Henry Hobson runs a successful bootmaker's shop in nineteenth-century Salford.
A widower with a weakness for the pub opposite, he tries forcefully to rule the lives of his three unruly daughters and control their “uppishness”. When he decrees 'no marriages' to avoid the expensive matter of settlements, eldest daughter Maggie rebels and sets her sights on Will Mossop, Hobson's star bootmaker. Behind the boots and clogs are individuals who must also be determined and strong in a society that gives them little credence. Keeping the humour it also shows without fantasy the life of the Salford folk and the social connections and customs that gave their life order, until they were challenged and eventually changed.