Blacksmith's daughter Sarah Burton returns to her native Yorkshire, after twenty years' teaching in London and South Africa, for an interview to be head mistress of Kiplington Girls' School. Her idealism impresses kindly Alderwoman Mrs. Beddows and socialist Joe Astell but dour farmer Robert Carne opposes her eventual appointment. He has a withdrawn young daughter Midge, whom Mrs. Beddows persuades him to enroll at Sarah's school. After an awkward first day Midge comes to like Sarah and is befriended by Lydia Holly, a very bright girl who lives in the Shacks, a shanty town Joe is hoping to clear in order to build a modern housing estate for the residents. Councillor Anthony Snaith supports him but tells Joe that Carne is against them. Sarah seeks help in modernising the school building from another councillor, Huggins, a hypocritical lay preacher who is about to be forced to pay money to Bessy, a girl he has impregnated. Despite his initial antipathy, Carne comes to respect Sarah ...
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[the other girls are taunting Lydia Holly who has just started at the school, because of her working-class background; Lydia ignores them for a while then snaps, pushing one of the girls against the wall and brandishing her fist
See this? It smells of dead girls. Think on!
Keep the Home Fires Burning
Music by Ivor Novello
Words by Lena Guilbert Ford See more