The magic roundabout

The magic roundabout

You can find roundabouts in most countries. It’s a simple way to allow traffic from different roads to move into other roads.

Back in 1972, the British Road Transport Department created an experimental “multi-mini” roundabout, which consisted of 5 mini roundabouts connected together. They say that anybody who survives this roundabout deserves a medal. Here is is.


Click here for the Swindon Magic Roundabout page !

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Horrible Histories is a BBC TV show for children based on a series of books. It describes historical facts and includes all the ‘unpleasant’ parts of the stories so that children find it interesting.

The TV show was a great success because it was funny and interesting. Children and adults loved it. It covered many different historical periods and gave them names such as:

  • The Savage Stone Age
  • The Groovy Greeks
  • The Rotten Romans
  • The Vicious Vikings
  • The Stormin’ Normans
  • The Measly Middle Ages
  • The Terrible Tudors
  • The Vile Victorians
  • The Frightful First World War
  • The Woeful Second World War

Here is the scene about William the Conqueror and his wife Matilda. They were married for 30 years and had 11 children, but their romance had a difficult start.

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English children (and adults) have a technique to remember the colours of the rainbow. They memorize the sentence:

“Richard of York gained battles in vain.”

  • Richard – Red
  • Of – Orange
  • York – Yellow
  • Gained – Green
  • Battles – Blue
  • In – Indigo
  • Vain – Violet

Easy, isn’t it?

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The fab four

The fab four

In March 1957, John Lennon was sixteen and formed a group with some friends from Quarry Bank school. (A ‘quarry’ is a place where you extract large rocks and stones for construction). They first called themselves the Blackjacks but then changed their name to the Quarrymen. In July of that year, fifteen-year-old Paul McCartney joined as a rhythm guitarist. In February 1958, McCartney invited his friend George Harrison to watch the band and George, who was fourteen at the time, auditioned for Lennon. Lennon liked George’s playing but initially thought that he was too young to join the group. However, they finally enlisted him as their lead guitarist. By January 1959, Lennon’s Quarry Bank friends had left the group, and he began studies at the Liverpool College of Art. The band was now a group of three guitarists and they played under the name of Johnny and the Moondogs. They played rock and roll whenever they could find a drummer, and when Lennon’s art school friend Stuart Sutcliffe, joined the group in January 1960 as a bass guitarist, it was he who suggested changing the band’s name to Beatals, as a tribute to Buddy Holly and the Crickets. In May, they became the Silver Beetles and in early July, they were the Silver Beatles.

Finally, in August, they were officially the Beatles.

Clich here to visit the fantastic Beatles site.

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In Europe, you measure height in metres and centimetres.

In the UK and the US, we use the imperial system, and that includes feet and inches. The ‘foot’ was based on 1/3 of the length of King Henry I’s arm. 1 inch is about 2.4 cm. There are 12 inches in 1 foot. I measure 1.74 m, but in the UK people say that I measure 5 feet, 8 and a quarter inches !

Now, the tallest person in the world was Robert Wadlow who lived in the US from February 22, 1918 to July 15, 1940. Unfortunately, he died very young and at his death he measured 8 feet 11 inches, thats 2.72m.

Can you imagine that ? Just look at this film of the gentle giant with his father !

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old rolls

Most people drive cars and when you go on holiday abroad, you sometimes rent cars.

This sheet will help you revise words for your car, if you have one !

As I’m English, the words used here are British words. We will prepare a sheet with American words as well in the near future.

vocab - car

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David's joke

David’s joke

Steven Spielberg had an original idea. He decided to make an action film about classical composers. He contacted 3 action heroes to play the different parts.
He said to Bruce Willis: “Hey Bruce! Which composer do you want to play?”
Bruce said: “I love Mozart. Can I play Mozart?”
“Yeah! Sure!” said Spielberg. “And you, Stallone. Who do you want to play?”
Stallone said: “I love Beethoven. I would love to play Beethoven in this film. Is that OK?”
“That’s fine.” said Spielberg. “And you, Arnold. Who would you like to be in the film?”
Schwarzenegger thought for a few moments, and then he said :
“I’ll be Bach!”

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In the 1980s, a TV show called Fawlty Towers became very popular in the UK and is considered a classic nowadays.

It is set in a hotel in England, with an ‘unorthodox’, slightly racist manager (played by John Cleese), and a staff of funny personnel including a Spanish waiter (played by British actor Andrew Sachs). Manuel is learning English and this leads to confusion and hilarious situations. This is a short extract from one of the most famous episodes.

I hope you enjoy it.

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English people use phrasal verbs very regularly and it’s sometimes difficult to understand because they are not literal. For example, look for – look after – look up are all very different verbs. You will find phrasal verbs with “look” on a different post. Here are some common ones with the verb “come”.

We've come up with another sheet !

We’ve come up with another sheet !

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