They loved. They lost. They lived. In the small Yorkshire town of Cottenly - dominated by the steel works and surrounded by beautiful countryside - Isaac Stanford lives with his wife Emily and their three lovely daughters, known locally as the Stanford lasses. Alice, the eldest, lives only for her work as a secretary and chapel on Sunday.
Lucy Gabbitas has just left school and is excited about joining her sisters at the local umbrella factory. But then her beloved father dies of lung disease leaving Lucy and her brothers and sisters broken-hearted. With barely enough to make ends meet, the family receive no sympathy from their tyrannical mother, Annie, and their first Christmas without him holds little comfort and joy. Things seem to be looking brighter for Lucy when she meets John Grey and falls in love. That is until Annie becomes seriously ill and dies, and Lucy is forced to put her family first.
When 17-year-old Mary O'Connor collapses one Sunday in church she is taken to live with Dr Roberts and his wife in a beautiful Yorkshire village for her health. Though initially employed as a maid, Mary soon becomes the daughter the couple were never able to have. With Britain at war, unable to remain idle, Mary finds employment in the local steel works but when her fiancé Tom Downing is killed in action Mary is convinced it is retribution for their night of sin during Tom's Christmas leave.
Told with warmth and humour, The Ever Open Door is the story of a hard working, down-to-earth community in a small Yorkshire town during the Second World War and its aftermath.Burly steelworker Jim Butler and his wife Sally are quite content in their little house on Potters Row. Jim's only complaint is that Sally is too soft hearted for her own good, always at the beck and call of any neighbour, friend or even stranger. Sally, on the other hand, accuses Jim of being a soft touch for anyone after a drink or two at the Rising Sun.