Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №9/2007



Особенностью современной системы образования является то, что учащиеся средних школ и высших учебных заведений имеют больше возможностей посмотреть мир, чем их сверстники ещё несколько лет назад. Все чаще ребята едут учиться, путешествовать и работать за рубеж, и в частности в англоговорящие страны. Хорошие условия проживания, обучения и практики языков предоставляются многими лингвистическими школами для зарубежных студентов, но часто наши дети сталкиваются с проблемами не столько языковыми, сколько бытовыми и общекультурными. Незнание обычаев, истории и культурных традиций часто тормозит и совершенствование языковых навыков. Предпочтение в выборе языковой школы нередко отдаётся крупным городам, а это не всегда оправданно, так как в маленьких городах есть своя особая атмосфера, свой микроклимат, делающий пребывание там интересным и полезным.
Предлагаю вниманию учителей и учащихся, совершенствующих свой современный разговорный английский язык заметки о небольшом городке на юге Англии – Гастингсе (East Sussex). Этот текст можно использовать на уроках страноведения и во внеклассной работе по предмету.

Hastings (population about 86,000) is situated on England’s south coast on the English Channel. The borough is a popular summer resort, with sandy beaches and a seaside boulevard. The site was probably occupied in prehistoric times. By the early Middle Ages the town was a flourishing port, and in the 11th century it was enfranchised as one of the Cinque Ports. The duke of Normandy, later William I, king of England, led his invading army ashore in the vicinity of Hastings on September 28, 1066.The subsequent battle, known as the Battle of Hastings, in which William defeated the English king Harold II, occurred inland from the town. After 1377, when it was raided and burned by French, Hastings declined in importance as a seaport. Its development as a resort dates from the late 18th century

History comes alive in Hastings, so it is the ideal base for exploring 1066 Country, with castles and manor houses, medieval towns and pretty villages.

Hastings’ colorful past at every turn.

The seafaring Scandinavian Vikings were merely day trippers, dropping by at Hastingas, as the little fishing village used to be called, for a sport of pillage, looting and rape before sailing back north.

The Romans built a port at Hastings, supported by a huge ironworks in Beauport Park but they eventually went home.

The first long-stay tourists were the Normans. They arrived in 1066 and they still haven’t used the return half of their ticket. They also left some picturesque sights for future generations.

For a hint of life as it was, Hastings Castle ruins, complete with claustrophobic dungeons, was built on the orders of William the Conqueror.

Hastings  Castle

Hastings Castle

A walk along the promenade will reveal the Conqueror’s Stone, a lump of rock on which King William is said to have breakfasted during the invasion.

The contemporary Bayeux Tapestry features the battle and its aftermath: Hastings displayed a copy of it a few years ago, but you can still see the Hastings Embroidery, a unique pictorial history of the town, in the Town Hall.

As England’s seapower grew, so Hastings grew more important. As one of the main Cinque Ports, Hastings had many privileges up to the 16th century, including freedom from taxes, in return for providing warships when the monarch required.

Today only the ceremonial remains – Cinque Ports Mayors have good seats at Coronations! – but the Queen Mother was currently Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, which means Hastings saw more of her than did most towns.

Fishing and the sea are central to Hastings’s history. The Old Town Museum in the High street, the Fishermen’s Museum and the Shipwreck Centre, both at Rock-a-Nore, are all within a couple of minutes walk of one another.

Hastings  Museum

Hastings Museum

Within sight of them is living history. The centuries-old tall, tarred net dryings huts, built upwards to avoid ground rent, still serve the fishing fleet, which you can see winched up on the foreshore, or off to ply their trade in the face of dangerous seas and onerous fishing quotas.

The fishermen’s family nicknames are the same as they were two centuries ago-names like “Bunk” and “Nunkum”, “Pashy” and “Whimmy”, but there’s a huge new fishmarket where they sell their fish now.

In the 17th and 18th century, coastal erosion left Hastings without a decent harbour and without a major role to play, and it degenerated into a small fishing town – and a major smuggling centre.

Brandy, lace hats-whatever was taxed, was smuggled into Hastings. Lord Byron and Charles Lamb both remarked on smuggling as a major local industry.

Many of the old pubs and houses around the Old Town had secret passages and hidey holes. In the bar of The Stag one can see a mummified cat found in one such hiding place from the Revenue Men.

And in St. Clements Caves, under West Hill, said to be used to store contraband, one can see Smugglers Adventure, a lifesize tableau with sound and visuals as well as an historical exhibition.

During World War II, the Caves were used by anti-aircraft gunners and as air raid shelters – Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill’s serving daughter Mary was among their regular users.

There are said to be ghosts in the area, too.

Hastings Castle has the Woman in White, supposed to have committed suicide centuries ago, while neighbouring East Hill has a woman, sometimes with a child, who floats in the air near Ecclesbourne Glen – walking where once there were cliffs, before erosion took its toll.

One can get in the mood to be frightened by using the scarily steep Cliff railways running up the flanks of both East and West Hill.

And Shovells, a 15th century house in All Saints Street which was once a pauper’s home, is said to have a woman in black who stands at the end of guests’ beds.

There’s a guided ghost walk around the Old Town, Hastings Haunts, with a commentary produced by an English language teacher and “spooks” who make appearances to illustrate various stories.

Nearby, seek out The Piece of Cheese, a tiny, wedge-shaped house built as a bet that no house would fit into a tiny gap between existing buildings.

While you’re in the Old Town, look out for the quaint, steep, Tamarisk Steps, leading up from the Stade to houses, built into the cliff.

Author Sheila Kaye-Smith based her novel Tamarisk Town, about a developer despoiling a 19th century seaside town, on Hastings,

The first English socialist novel, Robert Tressell’s angrily militant The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, written at the turn of the century, was also based on Hastings.

Best-selling novelist Catherine Cookson lived much of her working life in Hastings, in Hoads Wood Road, and wrote her early novels here. Between the two world wars, John Logie Baird carried out the first successful experiments with television in Queens arcade.

So there’s plenty to do and to see in history-rich Hastings!

By Tatyana Sereda,
School No. 20, Belgorod