Cotton Lane in dockland Bermondsey is one of the many small cobbled streets which serve the wharves. On the corner is Bradley's Dining Rooms, the favourite eating place of the rivermen, trade union officials and horse and motor drivers. Since her marriage to Fred Bradley, Carrie has been running the dining rooms, and trade has picked up since the end of the Great War. But all is not well between Carrie and Fred. For although they have a little daughter they adore, neither of them is truly content. Will they ever know true happiness?