As the new school year begins, Jack Sheffield prepares for an even more eventful year than usual. A new teacher is appointed, and before long tongues start to wag. Meanwhile, five-year old Madona Fazackerly makes her mark in an unexpected way, life changes dramatically for Ruby the caretaker and, in the village Coffee Shop, Dorothy Humpleby plans a dirty weekend. It's 1983 - the era of the new CD player, Microsoft Word, the McDonalds McNugget, cabbage patch dolls, the threat of a miners' strike and a final farewell to the halfpenny piece. Jack has to manage a year of triumph and tragedy.