Author Archives: McEff

About McEff

Alen McFadzean. Journalist. Recently made redundant from The Northern Echo when my job was transferred to Wales to be done by people on lower wages. Former shipyard electrician. Former quarryman and tunneller. Climb mountains and run long distances to make life harder. Gravitate to the left in politics just to make life harder still.

Restless at North Gare

I’VE been drawn to the sea because it’s the time of year when things migrate. The seasons change and life adapts. Birds fly south and animals hoard food for winter. People tune into their primeval instincts and gather stuff for … Continue reading

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Posted in Environment, History, Industrial archaeology, Life, Rivers, South Gare, Teesside | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

A Cook’s Tour of the Cleveland Hills

CAPTAIN James Cook is one of Britain’s most celebrated maritime heroes. Born to lowly farming folk in the Teesside village of Marton, his destiny lay not in farming – or shopkeeping, to which he was briefly apprenticed – but as … Continue reading

Posted in Camping, Captain James Cook, Cleveland Way, Climbing, Death, Footpaths, Hiking, History, Mountains, Railway goods wagons, Railways, Teesside, Vikings, Walking, Weather | Tagged , , , , | 30 Comments

South Gare in the Eye of the Beholder

SOMETIMES ugly landscapes can be inspiring. I was going to say beautiful, but I hesitated and typed inspiring instead. I might reconsider before the end of the post because South Gare is a landscape that should be protected. It’s one … Continue reading

Posted in Childhood, Environment, Food, History, Industrial archaeology, Life, Politics, Ranting, Rivers, Ruins, Second World War, South Gare, Teesside, Traditions, Walking | Tagged , | 30 Comments

High Street and Fusedale – War and Pieces

HIGH Street is a great mountain with a rubbish name. When someone asks where you’re going walking and you say High Street, they glance at your boots and backpack and wonder why you need all that stuff for a trip … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Climbing, Environment, Footpaths, Hiking, History, Iron Age, Mountains, Ruins, The Romans, Vikings, Walking, Weather | Tagged , , , , , | 35 Comments

Great Burney: One Small Step, One Giant Leap

THE time has come to introduce my granddaughter to mountains. This is a milestone that should be tackled delicately. Patience, encouragement and understanding are required. Expectations should be fulfilled, effort rewarded. So off we go to the Lake District on … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Childhood, Climbing, Hiking, Mountains, Stone Circles, Walking | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

Black Gold, Tan Hill Tea

THERE was a loose plan fluttering about this morning like a threadbare flag above a roadside burger bar. But the wind changed and the plan got blown across fields and was last seen snagged on a fence alongside a ragged … Continue reading

Posted in Beer, Environment, Footpaths, Geology, Ghosts, Hiking, History, horse gins, Industrial archaeology, Mountains, Railway goods wagons, Tan Hill Inn, Teesdale, Walking | Tagged , , , , , | 23 Comments

Humber. Southeasterly Four. Moderate or Good. Rain later.

SPURN Head is one of those places everyone has heard of but few can pinpoint on a map. When you’ve got your bearings it’s easy to find – but that could also be said of Kafia Kingi and Amelia Earhart. … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Camping, Environment, Explosives, Footpaths, Geology, Hiking, History, Industrial archaeology, Politics, Railways, Rivers, Ruins, Second World War, Shipping Forecast, South Gare, Teesside, Walking, Weather | Tagged , , | 45 Comments