SHIPLEY town centre came to a standstill on Valentine's Day when dozens of young musicians suddenly appeared with musical instruments to serenade passers-by with romantic tunes.

As well as warming the hearts of shoppers, the flash mob had an important message - it was to raise awareness of a campaign to reduce heart disease in the Bradford district.

As the clock struck noon on the most romantic of days, 40 musicians from the Bradford Youth Orchestra, aged between nine and 19, appeared from all directions with a variety of instruments. Forming a heart shape, they then performed orchestral versions of Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus, father of Miley, and the theme from Heartbeat, before once again dispersing.

The event had been arranged by the Bradford District Clinical Commissioning Group as part of its Bradford Healthy Hearts campaign. Those who gathered to watch the impromptu concert were handed information about the campaign, which involves all 41 GP practices in the district, as well as hospital consultants, nurses and pharmacies. It has been running for four months, but on Saturday entered its second phase where there will be more widespread information about heart conditions passed on to the public.

As the orchestra, run by Bradford Council, played, people of all ages stopped their daily routine to enjoy the unexpected moment.

The aim of the campaign is to reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks in people who are in risk groups, and this means encouraging people to stop heavy drinking, smoking and helping people deal with their weight.

It is particularly important in Bradford, as the area has the lowest healthy life expectancy in England, with early deaths from coronary disease among the worst in the country.

Dr Chris Harros, from the Ridge Medical Centre, was at the event, and said: "We wanted to reach as many people as possible with our message. We are trying to get people to do a little bit more to help themselves. We're doing a lot of work in the practices, so people are going to be hearing more about this project now."

Sue Jones, head of communications for the CCG, said: "We thought this would attract people's attention and the young people wanted to join up with us to pass on this message."

Michael Jameson, Bradford Council’s Strategic Director for Children’s Services, said: “We are delighted to be doing our bit to support this very worthy campaign. The Youth Orchestra musicians love performing in public. This will be their first flash mob and they were all very excited and keen to do it when the idea was suggested."