Tuesday, February 05, 2019

George Smiley in West Bridgford

This is Lady Bay Bridge over the Trent. You can find it a little way downstream of Trent Bridge cricket ground.

It used to be a railway bridge, carrying trains on the Midland's fast route from St Pancras to Nottingham, which ran via Kettering, Corby, Oakham and Melton Mowbray. The last train crossed it in 1968.

In the early 1980s the bridge was converted to carry road traffic, but before that happened it starred in a celebrated television drama.

At the end of John le Carré's Smiley's People, the Soviet spymaster Karla, disguised as a labourer, defects to the West using a bridge that connect East and West Berlin.

The BBC's 1982 television was filmed on location across Europe, but this climactic scene was shot in Nottinghamshire on the Lady Bay Bridge.

You can see its finest hour in the clip below.

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