THIS was a day when Glasgow took on a distinctly Eastern European look. Street signs in a strange tongue went up. Left-hand-drive cars and taxis, their horns sounding noisily, materialised out of nowhere. And there were lots of strange-looking people in heavy leather coats, too.

One Glasgow woman (above), clutching a Templeton Supermarket shopping bag, was puzzled to see a poster in the window of a Sauchiehall Street department store. Whatever language it was in, it certainly wasn’t English.

The new look came about because a BBC2 crew was shooting an adaptation of John Le Carre’s spy thriller, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which starred Sir Alec Guinness, Ian Richardson, Michael Jayston, Bernard Hepton and Ian Bannen.

Sauchiehall Street and Hope Street were turned into part of the Czech industrial town of Brno. A street sign bearing a hammer and sickle bore the words, “Druzda Brno Voronez.

Someone from the BBC told the Glasgow Herald: “Obviously we couldn’t very well make a spy film about the Russians in Czechoslovakia. Glasgow was considered about the closest we could get in appearance.”

The crew had previously shot scenes in and around Aberfoyle; and after Glasgow city centre, it would be the turn of Govan to impersonate Czechoslovakia. Sir Alec, however, was not on location in Scotland.