As a little girl, brought up in an orphanage, Caroline Parker had always been told that Dept Ford was the place her disgraced mother had come from. So when years later her husband dies, leaving her penniless and with three young children to support, Caroline's first thought is to head for the place she has envisaged as home: Dept Ford. But to her horror, she finds that Dept Ford is not the country village she'd imagined, but in the middle of London, a huge, teeming city the likes of which she's never seen. Luckily a kindly passer-by takes pity on her weary children and puts them on the tram to a place where she might find lodgings which, as it turns out, is in Rotherhithe, not Deptford. And so it is Culver Road that becomes her true home, where Carrie - as her neighbours call her - and her family, helped out by the irrepressible Flo and her soft-hearted docker husband Alf, find themselves battling through times both good and bad. And it is in Culver Road that Carrie meets Jim, the enigmatic sailor who is to change her life ...