Globe columnist Peter Grant meets Wirral cultural ambassador Mike McCartney soon to be awarded a British Empire Medal and now celebrating the re-release of his classic album.

FORMER Scaffold singer Mike McCartney went back to his old school this week to re-launch one of his most successful solo albums - McGear.

Mike, wrote and worked on the songs at his Heswall home with producer Paul McCartney and wife Linda in 1974.

The poet, photographer and cartoonist chose the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts to unveil the new 2D and DVD collection (Cherry Red Records) out at the end of the month.

Mike also revealed his animated film concept called the Wierdos, made in partnership with artist Peter Miller a graduate from Edge Hill University and Colin McKeown's LA Productions.

A specially invited audience included Billy Kinsley of Merseybeats and Liverpool Express, Pete Hooton of The Farm, broadcaster Spencer Leigh, John Gorman of Scaffold and Tiswas fame and members of the McCartney family including Mike's wife Rowena.

Mike 75, told the Globe: "It's been great to hear that people think the record stands the test of time. This album sure has some history.

"We recorded it at 10cc's studios in Stockport - Abbey Road was too expensive.

"But it has now been re-mastered there."

Esoteric Recordings proudly announced the release of the expanded three disc 'clamshell' box set edition of the album.

McGear was the second solo album by Mike McGear (McCartney) and was deemed by critics as a a more serious output than his work with the Liverpool satirical trio Scaffold, or his creative collaboration with Roger McGough on the McGough & McGear release.

McGear, featuring Mike as Gulliver was produced by Paul McCartney who also played on the album and co-wrote most of the material with Mike.

It also featured Linda McCartney and members of Wings.

The album with a gate-fold sleeve depicting the Liverpool skyline was called 'charming, eccentric and unique' in equal measure and was one of the great unsung albums of its time.

It was unavailable on CD for over twenty years now this long-awaited expanded three disc edition reissue has been compiled with the full involvement of Mike and has been newly re-mastered from the original master tapes.

It has an additional 21 bonus tracks, including 13 previously unreleased out-takes and tracks alongside singles appearing on CD for the first time.

The set also includes a DVD featuring Mike McCartney reminiscing at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, an interview with him at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool and the 1974 promotional film for the single Leave It.

The set also includes an illustrated booklet with new essay and a poster.

"Put July 19 in your diary, folks," said Mike.

"I can't wait."