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新世纪英专本科生系列(修订版):听力教程(第三版)第1册 Unit 02 British Pub Tradition Under Threat_0001

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For hundreds of years,

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British pubs have been at the center of social life.

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The place to go for a pint of beer and lively conversation.

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But Britain’s pubs are under threat.

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The poor economy, a ban on smoking inside

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and high taxes on beer consumed at pubs are

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all putting pubs under pressure.

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Bridget Walsh has been in the business for 42 years.

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She says pub culture is changing.

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“People aren’t going into pubs
the way they used to years ago.

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They tend to go to restaurants.

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They tend to buy cheap booze in supermarkets and drink indoors,

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because people have entertainment indoors these days,” she said.

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It’s not just indoor entertainment people are looking for.

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Pubs — once smoke- filled rooms — are no longer.

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Smokers have to go outside these days.

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That’s hurt business too.

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“If they can’t have a pint and a cigarette,

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you might as well drink at home,” Walsh adds.

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At the annual Great British Beer Festival in London,

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there are hundreds of beers, bitters,
ales and plenty of enthusiasts.

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One might almost believe that pubs will be forever.

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But Neil Williams from the British Beer & Pub

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Association says the problem is serious.

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“Fifty-two pubs are closing every week here in the U.K.,

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and that’s a big increase and, if we don’t take action,

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we’re going to lose a lot of our
much-loved community pubs,” he said.

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Williams says taxes on beer served in pubs

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rose by 20 percent in 18 months.
All in all,he says it’s a difficult time.

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“Unfortunately, the smoking ban coincided with a lot

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of other very adverse trading conditions: rising costs,

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we had rapidly deteriorating economic conditions,

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plus huge tax increases,
so we’ve likened it to a perfect storm,” he said.

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Stuart Mills, an entrepreneur,

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sees the downturn as an opportunity.

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He runs an Internet service that allows customers

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to have their mail delivered to their local pub.

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“What we’re really trying to do is to do two things,

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to get more people into pubs more often,

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but also really to help pubs cement their

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position at the heart of their local communities,” Mills explains.

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Tastes here are changing though.

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Wine bars, a recent trend,

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are taking away some of the business for pubs.

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But the British love of beer
and the rare British summer day

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will mean,pub owners hope,

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that business will never totally dry up.

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