Today marks exactly two years since a pensioner who was last seen in a north Northumberland village went missing.
Alexander Nicol, 74, was reported missing on Friday, January 25, 2013, after he failed to return to his home in Pilgrim Court in Jesmond, Newcastle. A missing-person investigation was launched and extensive inquiries have since been carried out to locate him, including a renewed appeal this time last year.
As a result of CCTV inquiries, it was established that he had caught the 10.14am X18 bus from the Regent Centre in Gosforth, going to Berwick. He got off the bus at a stop in Alnmouth around 11.45am.
The last confirmed sighting of Mr Nicol was on CCTV – he was seen walking towards the train station in Alnmouth just after 4pm on Friday, January 25. A man fitting his description was seen walking west on the B1338, near Hipsburn towards the bridge over the River Aln at around 4.25pm on the same day. However, inquiries were not able to confirm whether or not the man was Mr Nicol.
Search teams have carried out searches for Mr Nicol, utilising specialist resources to comb areas in Gosforth and Alnmouth. House-to-house inquiries were carried out and hours of CCTV viewed. Posters were displayed appealing for information about his whereabouts and appeals made to members of the public through the media.
Alexander Nicol was described as small, bald and very fit for his age. He was always immaculately dressed and was wearing dark trousers, a grey woollen tank top, a blue shirt and three-quarter-length Mac-style jacket, black shoes, which are expected to be highly polished, and possibly a tweed cap when last seen. He was not believed to be in ill health or have any medical conditions when he was last seen.
Mr Nicol frequently visited libraries and churches, including Brunswick Methodist Church in Newcastle, and was believed to be in the process of tracing his family history. He also frequently visited Tynemouth.