Задания 12-18



Прочитайте рассказ и выполните задания 12–18. В каждом задании обведите букву ABC или D, соответствующую выбранному вами варианту ответа.



How Harry Potter saved one small town


Mallaig is far from the prettiest of Highland settlements, even when the weather is fine. Several rows of what could be prewar council houses stretch across the hill beyond the harbour. A mishmash of car parks, jetties and workaday buildings squats close to the railway terminus. When I last stayed in Mallaig, it was known as the biggest herring port in Europe.


Today, the herring have vanished, and yet Mallaig remains a busy place. Ferries come and go and fishing boats land shellfish, which is driven away in lorries to the markets of France and Spain. None of this activity, however, explains the hundreds of people who can be seen roaming Mallaig’s few streets every afternoon between the beginning of May and the end of October, or the presence of so many restaurants. What do explain them are two enthusiasms, one for low fact and the other for high fiction, which are kindled in childhood and among many adults never entirely disappear.


The railway reached Mallaig from Fort William and the south in 1901. It was among the last big lines to be built in Britain, late enough to have its viaducts built of concrete. It traversed one of Europe’s most spectacular and emptiest landscapes, with hardly anything large enough to be called a village along its 40-mile length.


The construction needed a large government subsidy, but the traffic never grew much beyond the two or three trains a day that carried fish boxes and a few dozen travellers to and from the Hebrides. It made little economic sense. Only 60 years after the line opened, it began to be threatened with closure. Few people would have guessed then that its commercial salvation would be owed to a novel and a film, and first of all, to a hobby.


Railways became an amateur pastime as well as a means of transport during the last decades of the 19th century. Then professional men such as vicars and lawyers began to see the large variety of trains and their technical progress as a hobby offering a similar kind of pleasure to philately and butterfly-hunting. By the end of the century they had their own magazine and their own club, the Railway Club, the world’s first society for railway enthusiasts. It was founded in London in 1899 and had its own premises with a library and leather armchairs. It was from these elite beginnings that the 20th century’s great cult of trainspotting spread, reinforcing a more general fondness for steam locomotives that many people had without knowing quite why. So a sense of loss ran through Britain when, in the 1960s, it became clear that their day was nearly done.


Hundreds of them were saved from the scrapyards and restored to working order; dozens of branch lines repaired and reopened so that in the holidays Britain could be charmed by how it once was. It’s hard to think that anywhere in the world has seen a more popular or successful preservation movement, or at least one run and largely funded by volunteers. Out of this business grew the West Coast Railway Company, which hires out engines, coaches and crew for steam excursions.


A film producer looking to shoot a fantastical train in a dramatic location would naturally turn to such a company, and so in three Harry Potter films the train to Hogwarts is seen crossing Glenfinnan’s viaduct.


Today, the Jacobite Express fills with Potter fans from all parts of the globe and always stops for a photo opportunity at Glenfinnan, which is where the real Bonnie Prince Charlie really raised his standard in ’45 and marked as such by a real memorial. All of which reality is cast into shadow by the film of a modern fairytale.




12. Which adjective could best describe Mallaig as presented by the author?

A) Derelict.

B) Beautiful.

C) Abandoned.

D) Unsightly.



13. The word mishmash in “A mishmash of car parks …” (paragraph 1) means …

A) a ruin.

B) a mixture.

C) a sight.

D) a queue.



14. Which of the following statements is TRUE about the railway line?

A) It was the last big line constructed in Europe.

B) The traffic on it was busy at the beginning.

C) It finally became profitable.

D) It was closed shortly after its opening.



15. The author compares the enthusiasm for trains to philately and butterfly hunting because …

A) it turned into a pastime.

B) they all require patience.

C) they all became unpopular.

D) they all are fashionable.



16. The author mentions a library and leather armchairs in order to illustrate …

A) how important trains were for the country.

B) how successful the Railway Club became.

C) the amount of corruption at the club.

D) the number of members it had.



17. The word them in “Hundreds of them …” (paragraph 6) refers to …

A) people.

B) locomotives.

C) train spotters.

D) lines.



18. How does, judging by the last paragraph, the author feel about Glenfinnan remembered through Harry Potter rather than the Bonnie Prince Charlie?

A) Enthusiastic.

B) Indifferent.

C) Sad.

D) Outraged.




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