Розмовні теми частина 1 - Т. М. Гужва 2003

Cities (London, Washington, Kyiv, Moscow)
Texts

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Text 16-1

A Visit to London

On arrival in a large town you may want to leave your heavy luggage in the station until you have found a hotel or other place to stay in. In this case you will look for the «Cloak-room »or «Left Luggage Office». This may have two parts, one with a counter under the notice «deposits,» and the other with a counter under the notice «Withdrawals». The first counter is that where things are left and the second counter is that from which luggage is claimed and taken away.

You will also see the notice "Booking Office». This is where you buy your tickets. In a large station there will be windows marked «First Class» and «Third Class». The windows may be marked with letters, for example A-К, L-R, and S-Z. If you want a ticket to Edinburgh, you will go to the window under A-К, if to Manchester, the window under L-R.

If you go to a theatre, however, you will buy your tickets not at the «Booking Office»but at the «Box Office».

London is so large that visitors must learn to use buses and the Underground to get about. Taxis are far too expensive for any but the very rich. You can get a map of the Underground railways and the bus routes at any ticket office.

«London Transport," which you will see on the sides of the buses, is the name of the largest system of passenger transport in the world. It covers an area of about 2,000 square miles, about 25 miles in all directions from Charing Cross, the centre of London. Passengers are carried by underground trains, surface trains, buses, and motor-coaches.

The word «Underground," across a large circle, shows you where the stations are. Tickets can be bought at the booking offices, but for short journeys they cost a few pence, tickets can be obtained from automatic machines. Coins — pennies, a sixpence, or a shilling — are put into a slot. The machine will even give you change from a sixpence or a shilling. If, for example, you want a fourpenny ticket, you can put a sixpence or a shilling into the slot and get your ticket, with either two pennies, or a sixpence and two pennies change.

At most Underground stations in the busy parts of London there are moving staircases, or escalators, to take you down to the platforms. At some stations there are lifts, and you will see the notice «To the lifts». Here you will see the notice «Stand clear of the gates». This warns you not to stand near the gates as they are opened or closed.

The system of Underground railways is a complicated one, and you may have to change trains. At stations where this is necessary, you will see, if you are going to one of the main line stations from which long-distance trains run, a notice telling you to «Follow the green (or red) light to Waterloo (or Euston or Charing Cross or Victoria) ». If you follow the green (or red) lights in the subway, you will reach the right platform without difficulty.

Bus stops are marked clearly. In the suburbs buses do not stop at all of these unless there are passengers who wish to get on or off. These stops are marked "Request stops». If you wish to board a bus at one of these, stand at the bus stop so that the driver will see you and stop.

Inside some buses you will see the notice: «Please state your destination and have the exact fare ready». It is easy enough to tell the conductor where you want to go to, but not always possible to have the exact fare ready. During the «rush hours» — two hours in the morning and two hours in the late afternoon, when crowds of people are going to and from their work — the conductor has a busy time. He will not mind giving you change from a shilling or a half-crown, perhaps, but will be annoyed if you offer him a ten-shilling or a one- pound note.

At the post office, either on the outside wall or inside the building, you will see openings into which you drop your letters. You will also see red pillar-boxes for the same purpose. In London the openings are often marked «London and abroad and country». Country here means all places in Great Britain except London; it includes large towns such as Glasgow and Manchester.

Inside a large post office you will see, over the long counters, notices telling you what kind of business is done below them: «Postage stamps, parcels, telegrams, pensions, insurance stamps, wireless licences». The post office does a wide variety of business. You must have a licence for you wireless set and for your car. You can pay for this at the post office. Old Age Pensions and Family Allowances, and various sorts of National Insurance benefits are paid out there. The post office is a busy place, and it would be convenient if we could buy stamps at the tobacconist’s or in the newsagent’s shop, as we can in some European countries. This is not possible in England.

In the public parks, and fastened to lamp-posts in the streets, you will see wire baskets. These are marked «For litter". The authorities spend a lot of money on keeping the streets and parks clean. It helps them, and improves the appearance of our streets, paries and open spaces, if people drop their old newspapers, their empty cigarette packets, and other unwanted articles, into these baskets. Londoners are not as tidy as they should be, however. Many of them pay little attention to the notice that is seen above the box on the platform of all buses: «Used tickets».

(from A. S. Hornby)

to obtain — получать • одержувати

slot — щель • щілина

complicated — сложный, запутанный • складний, заплутаний

to change trains — пересаживаться на другой поезд • пересідати на інший потяг

«rush hours» — «часы пик» • «години пік»

licence — лицензия, разрешение на ч.-л. • ліцензія, дозвіл на що-небудь

to pay attention to smth. — обращать внимание на ч.-л. • звертати увагу на що-небудь

Text 16-2

London

When we think of Paris, Rome, Madrid, Lisbon, Athens and other European capitals, we think of them as «cities». When we think of the whole of modem London, that great area covering several hundred square miles, we do not think of it as «a city,» not even as a city and its suburbs. Modern London is not one city that has steadily expanded through the centuries; it is a number of cities, towns and villages that have, during the past centuries, grown together to make one vast urban area.

London today stretches for nearly thirty miles from north to south and for nearly thirty miles from east to west. This is the area known as «Greater London," with a population of nine millions. The «City of London »is a very small part of the whole; it is only one square mile in area, and the number of people who live and sleep in «the City’’ is only about ten thousand.

If you could fly low over London, in a helicopter, for example, you would see below you the winding course of the River Thames, flowing from west to east and dividing London into the two parts known as the north bank and the south bank. The division between «the City» and the «West End," much more important, would be less obvious from this bird’s-eye view.

If, from the air, we can pick out a few landmarks, we shall find it easier to understand how London has grown. Two landmarks stand out clearly: St. Paul’s Cathedral in the City, and, about two miles westwards, the group of buildings near Westminster Bridge, the Palace of Westminster (with the Houses of Parliament) and Westminster Abbey. Linking them we may see, if we are low enough, a main street called the Strand. It was so named because it followed the northern bank (or strand) of the Thames.

These two landmarks are a guide to the growth of London. Round St. Paul’s is the original London, the oldest part, with a history of almost two thousand years. Westminster, with its Palace and Abbey, is six hundred years younger.

When the Romans came to Britain in the first century A.D., London was a small village. Many of the roads built by the Romans met at the point where London Bridge now stands. Parts of the Roman Wall, built in the second century, can still be seen. Today, when deep foundations are dug for new buildings, Roman remains are sometimes found.

The first Norman King, William the Conqueror, was crowned in 1067 in Westminster Abbey, which had been built by Edward the Confessor, one of the last of the Saxon Kings. William built the Tower, still one of the most famous sights of London. For hundreds of years the Tower was used as a prison, and visitors today may see the exact spot where many great nobles were executed. The most popular sight, however, is probably the strongly guarded room in which the Crown Jewels are kept and displayed.

Old St. Paul’s was also built during Norman times. It was burnt down in the Great Fire that destroyed London in 1666. The cathedral that replaced it, the most striking building in the City today, was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the architect who designed so many of the other City churches. Many of these were destroyed or badly damaged by bombing during the World War II. St. Paul’s, though it was hit, escaped the fires that destroyed many of the buildings all round it.

As, during the Middle Ages, London increased in size and wealth, the old City and the area round the Royal Palace at Westminster became the two chief centres. The nobles, bishops, judges, and others who were connected with the Court, lived in or near Westminster. This explains how the part of London that we now call the West End came into being. Tudor monarchs lived in Whitehall, and because Henry VIII was fond of hunting we have, today, three parks that form a continuous stretch of green; St. James’s Park, Green Park, and Hyde Park.

The Court moved to St. James’s in the eighteenth century, and to Buckingham Palace in the nineteenth century. Both of these are in the City of Westminster. Here, and farther west, are the finest theatres, cinemas and concert halls, the large museums, the most luxurious hotels, the largest department stores, and the most famous shops. The name «West End "came to be associated with wealth, luxury, and goods of high quality. Perhaps you have seen, in your own country or in other countries in Europe, cigarettes and other articles with the trade mark «West End,» used because it suggests high quality.

Visitors with plenty of money to spend and who come chiefly for enjoyment are likely to pass most of their time in the West End. Those who come to learn about London’s history will find much to interest them in the City. Here most of the streets are narrow, and traffic is often very slow. Many of these narrow streets run down to the Thames, and at the end of many of them warehouses can be seen. The City is concerned with finance, but it is also a market for goods of almost every kind, from all parts of the world.

The Port of London is to the east of the City. Here, today, are miles and miles of docks, and the great industrial areas that depend upon shipping. This is the East End of London, unattractive in appearance, but very important to the country’s commerce. On the river there are ocean-going ships, and lines of barges pulled along by tugs. Ships up to 6,000 tons can come as far as London Bridge, below which is the part of the river called the Pool. They can pass under Tower Bridge. It takes only five minutes to raise the two halves of the roadway to allow a ship to pass.

If you walk westwards from St. Paul’s, you reach Fleet Street, a name familiar to people in many parts of the world. Here, and in the side streets running from it, the most important newspapers and news- agencies have their offices. If you are told that someone works in Fleet Street, you know that he is a journalist, or is in some way or other connected with journalism. At most hours of the day or night there are hundreds of motor vans leaving the newspaper offices with their heavy loads, some for the railway stations and others off to newsagents throughout London.

The ancient City of London has always governed itself and has not shared in the government of the rest of London. It has never been willing to take responsibility for the great metropolis that has grown up around it. The City has its own Lord Mayor and its own Corporation. Ever since 1215 the Lord Mayor has been chosen annually. He begins his duties on 8 November, and on the following day there is a pageant and procession which is known as the Lord Mayor’s Show.

The London County Council is comparatively young, for it was established only in 1889. Within the boundaries of the County of London there are twenty-eight metropolitan boroughs, each with its own mayor and its own council. It is the London County Council, however, not the separate boroughs, that is responsible for many of the public services. The L. С. C. is responsible for housing, education, and town-planning. It used to be responsible for London’s trams, but trams have now disappeared from the streets. The buses, trolleybuses, and coaches are now the responsibility of London Transport.

Some of the boroughs in the County of London are probably known to few people outside Great Britain. Chelsea is known to many because of the great writers (for example Steele, Smollett, Carlyle) and artists (for example Turner and Whistler) who have lived there. The Royal Borough of Kensington, too, is well known, partly because of the royal palace and Kensington Gardens, and partly because of the large museums within its boundaries. Greenwich is known because Greenwich time, the time for the meridian of Greenwich, is standard time in Britain and some other countries.

Many of these boroughs were, in the past, towns that stood in the country, surrounded by open fields. They still have their own market places and their own High Streets. The people who live in them like to think of themselves not as Londoners but as citizens of Southwark, Battersea, Lambeth or Woolwich.

Greater London, with its nine million population, includes not only the City and the County of London, but the outer suburbs and much land that still looks, here and there, more rural than urban. It has no definite boundaries, like the County of London, but covers an area of about twenty miles radius from Oxford Circus. Because London has grown so large, the Government has decided that it must spread no farther. It is now surrounded by a «green belt,» a belt of agricultural

and wooded land on which new buildings may be put up only with the permission of the planning authorities.

(from A. S. Hornby)

to expand — увеличиваться, растягиваться • збільшуватися, розтягуватися

urban area — территория города • територія міста

helicopter — вертолет • вертоліт, гелікоптер

division — разделение • поділ, розподіл

to be obvious — быть явным, очевидным • бути явним, очевидним

landmark — бросающийся в глаза объект местности; ориентир • об’єкт місцевості, що впадає в очі; орієнтир

remains — остаток, остатки, реликвии • залишки, рештки, реліквії

to be badly damaged — иметь сильные повреждения • мати сильні ушкодження

to escape — исчезать • зникати

unattractive in appearance — непривлекательной внешности • непривабливої зовнішності

to take responsibility for — брать на себя ответственность за • брати на себе відповідальність за

pageant — пышное зрелище, карнавальное шествие • пишне видовище, карнавальний хід

boundary — граница • межа

borough — небольшой город, имеющий самоуправление • невеличке місто, що має самоврядування

to disappear — исчезать • зникати

rural — сельский, деревенский • сільський

green belt — зеленый пояс • зелений пояс

permission — разрешение • дозвіл





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