A NEW floral tribute has been unveiled at a Prudhoe cemetery dedicated to those buried there without a headstone.

October 28 marked the 150th anniversary of the first burial at St Mary Magdalene Cemetery on West Road.

John Aldcroft Little was the first person to be laid to rest at the site - but he never received a headstone.

As a result, a team of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to restore the graveyard have built a memorial cairn for the souls who have no headstone to mark their final resting place.

The flowers were all provided by volunteer workers.

The team has transformed the once derelict and abandoned site into a pleasant green space accessible to relatives wishing to visit their family graves, as well as the wider community.

The project took four years to complete - headstones which were laid down for safety reasons when the cemetery began to fall into disrepair were lifted back into their rightful places, and footpaths were re-instated and resurfaced.

The area was described as "a jungle" at the start of the project by one volunteer

It was the town’s main burial site, along with the Catholic Cemetery on Moor Road which opened in 1885, throughout the late Victorian period.

After the new Prudhoe cemetery opened at Edgewell in 1903, only those who had already bought plots or had pre-existing family graves there were buried in the old cemetery.

Around 3,000 people are buried in the graveyard, although only 500 to 600 of these are named on a headstone. 1,500 of those buried there were children under the age of 16.

The anniversary was marked on October 18 with a service led by the Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Rev. Christine Hardman.

She thanked the volunteers for their hard work and dedication, and remarked how impressed she was with the transformation they had achieved.

The team of volunteers, backed by Prudhoe Local History Society, was supported financially by the County Durham Community Foundation and Prudhoe Town Council.

Northumberland County Council provided a team of workers from its Groundwork department to help clear the site, while Third Regiment Royal Horse Artillery - based at Albemale barracks - and Essity provided teams of workers to help with heavier work earlier in the project.