A MILLPORT band is celebrating a special birthday after 20 years raising thousands of pounds for good causes.

The Grumpy Old Pipers have been running in the community for two decades and can often be seen performing next to the war memorial around lunchtime during the summer months.

The old pals’ act say playing keeps them young, with the money handed to them by passersby and for bookings all donated to charity. Member Kenny Hill said: “We have been running for nearly two decades and the time has flown by.

“I’m not quite sure where our name came from though as we are not that grumpy! “The idea is to enjoy performing and give the money we make to local causes. We’ve donated to everything from cancer charities to local groups such as the Boys’ Brigade and the Girl Guides.”

When asked what people want to hear, Kenny said an old favourite always seem to be top of the charts. He added: “The most requested tune seem to always be Scotland the Brave - it’s a real favourite among the crowds.”

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Shine on! Millport Grumpy Pipers have been a great successShine on! Millport Grumpy Pipers have been a great success

As well as Kenny, the group’s members include 87-year-old Ken Kennedy, who says piping ‘keeps him young’.

Other members include Colin Forsyth who is the youngest at 43, Bill Duncan, 72, Eric Smith, 80, and Spencer Veitch, who is 70.

The chairman of the group is Jack Higgins, 70.

Eric added: “We play every week in the indoors in the winter months and then perform outdoors in the summer. “Most of us live here and the others have a strong connection to the island.” The pipers’ latest gig was the Cumbrae Queen and Classic Car Rally last month. Kenny added: “It was great seeing the crowds back and we got a great reception.” Former island News correspondent Mary Currie is one of the gents’ biggest fans. She added: “They are so good and they raise loads of money for local causes.”

To find out about learning the pipes with the group, head to the Royal British Legion offices at 1pm every Wednesday