1939. The first London evacuees arrive in St David’s Well, homesick and disappointed by the quiet Welsh seaside town. “Wait till summer,” Eirlys Price tells brothers Stanley, Harold and Percival Love. Foreign travel is no longer feasible, so holidays at home enjoy a new lease of life. For the Castle family, this is good news. They have owned Piper’s Café on the beach for three generations and business is expected to boom.
Badger’s Brook becomes the refuge of Lowri Vaughan, escaping the rumours that abound when her father is sent to prison for fraud and suspected murder – crimes Lowri and her mother know he didn’t commit. As she begins to rebuild her life, Lowri is determined to prove her father’s innocence and begins to search for the truth. But along the way she encounters many false friends, who seem to let her down at every turn. Soon Lowri begins to believe that she’ll never be able to rely on anyone again.
The year is 1917, and Barbara Jones is shocked to be told that she is carrying a child. Her boyfriend is a soldier and there is no one to whom she can turn for support. Fortunately, the generous Carey family give Barbara a home in a derelict house on a beach near Gull Island and it is there that her daughter Rosita is born.
Sophie Daniels quits the WAAF at the end of World War II with nowhere to go. She wanders around the country searching for a place where she can settle, living in bedsits and small guest houses in the meantime. Eventually she finds Badgers Brook, where she meets and befriends nine-year-old Bertie, neglected and running wild. The neighbours warm to her, the place is welcoming and she knows she has found her home. She becomes friendly with Ryan Treweather who helps search for Sophie's remaining relatives.
Ruth has looked after her brothers for ten years since the death of their parents and believes that her role as head of the family will continue for the rest of her life. With two of her brothers already married and living away she has only her youngest brothers to care for.
Zena Martin and her brother, Greg, are content with their lives and plans for their future: Zena and Jake Williams are about to announce their engagement, and Greg hopes to persuade Rose Conelly to meet his family and begin the next stage of their relationship. Then their father dies suddenly, and secrets come to light that change everything. Zena begins to doubt her happiness with the kind-hearted Jake when his generosity is more for others than for her.
Valentina's mother had always made it clear to her that her brother, Michael, was the favourite child. So, when the opportunity comes for Valentina to leave South Wales behind, and head to London, she grasps it with both hands. Living in the midst of the music scene changes her attitude and, growing in confidence and experience, Valentina attempts to move out from the shadow of her friend, Phil, and his dream of being a star.
Cecily and Ada Owen's shop is very successful. Their reliable deliveries and service is valued by cafés, tea stalls, and shops on the Pleasure Beach during the summer months. However, things turn sour when Ada's husband, Phil Spencer, comes out of prison a very strange and dangerous man. And Myfanwy, Cecily's daughter, denied for too long, is planning a cruel revenge. Unaware, Cecily and Ada hand over most of their business to Myfanwy during the difficult years of World War II....
In a small seaside town popular with summer visitors, Cecily and Ada run their father's grocery shop. Since their mother left them, they have lived above the shop with Myfanwy, a six-year-old they adopted when her parents died. The business is successful with the assistance of friends and Willie, their hardworking stable boy, and their deliveries extend to the stalls and cafes on the beach, where one stall handler, Peter, becomes a close friend.
Sally Travis appeared to have been badly let down by Rhys Martin, who had gone away to college when under suspicion of burglary. She had faced the gossips alone when their baby was born, and ignored the worrying rumours about him. Rhys’s father, Gwilym Martin, had lost a leg in an accident but whereas Sally held her head high under difficulties, Gwilym, who had been a popular sportsman and athlete, hid away, unable to face being seen in a wheelchair.
"Facing the World"
Seranne Laurence is furious when her mother announces she is to marry the latest in a long line of unsuitable men-friends. She soon realises that she hasn't the right to interfere in her mother's life, but that means she must leave the tea rooms she and her mother run together.
"Time to move on"
Faith Pryor has always run away when things become difficult, whether it be from care homes or foster parents. She always lived in the hope she would find the family she had lost during the chaos of the war. Then she ran away from her fiancé Matt, but leaving him wasn't hard once she had learned of his dark secret. A family of her own was her greatest wish, but something she would never find. Now, after meeting Ian in a chance encounter on a train, running was the last thing she wanted to do.
Ancret has worked hard to be what she is - a skilled designer of beautiful hats with a career that looks set to rise. But she has her worries: who was her real father, and why won't her mother, Loraine, talk about him? Her boyfriend Jonathan wants to marry, but Ancret maintains that her career must come first, and that after his unhappy childhood, what he really wants is a wife who puts work aside for him.
Meriel Evans has worked in her father's estate agency ever since she left school, and she is happy there. But she knows that the time has come for her to follow her own path, so she finds work with the Ace Estate Agency. She soon realises that the owner, George Dexter, and her father dislike each other intensely, though neither will explain why. When she discovers a house called Badgers Brook, she is determined to stay there even after she is unfairly dismissed from her new job.
"Heart of the Home"
In their favourite café, a group of female friends meet regularly to discuss their troubles; but even friends can't always tell each other the truth. Cynthia is happily married to her lifelong sweetheart, but not even their present wealth and security makes her willing to reveal the abuse and trauma they suffered as children. Meriel's husband has abandoned her for another woman.
"Friends and Secrets"