A gripping cockney saga of life in 1940s London Saddler Street is like many of the other little backstreets of Bermondsey, with its row of two-up, two-down terraced houses standing in the shadow of Allen's Wharf. Number 5 is home to the Johnson family, but the atmosphere inside the four walls is not always as happy as the neighbours may think. Lana Johnson - young, intelligent and strikingly attractive - is getting serious with the local small-time villain, Ben Ferris. And everyone except Lana herself is sure that the match will end in tears. Next door to the Johnsons lives Lottie Curtis, a kind-hearted widow they have taken under their wing. For decades Lottie has been foster mother to children from broken homes. Only Jimmy Bailey has ever demonstrated in a practical way the debt he owed to Lottie - until the war intervened and he was called up. But it's 1946 and Lottie is facing her eightieth birthday alone. When Jimmy, now demobbed, teams up with Lana to organise a reunion of all the old lady's children as a birthday treat, there's more than one surprise in store...