CRICKLADE turned red yesterday to promote its new defibrillator and raise awareness of serious heart conditions.

Businesses and residents donned red clothing as part of British Heart Foundation’s national day of action Ramp up the Red, and created some bright displays, to raise funds towards vital medical research.

The event was also the occasion for the town to thank the trio who donated the life-saving £2,000 defibrillator: osteopath Jolyon Livingston, dentist Dennis Pearce and optometrist Andrew Rhys Evans.

Town clerk Charlotte Rogers-Jones said the celebration was the ideal way to both bring the spotlight on the risk of heart disease and a bit of fun to show gratitude to the three health practitioners.

“It went brilliantly and the dentist, osteopath and optometrist were delighted with the town’s response.

“The businesses in Cricklade held cake sales to raise funds and wore red.

“People really embraced the day.”

The defibrillator, which was installed four months ago outside Cricklade Dental Practice on the High Street, is designed to deliver an electric current through the chest, which shocks the heart back into a normal rhythm.

After a sudden cardiac arrest, the chances of survival decrease by 23 per cent every minute. Survival rates are five per cent with CPR alone and 50 per cent with defibrillation.