A BAND of talented musicians have been bringing joy to a local elderly group with their weekly performances.

The Yoker Minstrels gather together at Yoker Resource Centre (YRC) every Friday between 12.30pm and 1.30pm to play to the hub's attendees.

The band is made up of around 15 individual musicians from all over Glasgow and has been taking part in these sessions for around ten weeks now.

Billy MaCaulay, one of the Minstrels’ original members, revealed how the idea came about.

The 81-year-old said: “The band started at the end of Covid. I realised I’d gone two years without playing music with others so I reckoned there would be a lot of people who felt the same way.

“I went to the Heart of Scotstoun Community Centre first to put it to them what I wanted to do.

"I wanted to invite people to come and play music together and the response was very good.

“The Scotstoun thing worked out well and it really grew. It is still going strong two years later.

"I’ve got an empty diary as I’m retired and have plenty of time on my hands so I came in here and spoke to Kirsty (a member of staff at YRC) and told her what I did in Scotstoun, could I do it here as well?

“She was delighted. So I went and told all these guys (the Minstrels) what the plan was and they couldn’t wait to join in.”

Billy went on to explain that every time he turns up at the Kelso Place hub on a Friday afternoon he comes with a different band due to “age and other commitments”.

However, this has no impact on the what band plays as they choose from a variety of tunes that everyone is familiar with including those in the audience.

The Yoker resident told the Post that music is a “good tonic” for the soul and it is an honour for the group to be able to bring a little light into people’s days.

Billy added: “If we can lighten the load for the people here [at YRC] for an hour a week then we are honoured to do it.

“I’ve found when we are playing songs there is a number of them who are singing along because they know the song and they haven’t had the opportunity recently to do that.

“You can see the emotion in their faces getting the chance to sing songs they love. It’s just great, music is a good tonic for the soul.”

The musical sessions are the first time that YRC’s elderly group has been mixed with other members of the public.

Not only have the musicians and the audience bonded over music but it turns out that some of them even knew each other from their childhoods.

Billy added: “One of the ladies asked if I was a local man and I said I grew up in Maryhill and she said ‘So did I’.

“It turned out we went to the same school. We knew all the same teachers and pals. We both went through each other’s school photographs, it was lovely.”

Kirsty Gibbons, one of two full-time members of staff at YRC, praised the Yoker Minstrels for giving up their time to help “bring the community together”.

She said: “It has been an amazing community bonding experience. This is the first time that we’ve blended the community with our elderly group and it has worked out great.

“Everybody knows music whether you’re a musical person or not it just sends something to your soul.

“It’s also a very safe way to gather together without having to communicate if communication is hard.

“Some of our attendees can find it difficult to hold conversations especially if someone is a stranger but music is something that everybody can tap along to whether you’re on beat or not it doesn’t matter as it’s a universal thing that everyone understands.

“We’re really keen to keep this going and we couldn’t be any more grateful for our volunteers that play.

“The amount of skill in the room is generations worth, they don’t stop playing they just keep going for 45 minutes it’s unbelievable.”