Father and son are about to go on holiday but,to Matthew's dismay,Henry turns away all thoughts of going abroad in favour of returning to Clagthorpe,where he last visited some twenty years earlier,staying with the charming Mrs. Blackett and which holds many happy memories for him. However,twenty years on and things have changed - including Mrs. Blackett - and there is no sun,no edible food and no entertainment.
When Matthew dates Cherry Gibson he gets himself into a deal of trouble,for she is the girl-friend of local boxing champion Billy Bateman,who challenges Matthew to a fight. To get out of it he pretends that he has fallen victim to a mysterious virus and is seriously ill. However,when Henry discovers what is happening he surprises Matthew by declaring that he is up for it.
It's a big day at the Willows' house as Matthew prepares to leave for college. Henry is over the moon but not quite in the way that Matthew had hoped,for not only is his son advancing himself in the world but now he can reclaim his single life again. Never again will he have to share his home with one of his children. Or will he?