A YORK dad is trying to trace the family of a couple whose gravestone he found when clearing out his garden.

Norris Wheatland, was shocked to discover the joint headstone of husband and wife John and Alice Toase after cutting back the undergrowth at his home in Alcuin Avenue, Tang Hall.

"We are tidying our garden up for the summer," said Mr Wheatland, who lives with his partner Chantelle Wilson and their four children.

"It was just lying upside down and looked like a paving stone.

"I turned it over and saw it was a gravestone

"It is a bit of a bizarre one.

"I was brought up on this street, but I have never heard of that surname."

The gravestone states that Alice died on September 8, 1957 aged 77, and John passed away on March 3, 1965 aged 86.

Mr Wheatland, who runs Norris Construction & Plastering and has lived in the house for six years, shared a photo of the headstone on Facebook.

He wrote: "Right then guys! Who knows this surname or these people?

"Please share this far and wide and help me find the family of these passed folk!"

It remains a mystery how the headstone ended up in the garden, but one of Mr Wheatland's appears to have identified the couple after searching on www.gravestonephotos.com

A John and Alice Toase, who died on the same dates, were buried in the cemetery at St John the Baptist Church, Kirk Hammerton.

Now Mr Wheatland would love to return the headstone to the Toases' surviving relatives.

And he hopes that readers of The Press can help him in his quest.

Mr Wheatland said: "I don't know how it has got here.

"I think the people that lived here before us were there for a long time."

Mr Wheatland would like anyone with information to contact him via The Press on ed.mezzetti@thepress.co.uk or 01904 567145.