Henry Hobson has forbidden his three daughters to marry, insisting they continue working in his Victorian Salford shoe shop while he drinks away the profits.

This causes great distress for his two younger daughters, both of whom have handsome suitors who sneak daily into the shop to see them.

So eldest daughter Maggie hatches a plan, and convinces Henry to agree that if she marries, so can the other two. As the prim and bookish Maggie has been a lifelong singleton, Henry thinks he’ll be safe for some time.

But Maggie is determined to turn her life around, and sets her sights on the shy but talented young bootboy who works for her father beneath the shop...