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Episode #1.1
60 min


In the Cheshire village of Great Paxford in August 1939 there is anticipation of another war and local doctor Will Campbell volunteers for service but is rejected, to the relief of his wife Erica - until it is revealed that he has cancer. Butcher Bryn Brindsley's wife Miriam, recalling her husband's ordeal in the Great War, is fearful when teen-aged son David announces that he wants to join the navy. Joyce Cameron, imperious chair of the Women's Institute, proposes the group disband until the end of the war but is opposed by feisty Frances Barden, forcing Joyce's resignation. Frances decides to relaunch the group with her friends, including Miriam, Erica, Great War widow Alison Scotlock, vicar's wife Sarah Collingborne, teen-ager Claire Hillman, Pat Timms, a domestic violence victim at the hands of her failed writer husband Bob, and farmer's wife Steph Farrow. Their first venture is a mammoth jam-making project, which is a success, and Frances's revamped group is on its way to uniting the women.

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