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.

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

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Posted in Cleveland Way, Climbing, Footpaths, Great North Road, Hiking, Jargon, Life, Mountains, Ranting, Redundancy, Ruins, Teesdale, Unemployment, Walking | Tagged , , , , , | 17 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

Days Like This, No 10: Peaking on the Three Peaks

WHEN you walk 24 miles (39km) in one day the soles of your feet sting and your socks feel like Brillo pads. Your legs don’t bend easily at the knees, your body aches all over, and your skin feels tight … Continue reading

Posted in Camping, Climbing, Environment, Footpaths, Hiking, Mountains, Pennine Way, Walking, Weather | Tagged , | 20 Comments

Black Combe – On the Edge of a Circle

LIFE flows in curves that turn into circles. Even things that should be permanent are part of a cycle. Today I’m walking along the shores of the Duddon estuary with a dog and a granddaughter. I’ve been here before in … Continue reading

Posted in Childhood, Climbing, Environment, Geology, Hiking, History, Industrial archaeology, Life, Mountains, Rivers, Walking | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments

Days Like These, No 9: Clearing the Mind on the Cluanie Ridge

THERE are mornings I wake up with a head full of heaviness and pull the flysheet back to reveal an outside world full of more heaviness. Today is one of those mornings. Fog fills Strath Croe. Trees drip drumbeats of … Continue reading

Posted in Camping, Climbing, Drove roads, Environment, Hiking, Mountains, Walking, Weather | Tagged , , , | 25 Comments

What Does Adventure Mean to You?

DO you work in a factory, an office, a shop, or drive a company van? Are you a member of parliament, unemployed, a doctor, a refuse collector, a teacher or the chief executive officer of a multi-national corporation? Maybe you … Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Environment, Hiking, Mountains, Mourne Wall, Walking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Lindisfarne – A Pilgrim’s Progress

THERE are not many walks in Britain best undertaken barefoot – but crossing the two-and-a-half miles of mudflats to the island of Lindisfarne is one of them. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and today I have the chance. … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Environment, Footpaths, Hiking, History, Legends, Life, Religion, Ruins, Shipping Forecast, Vikings, Walking, Weather, York | Tagged , , , | 47 Comments

Days Like This, No 8: The Five Sisters of Kintail

I HITCH a ride from Shiel Bridge along Glen Shiel. I used to do a lot of hitching but times and attitudes change. People are more wary of strangers these days. Everyone is less communicative. But what the heck. The … Continue reading

Posted in Beer, Camping, Climbing, Environment, Hiking, Mountains, Walking, Weather | Tagged , , , | 25 Comments

Cross Fell – Fiends, Rivers, Paths and Poets

A walk up Cross Fell and down the Tees and Tyne . . . Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Environment, Footpaths, Ghosts, Hiking, History, Legends, Life, Mountains, Pennine Way, Poetry, Railway goods wagons, Railways, Religion, Rivers, Teesdale, Teesside, Tyneside, Walking | Tagged , , , , , | 24 Comments

Old Roads, a Fallen Lady, St Jude and Thoughts for the Day

A walk through the lead mines of the North Pennines . . . Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Death, Environment, Footpaths, Hiking, History, Industrial archaeology, Life, Mountains, Religion, Rivers, Ruins, Teesdale, Teesside, Walking, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Scaud Hill and Beyond – At My Leisure

An angry walk between Teesdale and Weardale . . . Continue reading

Posted in Caving, Childhood, Environment, Hiking, History, horse gins, Industrial archaeology, Life, Mountains, Newsquest, Northern Echo, Politics, Ranting, Redundancy, Ruins, Second World War, Unemployment, Walking | Tagged , , , | 39 Comments