A UNIQUE pensioners' social club in North Glasgow has been running for over three years.

The Milton Rattlers, humorously named after the sound the pills in their pockets make as they walk, have been organising events for local seniors.

Starting out as six people, with a total age of 464, spending time together, the group now has more than 30 members.

Their ages range from 76 to over 90-years-old.

Glasgow Times: The Milton Rattlers club is based in North GlasgowThe Milton Rattlers club is based in North Glasgow

Glasgow Times: They get together every week at Castlebay Tenants HallThey get together every week at Castlebay Tenants Hall

Glasgow Times: They have been meeting for over three yearsThey have been meeting for over three years

With the aim to combat loneliness and create friendships by encouraging pensioners to take part in activities, they get together three times a week. 

Founder and Chairman of the club Raymond Hunter said: “Usually, they just sit in the house and do nothing, when they could come out and talk to people.

"It has brought the old people out the house, they come down, on a Monday morning they get a cup of tea, cakes and a wee blether.

"On a Wednesday, we again give them tea and biscuits and a game of silly bingo for maybe a wee bottle of handwash or bleach.

"Friday morning we do a free breakfast for anybody in Milton to drop in. We are looking for people who can't afford it, anybody is welcome."

Along with supporting their own members, the club puts emphasis on engaging with and helping the locals.

Mr Hunter, who is 87-year-old, said: "I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t for the community around us and the pensioners.

“We get a lot of feedback, I also have a group on Facebook that’s called the Milton Rattlers. We started off as a wee club and now, we have more than 400 people liking it.

“We’re doing no bad for a wee club.”

Glasgow Times: Members eat cake, have tea and chat about lifeMembers eat cake, have tea and chat about life

Glasgow Times: The club also organises holiday events and celebrationsThe club also organises holiday events and celebrations

Glasgow Times: Councillor Robert Mooney and Baillie Jacqueline McLaren often visitCouncillor Robert Mooney and Baillie Jacqueline McLaren often visit

Alongside their weekly activities, they also host events centered around holidays and celebrations, such as Easter, the Queen's upcoming Jubilee and Christmas.

These get-togethers have a huge impact on a part of society that is largely overlooked.

Mr Hunter added: “A lot of people don’t realise, for example as Easter is coming up and they do a lot of things for the kids, that pensioners love a wee gift too, like an Easter egg.

“We have just over a hundred eggs to give out.

“A lot of the supermarkets are very helpful, they are very good to us and will maybe give us some things, like Easter eggs.

“But some of them say, ‘oh, sorry, you have to be a charity’, which we are not, but we are a registered club."

The Milton Rattlers have made a difference in the community in many ways but they specifically cherish a few interactions. 

As the pandemic has started, they actively took part in the community response to make sure the most vulnerable are cared for.

They collected and distributed food parcels to people who were self-isolating.

Since things have gotten slightly back to normal, they have been focusing on reaching out to older people in the area.

Mr Hunter said: “Last year we went to the door of this old pensioner and said ‘we have a nice Easter egg for you’ and she broke down crying because nobody has been to her door for ages, during the pandemic.

“She was over the moon.

“We are not a wee group, we are only a wee group, but they all enjoy what we do and we enjoy going out and getting the things that we need.

“We had 52 people at our Christmas lunch last year and we had a big food basket made up and there was a raffle.

“This old lady at over 90 years of age won the raffle and she said ‘ I have never won anything in my life’ and she was delighted."

Other than being well-known in North Glasgow, the club is also often visited and supported by local politicians.

Councillors Robert Mooney and Jacqueline McLaren often stop by to visit.

Baillie McLaren even took part in the creation of the club in March 2019.

Mr Hunter said: "One day at a meeting, she said 'why don't you start a wee club for the pensioners?' and then we sat there thinking about a name and she was the one who came up with it."