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.

Days Like This, No 20: Glimpses on Gable

EARLY morning on the South Traverse. The southern crags of Great Gable soak up sunlight. Rocks are warm to the touch beneath their volcanic tuff roughness and crumbly lichen. In the air, the bleat of a distant ewe and the … Continue reading

Posted in Camping, Climbing, Footpaths, Geology, Hiking, Life, Mountains, Napes Needle, Tarns, Walking, Weather | Tagged , , , | 27 Comments

On a Whim to William Gill

WILLIAM GILL is an offshoot of Arkengarthdale in the northern Pennines and is the shallow valley leading to the source of Arkle Beck. It’s a place only the lonely visit because it’s right in the middle of one of those … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Coal mining, English language, Environment, Footpaths, Geology, Hiking, History, horse gins, Industrial archaeology, Mountains, Pennine Way, Rivers, Ruins, Tan Hill Inn, Walking | Tagged , , , | 29 Comments

Days Like This, No 19: Pillar and the Rock

HOT sun on the back of the legs. Dust inside socks. Warm breeze drifting from the Irish Sea and stirring dry grasses. The magnificence of Pillar rising from the green of Mosedale into a flawless sky. Days like this were … Continue reading

Posted in Camping, Climbing, Footpaths, Hiking, Mountains, Music, Poetry, Tarns, Walking, Weather, William Wordsworth | Tagged , , , , | 35 Comments

Gibbet Hill and Carlin Gill – That’s Entertainment

GIBBET Hill has history. Little more than a slope in the Tebay Gorge – which separates the Howgill Fells from the Lake District – it was the site where, in 1684, local villain William Smurthwaite’s body was left to rot … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Climbing, Death, Environment, Footpaths, Hiking, History, Legends, Mountains, Rivers, Running, The Romans, Walking | Tagged , , , , , | 29 Comments

Days Like This, No 18: A Dip in Goat’s Water

WE British are collectors of junk and tickers of lists. Men in particular, if left unmolested, will amass sheds full of lawnmower parts, used spark-plugs, obsolete tools and jars of reclaimed nuts and bolts just in case the unforeseen occurs … Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Hiking, Industrial archaeology, Mountains, Scotch pies, Tarns, Walking, Waterwheels, Weather | Tagged , , , , , | 40 Comments

Days Like This, No 17: Sleeping Giants of Assynt

CONIVAL and Ben More Assynt are mountains with majesty. I read an article a long time ago about these northern giants glimpsed in the rays of the setting sun, and the quartzite stones on their summits glowing golden in the … Continue reading

Posted in Beer, Camping, Climbing, Environment, Fish and chips, Food, Hiking, Mountains, Walking, Weather | Tagged , , , , | 42 Comments

A Fosdyke Saga

HERE’S an interesting fact. Fosdyke Wash, which is a beach at the mouth of the River Welland, in Lincolnshire, is the nearest strip of coast to the most inland point of Great Britain. In other words, there is a place … Continue reading

Posted in Camping, Drove roads, Environment, Footpaths, Hiking, Rivers, The Romans, Walking, Weather | Tagged , | 28 Comments