It was once the preferred way to get news in and out of the village.

Now an iconic red BT phone box has been resurrected for an equally vital use.

Community chiefs in Upper Denby have converted their redundant booth into a life-saving defibrillator station.

Where a telephone once sat, the classic red phone box now hosts a device to restart a heart.

Villagers are being trained how to use the defibrillator, which provides an electric shock to the heart of people who have suffered a cardiac arrest.

A telephone alert scheme to signify someone needs help is also being launched.

The defibrillator was the brainchild of Ken Bellamy, chairman of the Denby Village Conservation Group.

An iconic BT phone box in Upper Denby has been transformed into a defibrillator station

Ken said the phone box had been saved following a campaign by the village’s oldest resident Win Wheable-Archer, 96.

“They were going to take it away as BT have taken the phone out,” he said.

“It was in a state of disrepair and every pane of glass was broken.

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“BT offered it to the parish council who didn’t want it.

“Mrs Wheable-Archer campaigned to have it retained and it was done up last year.

“I had the idea to put a defibrillator in it and we have worked with the charity Community Heartbeat to put it together.”

The group has raised more than £2,000 towards the scheme through grants from the Denby Dale Lions, Denby Dale Parish Council and donations from the public.

It has also charged for advertising on the windows of the historic phone box at the junction of Denby Lane and Gunthwaite Lane.

“A team of villagers are being trained up on how to use it,” added Ken.

An iconic BT phone box in Upper Denby has been transformed into a defibrillator station. Chairman of Denby Conservation Group, Ken Bellamy, (right) with George Parsission

“But really anyone can do, there’s a video on it that shows you what you do.

“You can’t go wrong.”

The life-saving device has not had its debut yet but Ken said all locals should be aware of its availability.

“We are a long way from hospitals here. Ambulances would have to come from Barnsley or Hudddersfield, so it’s a fair way.

“The defibrillator can give someone the chance for treatment in the vital first ten minutes.

“It can make a difference between death and survival – and the quality of survival.”