Daughters of missing Essex 82-year-old Gordon Wilson put up Christmas tree outside his home

Lesley Rankin with the tree outside her dad's home in Leaden Roding

Lesley Rankin with the tree outside her dad's home in Leaden Roding - Credit: Archant

The daughters of missing 82-year-old Gordon Wilson have decorated a tree outside his home in Leaden Roding as a “gesture of hope” that their dad will come home in time for Christmas.

Lesley Rankin, 54, and Gillian Wilson, 49, put up the tree outside Mr Wilson’s house in the Essex village with the help of his grandchildren - Scott, 23, Kirsty, 22, and Mhairi, 17.

Mr Wilson, who suffers from vascular dementia, was last seen on Sunday, October 25 by neighbours at his home at around 11am.

His bus pass was confirmed as being used to board the 352 First Bus service to Halstead at 12.30pm the same day, and police believe a man fitting his description was seen in Sible Hedingham between 2pm-4pm that afternoon.

Mrs Rankin said: “It’s very upsetting, and we’re getting desperate really. The tree is a psychological gesture of hope more than anything but we haven’t given up. We’re still waiting for him to come home.

“It’s very difficult, particularly at this time of year when we would normally be doing lots of Christmas things together. He obviously hasn’t been well in recent years, but we still all looked forward to getting together. My children have found it very tough not having their grandad around.”

Mrs Rankin said there has been no new information regarding his whereabouts since the possible sighting at Sible Hedingham.

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She said: “The police have been very thorough with all their searches and analysis, and they now think he could have walked further as he was walking at a fair speed. I just keep thinking that someone must have seen something, and the continued appeals will perhaps jog someone’s memory.”

Mr Wilson, who lived in Glasgow for 71 years before moving to Essex 11 and a half years ago, is a former headteacher at Shawlands Academy in the Scottish city and former pupils have been sharing his appeal on social media.

Mr Wilson speaks with a scottish accent and is described as 5ft 11 in tall and of medium build with grey thinning hair.

He wears glasses and was last seen wearing a sports jacket, which is either checked or navy. He usually wears a short, tie and jumper.

Anyone with any information regarding Mr Wilson is asked to call police urgenty on 101.