Sixteen-year-old Jeannie spends most of her time at Scarborough Harbour – she is a net mender and herring girl. When she meets Harry, a fisherman from Hull, she falls head-over-heels in love with him and soon finds herself pregnant. Harry’s dour grandmother tells Jeannie that they must marry, despite him being out of work. They do so, and begin a life in the hub of Hull’s fishing community. But it is not long before Jeannie realises she has made a terrible mistake…Jeannie gives birth to a beautiful baby boy, but her husband’s grandmother dies soon afterwards. From this moment, their marriage drifts apart – Harry leaves her and Jeannie is left destitue save for the occasional work on the fishing quay.