The Fifties was a time of family closeness; a time of community support: a simple time. Yet, lurking beneath this laid-back exterior lay the narrow morality and culture affecting many families. Will Polly Carpenter find the courage to take a stand against the restrictive values of a small 1956 coal-mining village? Will she be able to hold her family together when the mines close? Will Polly's daughter, Kathryn, be able to follow her dream and achieve a profession - definitely not something girls in her hometown would do? Kathryn isn't concerned; she accepts what life has to offer. Her innocent outlook on boys and religion provides some amusing glimpses of the times. But every day adults live with the threat of pit accidents. Polly puts up with this without complaint, until one by one, her sons move away to find work, and her existence becomes unbearable. In Merthyr Vale women know their place. Many miners are heavy drinkers and cruel, yet there is no escape for the wives and children. Chip Carpenter is never violent, but one afternoon his drinking takes him too far, exposing Kathryn to danger.