A SPRING clean revealed a hidden treasure that had been wrapped in a copy of The Northern Echo in a chimney for more than 30 years.

Lucie McGuinness, 77, from Warwick Road, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, was cleaning the unused chimney in an upstairs bedroom when an old photograph and newspaper dated 1969 fell from their hiding place.

The picture shows a girl in a white blouse and long dark hair in ringlets.

She said: "It is a beautiful picture and I wonder who it belongs to. I have lived in this house for 30 years, and the people before me never had children."

Mrs McGuiness hopes to reunite the photograph with the girl or the family.

She said: "It must have been up there for years, and the wind or birds must have pushed it down. I think somewhere there must be a relative thinking: 'I wish I had a photograph of her'."

Whoever hid the picture paid just 5d for the copy of The Northern Echo on Saturday, October 18.

Some of the stories included pit strikers getting a pay offer of 27s 6d, Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs's wife, Charmaine, being arrested, and firefighters extinguishing a blaze at the North Road railway workshops in Darlington.

Anyone who recognises the girl in the picture should contact reporter Helen Miller (01388) 660665.