The year is 1895 and schoolmistress Davis has come to a small mining town in Wales, Glensarno, to live in a home she has recently been willed. She is shocked to find many of the miners illiterate and living in abject poverty. She opens a school with her own money and teaches basic skills
to any of the poor villagers who wish to avail themselves of it. Her housekeeper, an ex-shoplifter (Ivan) who has now become born again, and Ivan's trollop daughter (Lorring) both think the whole idea is dreadful and will never catch on. Davis encourages Dunnock and Williams to join her as
assistant teachers. Bruce is a rich landowner who is against the school. He fears that if the...