Author Archives: McEff

About McEff

Alen McFadzean. Journalist (recently made redundant from The Northern Echo when my job and the jobs of my colleagues were transferred to Wales to be done by people on lower wages), former shipyard electrician, former quarryman and tunneller. Climbs mountains and runs long distances to make life harder. Gravitates to the left in politics just to make life harder still.

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

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Posted in Archaeology, Climbing, Environment, Footpaths, Hiking, History, Iron Age, Mountains, Ruins, The Romans, Vikings, Walking, Weather | Tagged , , , , , | 8 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

In Between One England and Another

I’M in between mountains at the moment. And I’m in between jobs. I’m in between a lot of stuff. If I wrote a book I’d call it The Inbetweener but I’d probably get sued. Today I’m going for a walk … Continue reading

Posted in Cleveland Way, Climbing, Footpaths, Great North Road, Hiking, Jargon, Life, Mountains, Ranting, Redundancy, Ruins, Teesdale, Unemployment, Walking | Tagged , , , , , | 31 Comments

Green Hurth: Where the Big Wheel Turns

TODAY I have a mission. This is no ordinary walk into the Pennine hills. This is a voyage of discovery to a lonely place where ingenious and industrious men built wondrous machines. And ingenious men they certainly were. The Brunels, … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Environment, Explosives, Geology, Hiking, History, Industrial archaeology, Mountains, Ruins, Teesdale, Teesside, Walking, Waterwheels | Tagged , , , , , | 36 Comments

The Environment is Positively Charged

WHEN you’ve sat for a hundred miles in the passenger seat of an Austin Maxi 1500 listening to Tony Blackburn on Radio 1 there aren’t many things left to keep you occupied – so you stick your instamatic camera out … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Hiking, Industrial archaeology, Life, Mountains, Ranting, Windmills | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments