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My Uncle is Missing in Scotland

Update: my uncle was found on Sunday, but sadly not alive –

I realise that might sounds a bit like a joke title, but it really isn’t. I feel fucking horrible. I can hardly keep breathing properly. I discovered recently that I’m not particularly good at breathing anyway… apparently you’re supposed to keep doing it, but I’ve found that I hold my breath almost all the time. It’s an excellent way of increasing tension in the upper body and shoulders. That’s a good thing, right? Ah. Well, that would explain the chest pains and day long headaches then.


Why so tense? It’s not me, it’s my uncle. He’s missing. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a missing family member; I think this is my first. Just under two weeks ago he went hill walking in the West Highlands of Scotland, from near Fort William. It’s basically wilderness up there, and huge and empty. We haven’t seen or heard anything of him since a nice landscape shot on 22nd September on Tinto Hill. Him not being in touch isn’t unusual. Colin’s a private guy and has long travelled alone, all around the world. We’ve got postcodes from Australia, the Middle East, even the actual Timbuctoo. But  he hasn’t come back from Scotland.

He’s almost always at our improv comedy shows at The Glee Club in Nottingham on the last Friday of the month (the 27th in this case) but he was a no show. My friend Rupes left a message on his Facebook wall asking if he was coming, since he’d bought a ticket, but didn’t hear anything. Not surprising, Colin’s an occasional Facebook user at most. I’d planned to send him a message after the show, but my phone had worn itself out and the weekend wiped the thought from my mind. He probably wouldn’t have replied anyway – I reckon I get about one reply in every three text messages! Plus I’d vaguely remembered he was on holiday and might not be back, so it didn’t really seem significant.

It was only the following Wednesday when I got a call from my Mum to ask if he’d been there on Friday that it took an awful cold breath inside me. He hadn’t turned up for work (exceptionally strange) and his employers at Rolls-Royce had become concerned and contacted his sister. It all rather snowballed from there – my brother in law confirmed that Colin’s car isn’t in his drive in Derby. Now Mum’s in Scotland and mountain rescue are out with dogs and police to try and find his car.
Lots of friends and family, and friends of Colin have been in touch to either share a picture and information out into the extended social network in hopes that someone, somewhere remembers seeing him. There’s an item up on the BBC website now, and I really don’t know how I feel about that. Is it a good thing when a missing person has to be shared at that level?

Hopefully it means more people will see it and someone will have seen Colin.

Missing Derby man Colin Barnfather may be in Highlands

Colin Barnfather had planned to go walking in the Kinloch Hourn area

Police have appealed for help to trace a missing man from Derby who is thought to have gone missing while walking in the West Highlands.

It is believed Colin Barnfather, 54, travelled to Lochaber in late September with the intention of going hillwalking and camping.

It is thought he planned to walk the Kinloch Hourn area.

Mr Barnfather is 5ft 8in tall, of medium build, with short, grey hair. He had a green, single person tent.
He is thought to have been wearing outdoor clothing and drives a blue Honda car.

Police are particularly keen to hear from anyone recently walking in the area who may have seen or spoken to Mr Barnfather, or seen his car in an area favoured by hillwalkers.

It’s not a great picture of him, but that seems strangely traditional for news media. He’s an incredibly competent and resourceful person, hardy, well-organised and vastly fitter than most people half his age.

He’s the only uncle I’ve got and I’d rather like him back. There’s very little I can do except fret and watch the phone in hopes of it beaming in good news. We haven’t had much of that yet, but they do say no news is good news. That sounds like one of those platitudes I particularly despise but it seems to encapsulate the helpless flailing quite well.

Please do share the news article and picture, especially if you know people in the area, or who might have been there recently. Much appreciated.

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0 thoughts on “My Uncle is Missing in Scotland

  1. So, so sorry to hear this news Colin was a wonderfully generous man and will be sadly missed Sarah Pitt and Graham Haxton (La Fitness buddies)

  2. I met him regularly at the gym classes (spin and body pump) and he was always so happy! Never saw him without a smile! We’ll miss him, the body pump class was tough the other day when it was announced, especially with his photo on the wall. A body pump station was set up in memory of him. My condolences to you and the family! Such sad news!!

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