When Britain declares war on Germany in 1939, Carolyn Maddison is still a schoolgirl. Her elder brother, Alastair, wastes no time in joining the RAF as a flying officer, and Carolyn decides that when she is 18 she will follow him into the service by joining the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. While reporting to the Air Ministry in London, she meets a good-looking, charismatic pilot, Charlie Wade, currently employed in propaganda work.
The year is 1850, and Susannah Charlesworth loves the estate and open air life of the North Lincolnshire Wolds. She stands to become a very rich woman too - inheriting the estate, as well as her father's and uncle's wealth, one day. But then she meets the dashing Daniel Bullen and Susannah's life is about to change forever. As the eldest son, Daniel will take over his father's mill.
Scarborough, 1938. When Jane and Nell are brought together by a chance encounter, Jane, unhappy at home, sees an opportunity to escape when Nell invites her to visit her family in Lowestoft. However, they have no idea that their friendship will be tested through the trials of love, hardship and war. Nell's friends, Simon and Ewan, accept Jane as one of their own and welcome her into their world. But the threat of war soon brings changes for all four of them.
When Kate Swan's overbearing father demands that she obey him by marrying a man she despises, she refuses and is cast out of her comfortable home in Whitby. Fortunately, a kindly local widow is looking for a lady companion and for the moment, Kate's future is assured. Meanwhile in Shetland, Malcolm McFadden, heir to the Garstan Estate, disagrees with his father's plan to clear the crofters from his land and turn it over to sheep. When he and Kate meet, they are instantly attracted to one other but circumstances get in the way.
Whitby 1901. Sarah Brook has kept diaries for most of her life. Now eighty-five and at the end of her own journey, she allows her favourite great-niece Esther to read them. But while full of Sarah's thoughts and dreams, and family stories, the diaries also hold dark family secrets about the past, which are about to be exposed... Whitby 1832. When their mother tragically dies, life changes dramatically for Sarah and her siblings.
"A sense of place"
Recently widowed, Katherine Chambers is taking her young son to visit her husband's family when disaster strikes. The ship they are sailing on runs into a severe storm off Robin Hood's Bay on the Yorkshire Coast. The Whitby lifeboat goes to their rescue but the freak weather conditions mean that not only is the ship lost but the lifeboat crew as well. However, among the bodies on the beach, a survivor is found.
The Other Side of the River tells the story of Gennetta Turner, whose father owns a large jet-carving company. Competition between the companies is intense, and Mr Turner devises a way of consolidating his hold over the town by marrying his daughter off to the son of his arch-rival. However, Gennetta is wildly in love with her childhood sweetheart, a young sailor.
Lydia Middleton faces a bright future, secure in the knowledge that her childhood sweetheart, David Drayton, will one day be her husband. Their parents heartily approve of a match between Whitby's foremost ship-owning families. But then Mr Middleton loses his fortune and later his life, and the Draytons reconsider. Lydia's uncle repossesses the family home and she is forced to leave Whitby. But she vows that when her fortunes have changed she will return for revenge.
Olivia Coulson is pretty and determined enough to attract any man's eye. George Chilton-Brookes, heir to the Cropton estate, is visibly enchanted by her, while handsome gentleman farmer Kit Fernley is also drawn to her looks and vivacity. Olivia wavers between her two suitors, eventually inclining towards the wealth and social position that marriage to George will bring - only to find that he has turned his attention elsewhere. So she marries Kit: handsome, attentive, loving... and in her eyes, second best. Unable to forgive her George, Olivia sets out to make him pay....
Local Whitby girl, Colette Shipley has become fascinated by the mysteries of the new art of photography and begins to create a record of her scenic home town with its tall ships and twin lighthouses, street urchins and weathered old fishermen. One day she encounters Arthur Newton who shares her passion for the town's unique atmosphere. Colette and Arthur begin a friendship that develops further. However, unbeknown to Collette, Arthur is also married with a young child. Arthur has tried to be content with his steady job at the railways and his marriage to his childhood sweetheart Rose.
When Emily Thornton discovers a will linked with the murder of a sea captain in Hull in the 1860's, she is determined to discover what happened - but a vital witness is missing. So, Emily enlists the help of Thomas Laycock, a young man who has come to Hull to open his own detective agency. As the pair travel to Middlesborough and Whitby, the investigation unfolds, and their attention is brought to a locket worn by a mysterious young woman. Emily and Thomas are convinced that this is a crucial link in the case. Can they unravel the meaning behind this unusual locket?
When John Mitchell inherits property from a distant relative, he and his family move from a comfortable living in Whitby to a large country estate in Cornwall. It seems an ideal place for John and his wife to raise their young daughter, Abigail. However, life in the South is not without its problems and he finds himself clashing with the Gaisfords, a powerful old Cornish family. Any problems the family encounter over the years, however, seem to be averted when Abigail marries handsome Luke Gaisford, in spite of her father's warning that still waters run deep.
The death of her mother in 1813, brings added responsibility to 17-year-old Anna Mason. A self-confident girl, she has to shed her girlhood sooner than she would have expected as she assumes many of her mother's tasks in running the household of Hawkshead Manor. Julian Kirby, a family friend, is entranced by Anna but she doesn't feel she is able to return his affections while her father remains so devastated by his wife's death.
In the early days of the 19th-century, Whitby is a thriving port. Both the Coulson and the Campion families make a living by the sea. Sam Coulson has three sons: Martin, Ben, and Eric. He has grand plans for expanding his whaling business; and as Seaton Campion has no sons, a marriage between Martin and Campion's eldest daughter, Alicia, will aid the fortunes of both families. Ben Coulson, Sam's middle son, has turned his back on whaling to follow other pursuits.
1858 - When a wheel breaks on 20-year-old Betsy Palmer’s trap as she is crossing the North York Moors on her way to Rosedale with jewellery to sell to the ironstone miners, she is helped by Jim Fenwick, a supervisor on the mining project, and a special relationship between them develops. In Newcastle, love is also blossoming between Robert Addison, son of a successful merchant, and Adele Jordan when Robert discovers something scandalous that he fears will ruin many people’s lives.