MEMBERS of a Basingstoke charity are hoping to find the rightful owner of a commemorative block found in a dusty room.

Staff at Age Concern Hampshire’s Basingstoke office, at The Orchard, in White Hart Lane, were clearing out their storage facility in Basingstoke when they came across a cabinet covered in dust.

Beverley Jones, area manager, said: “In one of the drawers, I found a wooden gavel – it’s very large. I would say it’s been hand carved by someone, and it has this plaque on it that says in memory of Tom Pritchard.”

The commemorative gavel, which carries a commemorative engraved plate and is accompanied by a block, honours the life of Mr Pritchard, who was the first secretary of the charity from 1962 to 1975, when it was known as Older Peoples Welfare.

However, no one at Age Concern Hampshire remembers Mr Pritchard, and they have now contacted The Gazette for help in locating his family so the plaque can be returned.

Mrs Jones said: “We are hoping to hear from Tom Pritchard’s family so we can return this very special memento to them.

“Tom gave dedicated service to the charity for many years, and it would be lovely to formally present his thank-you gift once again.”

She added: “There might be someone to whom this would mean a lot. It was obviously hand-made by someone and I don’t know why it came back to us. It might be that he hasn’t got any family in Basingstoke, but it seems a shame for it to be hidden away.

“We will keep hold of it if no one comes forward, but it would be good if it could be returned to its rightful owner.”

Anyone with information about the commemorative gavel can contact Age Concern Hampshire’s Basingstoke office on 01256 423874.