Текст для чтения на английском среднего уровня сложности
«There was a tradition in my family to keep old toys”, says Sergei Romanov. From his granny he got some dolls with porcelain heads and some Chinese tree decorations. From his father he inherited several mechanical toys. Looking at all these things Sergei thought it was his duty to follow the tradition and keep the toys of his childhood for his children and grandchildren. He started collecting old toys, making dolls himself and repairing broken ones. The hobby took him so strongly that he could not stop. More and more toys arrived in his house from Moscow and other places as if attracted by a magnet.
Sergei says that he never sells his toys. If a toy enters his collection, it stays there. He does not change his toys either as nobody offered him anything interesting.
Each of the toys has its history. The teddy bear was in the Arctic waters on board the icebreaker Chelyuskin. It was presented to the collector by the daughter of Prof. Sushkina, who was the only woman in this expedition.
Some toys were witnesses of the blockade of Leningrad during Great Patriotic War and were saved via the famous Road of Life.
The toy monkey belonged to the daughter of Russia’s famous singer Fyodor Shalyapin. In 1922, leaving the country, the girls gave many of their toys to friends. The winter portrait of the Shalyapin family painted by famous Russian artist Kustodiev shows the monkey which is held by one of the girls.
Standard flats are not designed to keep such a collection. Now it is kept in a state-run organisation. Part of the collection is in constant use as Sergei often participates in various exhibitions. This is not just a collection of toys. He would rather call it a link to his childhood.
link — звено, связь
porcelain — фарфор, фарфоровый
to inherit — наследовать
to offer — предлагать
icebreaker — ледокол
witness — свидетель
via — через
to design — проектировать, предназначать
state-run — государственный
to participate — участвовать
participant — участник