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.
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.
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
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