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伦敦金丝雀码头得名的奇怪故事

更新时间:2018-10-5 8:10:16 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The peculiar tale of how London's Canary Wharf got its name
伦敦金丝雀码头得名的奇怪故事

I sat on the veranda of the Hotel Santa Catalina sipping ‘un té británico’ (a British tea) and looking out on the manicured lawns that seemed to stretch down to the sea. Despite the heat in Las Palmas (a tempting 28C), the Brit in me was happy to sip on a good cuppa, even if I did have to ask for it ‘con leche fria aparte’ (with cold milk on the side).

我坐在圣卡塔利娜酒店的游廊,呷着英国茶,眺望着修剪整齐好像一直延伸至海边的草坪。尽管拉斯帕尔马斯天气很热(28摄氏度的晴好天气),但身为英国人的我仍很乐意啜饮热腾腾的香茗,虽然我的确要求“搭配冷牛奶”。

My afternoon companion was Angie Cabrera, a local English teacher and native of the island of Gran Canaria, who has researched the history of the British in the Canary Islands (which have been part of Spain since the 15th Century) and uses it as a cultural, historical and linguistic lesson for her secondary school students.

与我一同饮下午茶的人是卡布雷拉(Angie Cabrera)。她出生于大加那利岛,是当地的一名英语老师。她曾研究英国人在加那利群岛(the Canary Islands)的历史(自15世纪起成为西班牙的土地),并将此作为初中生的文史和语言教材。

“The hotel was built by the British,” she told me over the brim of her teacup. “British architects and everything. The Hotel Metropol in front of us as well was a British build, although it is now the council offices. The Metropol was a favourite of Agatha Christie.” I found out later the crime writer is thought to have penned more than one of her novels there.

她呷一口茶说道,“圣卡塔利娜酒店是英国人建造的,这里到处可见英国的建筑师以及其它英国特色。我们前方的大都会酒店也是一幢英式建筑,虽然如今是市政厅办公室。大都会酒店曾是克里斯蒂(Agatha Christie)的最爱。”我后来发现,人们认为这位女侦探小说家在那里创作了不止一部小说。

It turns out, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, to afford the city its proper title, was the holiday destination for discerning British tourists long before the package holiday boom of the 1960s and ‘70s turned the island’s hotter, drier south into the sun-worshipping holidaymaker mecca that it is today (some 858,118 Brits visited Gran Canaria in 2017 alone). But how did this tiny island (just more than an hour top to bottom by car) off the coast of West Africa become such a hotspot for British tourists around the turn of the 20th Century?

原来早在六七十年代机票加酒店的套餐式度假盛行之前,大加那利岛的拉斯帕尔马斯已成眼光独到的英国人的度假天堂,使得该岛炎热干燥的南部直到今天都是热爱阳光的英国人趋之若鹜的圣地。仅2017年约有858,118名英国人前往大加那利岛度假。但这座与西非海岸相隔的蕞尔小岛(开车由北向南只需花一个多小时),如何在20世纪之交成为英国游客心所向望的热门度假之地呢?

My tea stop was just the latest part of the story Cabrera had been regaling me with all day. We started our tour down near the city’s main port, Puerto de La Luz, on Alfredo L Jones Street – or as the locals say, ‘Al-freh-doh ehleh chon-ess street’. The Mr Jones in question was not Canarian or even Spanish, but was, as his surname might suggest, born Alfred Lewis Jones in Carmarthenshire, South Wales, in 1845. What he was to do for this mid-Atlantic city, however, more than justifies this prominent epitaph. You see, while Jones’ story is virtually unknown outside of the islands, some might say that the Welshman put the Canaries on the map.

卡布雷拉一整天都在为我讲述这个岛的历史,我们饮下午茶只是其中一段时间。我们沿着阿尔弗雷德·L·琼斯街出发——按当地人的念法,是“阿尔弗莱多·L·琼斯街”,这条街在繁忙的港口卢兹港附近。这条街纪念的这位叫琼斯的人不是加那利群岛人,甚至也不是西班牙人,如他的姓氏所示,是指1845年出生于南威尔士卡玛森郡的阿尔弗雷德·刘易斯·琼斯(Alfred Lewis Jones)。这位威尔斯人对这座大西洋中部城市的奉献较这条纪念他的街道更深远。要知道,尽管刘易斯·琼斯在加那利群岛以外的地方几乎不为人所知,但一些人会说正是这位威尔士人让加那利群岛成名。

“He wasn’t the first here,” Cabrera explained. “But he’s the one who really made it happen.”

卡布雷拉解释道,“他不是这里的开拓者,但是他是真正铸就这一切的那个人。”

Back when steam was king, the Canaries were strategically important for passage from Britain to the Americas, being the last fuelling port before sailing on across the Atlantic. A constant supply of good-quality coal was needed to power ships on the final leg of their journey, and coal from the collieries of the UK was brought over in ships to be stored in the port of Las Palmas. Jones owned several collieries, including one in Maesteg, South Wales, but his main business was shipping. Having been part of many of the most prominent shipping and trading companies of the late 1800s as a shareholder and owner, he founded The Grand Canary Coaling Company in 1886. Due to Gran Canaria’s lucrative location and his easy access to coal, supplying the port of Las Palmas was an obvious business opportunity.

在蒸汽轮航运称霸时代,加那利群岛对于英国至美洲的航线有重要的战略意义,是轮船横渡大西洋前最后一处补充媒燃料的海港。轮船通航需要源源不断地提供优质煤炭,煤炭由船只从英国煤矿运抵,储藏在拉斯帕尔马斯的港口。琼斯拥有几家煤矿,包括在南威尔士迈斯泰格的一家,但他的主要业务是航运。19世纪末,他曾是很多最重要的航运贸易公司的股东和所有人,并于1886年创立大加那利装煤公司。由于大加那利岛有利的地理位置,琼斯有直接的煤炭资源,供应拉斯帕尔马斯的港口是显而易见的商机。

Bringing coal from the UK was all well and good, but returning empty ships made no business sense to Jones, so he looked for a way to make the return voyage more profitable. He came up with the idea of taking local produce back home.

从英国运煤到大加那利岛利润很高,但回程空载对琼斯而言不是明智之举,因此他要想办法为返程增加收益。他的提议是将当地物产带回英国。

Local resident and expert on the British in Las Palmas, Betty Burgess explained, “Alfred was a friend of Edward Fyffe of British banana fame, through whom he started exporting bananas, potatoes and tomatoes in his ships into the UK, principally Liverpool but also other ports. Bananas had been grown in the Canaries since around the 16th Century and were mainly used for animal feed or fertiliser until this point.”

当地居民、英国通伯吉斯(Betty Burgess)解释说,“菲弗(Edward Fyffe)创立了英国知名的香蕉品牌,琼斯和菲弗是朋友,借此关系他开始利用轮船返程向英国出口香蕉、土豆和西红柿,主要运往利物浦,但也有其它港口。此前大约从16世纪起,加那利群岛就已种植香蕉,但主要用于动物养殖或肥料。”

Bananas were considered exotic in the UK at that time, but steadily became commonplace in the British diet as the banana boats became more frequent. Tomatoes had a similar destiny. Considered bad for the health in the islands, according to Burgess, they were increasingly cultivated due to their appreciation abroad.

当时在英国的人认为香蕉是来自异域的新奇水果,但随着香蕉船越来越常见,香蕉渐渐成为英式饮食中的家常便饭。西红柿有相似的情况。据伯吉斯称,加那利群岛的人们认为西红柿对健康不利,因为外国人对此喜欢才大量栽培。

It was this constant stream of fruit ships arriving into the South Quay Import Dock in London’s docklands that led to the renaming of one of the dock berths. Let to Fruit Lines Limited in 1937, it was named after the place of the fruits’ origin, the Canary Islands, and what we now know as Canary Wharf came into being.

这种源源不断的水果海运货轮抵达伦敦码头区的南码头进口港,使得其中一处船泊位特此更名。1937年,水果航运有限公司租下船泊位,泊位因水果产地加那利群岛而得名,也是我们如今所知的金丝雀码头的由来。

With ships making such regular journeys between the UK and Las Palmas, plus a solid foundation of British people living in the city (some 437 were registered as residing in the city in 1910), an unofficial British colony was created, bringing with it investment, infrastructure advances and social culture.

轮船定期往返于英国和拉斯帕尔马斯之间,此外,英国人定居拉斯帕尔马斯形成了固定的社区(1910年,该市约有437英国人登记定居),创造了一个非正式的英国殖民地,为当地带去投资、先进的基础设施和社会文化。

The very first mass wave of tourists started to reach the archipelago’s shores in the late 1800s thanks to reduced fares negotiated by Jones on his ships, and hotels were built to cater to this new influx of visitors. Those with bronchial problems particularly favoured Las Palmas, as the temperate climate was thought to be beneficial to health.

经由琼斯的洽谈,其来往英国的船票价格调低,于是在19世纪末首批大量游客开始抵达群岛的海岸,为了满足这些如潮涌来的新游客,群岛也新建了许多酒店。有支气管问题的英国人尤其喜欢拉斯帕尔马斯,他们认为温暖的气候有益于健康。

“Look at the street names,” Cabrera told me as we left the port behind and made our way to the Ciudad Jardín neighbourhood of the city – the ‘home’ of the British back in the early 1900s. I spotted ‘Calle Lord Byron’ among other street names as we wandered up to the brightly whitewashed Holy Trinity Church. I leaned in to read the plaque on the wall. It was built by British-born, Las Palmas-based architect Norman Wright in 1892 through the generosity of Jones, among other benefactors, and opened for Anglican worship in 1893. Services here are still carried out in English.

我们离开港口,前往这里的城市花园街区——早在20世纪初,那是英国人的“家园”。卡布雷拉对我说,“看看那些街名。”我们漫步闲逛,拾级而上,登临粉饰一新的圣三一教堂,我注意到“拜伦勋爵街”之类英国姓氏的街名。我凑近向前,细看教堂墙上的匾额。1892年,琼斯等几位赞助人出资,教堂由出生于英国并在拉斯帕尔马斯工作的建筑师莱特(Norman Wright)兴建,1893年向英国侨民开放。这里的宗教仪式仍沿用英语。

Religion wasn’t the only thing the British brought with them; they introduced the telephone and telegraph, the first banks, an animal protection society, British-style sandwich loaves, frozen meat, the first piped water supply, and a dedicated social club, The British Club, which still exists today.

英国人不仅带来了英国圣公会;他们还为当地引入了电话和电报,第一批银行,动物保护协会,英式三明治面包,冷冻肉类,前所未有的供水管道,以及英国俱乐部,这家英国人社交的俱乐部保留至今。

Burgess explained that sports were another notable introduction to the city. “Most sports were introduced by the British, and before the end of the 19th Century there was the first golf club in Spain – the Royal Las Palmas Golf Club – some of whose founders were British,” she said. “The Tennis Club was possibly the first in Spain also, affiliated to the All England Lawn Tennis Association; a British-Canarian won the Spanish Championship in 1907 and received a trophy from the king.”

伯吉斯解释,另一项值得注意的泊来文化是体育。伯吉斯说,“体育运动多由英国人引入,19世纪末以前,第一家高尔夫俱乐部在西班牙建成——拉斯帕尔马斯皇家高尔夫俱乐部——部分英国人参与发起兴建。网球俱乐部隶属于英国网球联会,可能是西班牙第一家网球俱乐部;1907年,一名英裔加那利运动员在西班牙锦标赛中夺冠,西班牙国王为其颁发奖杯。”

She continued, “Surprisingly for an island, water sports, and indeed swimming for pleasure, were practically unknown at the time, so the British were instrumental in popularising them.”

她接着说,“奇怪的是,作为海岛,当时对游泳跳水几乎闻所未闻,就连水上娱乐也从未听过,因此是英国人将游泳跳水在这里普及开来。”

The current Metropole Swimming Club, which stands next to what was the Hotel Metropol, has its origins as the hotel’s recreational pool, thought to be the first on the island.

如今的大都会游泳俱乐部,坐落于昔日大都会酒店的旁边,最初用作酒店的戏水区,被认为是岛上的第一座游泳池。

As Cabrera and I continued to make our way through the city, I found more clues to the unique British history. Even in the branch of clothes shop Mango in Triana high street, I saw enormous wooden doors with thick iron hinges emblazoned with a British ironmonger’s details.

卡布雷拉和我继续穿行走访时,我又发现一些独特的英伦历史遗迹。即使在堤亚纳商业街的芒果品牌服饰连锁店中,我注意到巨大的木质店门上采用加厚的铁质合页,上面印有英国小五金商店的名字。

“We even use our own versions of English words that were overheard by the locals at the time,” Cabrera told me. “Queque (cake), and naife (knife) for a start”. We took a seat at a bar and I glanced at the menu. “What’s bistec?” I asked. “What does it sound like?” she replied.

卡布雷拉告诉我,“甚至我们使用的这一套英语词汇,是当时这里的人无意间听到的。一开始是蛋糕和餐刀。”我们在一间酒吧坐下来,我浏览一下菜单。“什么是比斯特卡(bistec)?”我问道。她回答说,“你觉得听起来像什么?”

Beef steak, of course.

当然是牛排(beef steak)。

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