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B2 First (FCE)
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Test 1 / 20

Rising Star

Margaret Garelly goes to meet Duncan Williams, who plays for Chelsea Football Club.

A

It’s my first time driving to Chelsea’s training ground and I turn off slightly too early at the London University playing fields. Had he accepted football’s rejections in his early teenage years, it is exactly the sort of ground Duncan Williams would have found himself running around on at weekends. At his current age of 18, he would have been a bright first-year undergraduate mixing his academic studies with a bit of football, rugby and cricket, given his early talent in all these sports. However, Duncan undoubtedly took the right path. Instead of studying, he is sitting with his father Gavin in one of the interview rooms at Chelsea’s training base reflecting on Saturday’s match against Manchester City. Such has been his rise to fame that it is with some disbelief that you listen to him describing how his career was nearly all over before it began.

B
Gavin, himself a fine footballer – a member of the national team in his time – and now a professional coach, sent Duncan to three professional clubs as a 14 year-old, but all three turned him down. ‘I worked with him a lot when he was around 12, and it was clear he had fantastic technique and skill. But then the other boys shot up in height and he didn’t. But I was still upset and surprised that no team seemed to want him, that they couldn’t see what he might develop into in time. When Chelsea accepted him as a junior, it was made clear to him that this was more of a last chance than a new beginning. They told him he had a lot of hard work to do and wasn’t part of their plans. Fortunately, that summer he just grew and grew, and got much stronger as well.’

C
Duncan takes up the story: ‘The first half of that season I played in the youth team. I got lucky – the first-team manager came to watch us play QPR, and though we lost 3-1, I had a really good game. I moved up to the first team after that performance.’ Gavin points out that it can be beneficial to be smaller and weaker when you are developing – it forces you to learn how to keep the ball better, how to use ‘quick feet’ to get out of tight spaces. ‘A couple of years ago, Duncan would run past an opponent as if he wasn’t there but then the other guy would close in on him. I used to say to him, “Look, if you can do that now, imagine what you’ll be like when you’re 17, 18 and you’re big and quick and they won’t be able to get near you.” If you’re a smaller player, you have to use your brain a lot more.’

D
Not every kid gets advice from an ex-England player over dinner, nor their own private training sessions. Now Duncan is following in Gavin’s footsteps. He has joined a national scheme where people like him give advice to ambitious young teenagers who are hoping to become professionals. He is an old head on young shoulders. Yet he’s also like a young kid in his enthusiasm. And fame has clearly not gone to his head; it would be hard to meet a more likeable, humble young man. So will he get to play for the national team? ‘One day I’d love to, but when that is, is for somebody else to decide.’ The way he is playing, that won’t be long.

states how surprised the writer was at Duncan’s early difficulties?
Text A
says that Duncan sometimes seems much more mature than he really is?
Text D
describes the frustration felt by Duncan’s father?
Text B
says that Duncan is on course to reach a high point in his profession?
Text D
suggests that Duncan caught up with his team-mates in terms of physical development?
Text B
explains how Duncan was a good all-round sportsperson?
Text A
gives an example of how Gavin reassured his son?
Text C
mentions Duncan’s current club’s low opinion of him at one time?
Text B
mentions a personal success despite a failure for the team?
Text C
explains how Duncan and his father are fulfilling a similar role?
Text D
Test 2 / 20

Stamps

A The Penny Black

The Penny Black was the worlds first adhesive postage stamp, it was issued in the UK on the 1st of May 1840. The government announced a competition to design the new stamps, however, none of the first entries we good enough. Eventually the stamp was printed using a drawing of Queen Victoria at the age of 15, it showed her head drawn from the side with fine engravings of machine parts in the background. This design was chosen because it was thought the detail would make it difficult to forge. The sketch was drawn by the artist Henry Corbould and printed onto the stamps by Perkins Bacon. As the name suggests, the stamp was printed in black with the words “ Postage” across the top and “one penny” across the bottom. Stamps from the United Kingdom are still the only ones in the world that do not have their country printed on them. Sadly the Penny Black was only used for about a year because even though the picture was hard to forge it was quite easy for the stamps to be removed from envelopes and re-used.

B The Inverted Jenny

During the 1910’s the US post office experimented with carrying mail by air, and decided to start a regular service on May 15, 1918, flying between Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City. The Post Office set a price of 24 cents for the service, much higher than the normal 3 cents for first-class mail and decided to issue a new stamp printed in red and blue with a picture of a Curtiss Jenny, the plane used to carry the mail. The first printing of this stamp was done in such a hurry that the image of the Curtiss Jenny plane in the center of the design was accidentally printed upside-down. This is probably the most famous error in American stamp making. Only one sheet (of 100) of the inverted stamps was not found before leaving the printers, making this stamp one of the most wanted in the world of stamp collecting. An inverted Jenny was sold in November 2007 for US $977,500.

C The Basel Dove

There were no fixed postal rates for the whole of Switzerland until after the national postal service was created on January 1st 1849 so this allowed the separate regions of the country, called Cantons, to create their own stamps. The Basel Dove is an interesting stamp issued by the Canton of Basel. It was first issued on July 1st 1845 with a value of 2 1/2-rappen and was in service for three and a half years, during which time 41 480 were printed. The Basel Dove was the only stamp ever printed by the canton of Basel. The only other cantons to issue their own stamps were Zürich and Geneva, but these stamps were quite plain and printed in only one colour. In contrast the Basel Dove was printed in black, crimson, and blue, making it the world’s first three coloured stamp. It designed by the architect Melchior Berry, and featured a white dove flying across a red background with a letter in its beak, and on it was written “STADT POST BASEL” and the price in numbers in the bottom left corner.

D The Uganda Cowries

The Uganda Cowries, also known as the Uganda Missionaries, were the first adhesive postage stamps of Uganda. They were made in March 1895, at the request of the Imperial British East Africa Company. The stamps were used for mail being sent to places as close as the next town or as far away as Europe, although this service took much longer and was more expensive. The Uganda Cowries are special because there was no printing press’s in Uganda at the time each stamp was made individually on a typewriter by Rev. E. Millar of the Church Missionary Society. The design was very simple, it showed just the initials of the town it was being sent to and a number for the price. These numbers changed depending on how far the letter was going to travel. The first stamps to be made were printed in black ink but after Millar was given a much-needed new ribbon for his typewriter, the color of the characters on the stamps changed to violet. The paper used for these stamps was extremely thin so unfortunately only a small number of these stamps have survived.

Which stamp…

...was not made for a national postal service
C The Basel Dove
...had two names
D The Uganda Cowdries
...showed the destination of the letter
D The Uganda Cowdries
...was supposedly difficult to copy
A The Penny Black
...was more expensive than other stamps of the time
B The Inverted Jenny
...was the result of a big mistake
B The Inverted Jenny
...did not have a fixed price
D The Uganda Cowdries
...had a person's profile on it
A The Penny Black
...was first used to service three cities
B The Inverted Jenny
...did only 100 copies exist
B The Inverted Jenny
Test 3 / 20

The Joys of Camping

Kate Reilly speaks to 5 dedicated campers and finds out why they prefer to pitch their tents or park their camper vans rather than stay in hotels or rent apartments

A Ben: a teacher

For Ben the most important thing is to find a cheap and affordable option during the busy school holidays. ‘Because I have to go away during the peak season when all the schools are on holiday it’s often difficult to find cheap hotel deals or holidays flats for rent,’ he explains. In addition to this he enjoys the flexibility camping offers. ‘I’m not that good at planning ahead and like to be spontaneous with my travel plans. The fact that it’s not usually necessary to pre-book to stay at a campsite suits me very well. I also like that I can go away to more obscure and remote places and get away from the students I spend all year in the classroom with.

B Cathy: finance director

Cathy is looking for a contrast from her stressful working life when she goes on holiday. She says. ‘I love being outside and the freedom camping offers. I spend all day in the office when I’m at work and have to be very organised to meet tight deadlines, so when I’m on holiday I like to be in the fresh air and be able to do exactly what I want when I want; camping is perfect for that. Of course there are some rules you have to respect like you’re not allowed to make noise after 11 or 12 at night but I like that. I love going to sleep listening to the insects in the trees or the waves on the beach.

C Matt: IT engineer

Matt likes to spend his holiday seeing lots of different places. ‘I’m a restless person so when I go away on holiday I don’t like to be tied down to one place; camping means you can stay for two nights in one place then pack up the tent, jump in the car and stay somewhere else for the next night or two and so on with no need to book ahead. It’s a great way to see lots of different places in a short period of time.’ He also points out that, ‘You obviously need a car to really be able to make the most of your time and make sure you have a good map and a good up-to-date campsite guide with clear directions to help you find the different campsites. Campsites are often not well signposted and there is nothing more frustrating than driving around for hours looking for a campsite when you’d rather be relaxing on the beach.

D Eli and Catriona: doctor and medical researcher

Eli and Catriona explain why camping is the perfect holiday for families. ‘We used to go camping when we were much younger, before we had children and loved it but now we have the boys it makes even more sense. There are so many child-friendly campsites with swimming pools and special activities for kids. It’s so nice for them to have lots of space to run around in and other children to play with. It also means we have time to ourselves to really relax. We’ve actually been to the same campsite for 2 years in a row now as we all had such a good time there the first year. The boys are still in touch with friends they made there last year so we might well go back again this year.

E Melissa and Stefano: salon manager and marketing director

For Melissa and Stefano it’s the friendly atmosphere that means they keep going back to campsites year after year. ‘We’ve travelled around the whole of Europe in our campervan and every year we meet so many interesting people and make friends with people from all over the world. Everyone is always so helpful when you stay on a campsite. If you need to borrow something like matches your neighbours will always help you out. One year we got the back wheels of the campervan stuck in the sand and it took ten of our new neighbours to help push it out. Everyone came rushing over to help as soon as they saw there was a problem and most of us didn’t even speak the same language. It was a wonderful feeling; you don’t get that in hotels.’

Which person or people…

likes being in the open air surrounded by wildlife?
B Cathy: finance director
gives some advice on things you should take with you?
C Matt: IT engineer
gives an example of people working together to solve a difficult situation?
E Melissa and Stefano
is looking for variety when he/she goes on holiday?
C Matt: IT engineer
doesn’t want to meet the people he/she works with when on holiday?
A Ben: a teacher
mentions something you can’t do on campsites?
B Cathy: finance director
has enjoyed camping for many years?
D Eli and Catriona
mentions a possible problem when arriving at campsites?
C Matt: IT engineer
says they can’t choose when they go away on holiday?
A Ben: a teacher
has been to the same campsite more than once?
D Eli and Catriona
Test 4 / 20

Jobs in cartoon animation

The future seems bright for animators, the artists who can make cartoons come to life. Four cartoonists give their impressions.

A Dan Taylor

Dan Taylor is delighted that TV shows are now often inhabited by ‘animated’ cartoon characters. ‘On paper, the character you create is just a drawing,’ he says, ‘but then you give it movement, and it becomes a real TV personality.’ Dan passed his art exams when he was at secondary school, but for many years he treated his drawing as a hobby. He would create images for his workmates, to be stuck on motorbikes or leather jackets. Eventually, he signed up at the Arts Institute to start a career as an animator. ‘There is plenty of workaround for people who can draw because cartoon shows can win sizeable audiences around the world,’ he says. Dan would like to create cartoons that cross the boundary from children’s animation to animated characters for grown-ups, with issues that interest them. Many of his ideas for future series will be on show at the annual animation festival in Bradford next September.

B Colin Grey

As head of animation of Grant Studios, Colin Grey sees his workload grow day by day. ‘There is a huge public taste for animation,’ he says, ‘but we still lack skilled artists because the publicity industry has employed lots of people who are now busy designing ads.’ Recognising the need to encourage training, Grey has just given some funds to the university for an art school ‘qualification in animation. ‘This is a good investment of some of our profits,’ he says. Grey believes another problem is that many animators are often reluctant to go for jobs in big organisations. ‘They fear large-scale projects will take away their freedom of action.’ he says. He is trying to bring a bit more of the US way of working to bear on his current projects. ‘Of course production methods have changed since Walt Disney put together his first animation. Now studios can create a character and have it animated in a different country.’

C David Hoxton

Despite the recent demand for cartoon artists in Europe, David Hoxton found that the only way to get his ideal job was to leave England and try his luck in the USA. ‘Their way of working is with large numbers of people working on each series of drawings,’ he says, ‘I ‘d always dreamt of working in such a way, producing the thousands of drawings necessary to bring characters to life.’ Hoxton thinks his job requires excellent drawing techniques, something he feels is often neglected in schools. ‘Colleges of art encourage independent thinking, which is good, but some of them have lost their way when it comes to teaching the essentials.’ He admits that computers can now do the translating of a drawing into a moving image, but he is convinced the skilled artist will always be in demand.

D Carl Hughes

Carl Hughes is the owner and chief animator of Manton Hall Films, one of the biggest animator outfits in Europe. In the last three years, he has spent (10m on new machines to compete with international rivals. The reward has been a string of contracts to animate US shows at its offices in England. ‘We believe training our staff is very important,’ he says, ‘I offer them a series of classes within a 12-week intensive programme. Alter that, they join the teams on particular shows.’ Hughes believes what he needs most is artists who have artistic potential, not so much the ability to draw as the ability to develop the plot of a narrative, an interesting plot that will interest the audience. He knows that many people in the industry are crying out for highly-skilled animators to gel involved in the development of shows, but he thinks the future of all that area of work lies with computers. ‘Eventually, they will do away with the need for artists,’ he says.

Which artist:

used to consider drawing was a pastime?
A Dan Taylor
went abroad to find work?
C David Hoxton
helped an arts school financially?
B Colin Grey
thinks the ability to tell a good story is essential?
D Carl Hughes
thinks people who are good at drawing find jobs easily?
A Dan Taylor
thinks computers will replace skilled cartoonists?
D Carl Hughes
wants to attract adult audiences?
A Dan Taylor
says some artists are afraid of losing independence?
B Colin Grey
thinks art schools do not teach students basic skills?
C David Hoxton
runs a course for trainees?
D Carl Hughes