonic G9II at 4K 50p with the odd shot from a DJI Pocket 3. All interviews with the DJI mic 2 radio mic.

Drone shots were mainly from my friend Iain Douglas using a DJI Mavic 3 Pro. Some extra shots from my DJI mini 4 Pro.

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Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

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