OLD plaques dedicated to matrons, doctors and staff at the former Prudhoe Hospital have been uncovered.

When the old hospital was closed down, the brass plaques dedicated to its staff were removed and stored away.

They had been held in storage at Ferndene, which opened in 2011 and sits on the old hospital site and provides assessment and treatment unit for young people who have complex health, behavioural, emotional needs or a learning disability.

But now they have been recovered and loaned to the Prudhoe and District Local History Society, which is planning to put them on display to the public.

One of the plaques which was found was one dedicated to Able Seaman William Ruddick, who died while on active service in December 1941.

Prior to its recovery, Len Franchetti of the history society had been searching for it as part of his work to update the war records for servicemen from Prudhoe and the surrounding area who lost their lives in the first and second world wars.

Now, thanks to the plaque being relocated, the War Commission will be informed about the discovery of Able Seaman Ruddick’s plaque.

Yvonne Ritchie, chairwoman of the Prudhoe and District Local History Society, said: “The Prudhoe History Society is thrilled that after many years of searching the plaques have come to light.

“They will be on hire from Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and we will be hoping to put them on display for the public to view.”

Bridget Lawson, activity co-ordinator at Ferndene, officially handed over the plaques to Len and Yvonne.

She said: “It’s lovely to know that some pieces of local history are now able to be shared with the public.”