13 January 2008
When a new baby is born into the family, eldest daughter Laura Timmins is told by her parents that she will have to make her own way in the world. Arrangements have been made for her to move to the nearby village of Candleford where she will be apprenticed to her cousin Dorcas Lane. Dorcas is the postmistress and a very successful businesswoman. Laura is quite sad at the prospect of leaving Lark Rise and her family, but her cousin is very kind and sets about teaching her the business. Trouble is brewing between Lark Rise and Candleford, however, when residents of the former complain of the high cost of telegram delivery. It gets worse when one of the residents can't afford to pay and misses the news that her brother is deathly ill.
20 January 2008
Dorcas Lane is apt to say that all secrets are bound to come out in Candleford and that seems to be the case with Mrs. Macey. She's been living in the village for five years with her son Freddy, who is a bit of a hellion. Her story has always been that her husband is a valet and away traveling. The truth is that her husband, Dan Macey, has been in prison but a letter brings her shocking news that is soon spread to every corner of the village. Caroline Arless has a date in court when she fails to pay for the barrel of beer she bought. With no husband, no money and another baby on the way, few are convinced that she will land anywhere but in debtors' prison.
27 January 2008
Dorcas Lane arranges for Patty, a young woman from the workhouse, to work as a housekeeper for Old and Young Amos. She is an honest and hard worker who found herself in the workhouse through no fault of her own, but that doesn't stop the village gossips from having their say. Problems do arise when both Amoses decide that they want to marry her. When the residents of Lark Rise decide to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Sir Timothy Midwinter's family presiding over the area, his wife, Lady Adelaide, is not sure she wants to participate. His asking Dorcas to take her place changes her mind. Politics also enter into the celebration when Laura's father refuses to let his children sing a Tory marching song, putting him into conflict with the Reverend Ellison.
3 February 2008
A debt-collector arrives in Lark Rise looking to seize Caroline Arless' property and send her to debtors' prison. A Mr. Ashlow arrives in the village looking for his two daughters, who turn out to be the Pratt sisters. Ruby is not pleased to see him and will have nothing to do with him. They also shock Candleford with their new window display. Ashlow engages Caroline as a prop in selling his patent medicine, which proves to be quite popular, and in his gambling, which proves equally lucrative. Dorcas shows Laura her dead letter box containing correspondence that cannot be delivered or returned to the sender. In it, they find many letters written to Ashlow's daughters under their previous names.
10 February 2008
A new postal inspector, Mr. Rushton, arrives in Candleford to conduct the annual inspection. It's the man's first visit and his no-nonsense approach does not sit well with Dorcas Lane, who is convinced he doesn't approve of a woman running a postal station. Rushton insists that Thomas, who has been asked to preach a Sunday sermon, collect the mail that day as required by regulations. Laura makes a great error when she misplaces the Pratt sisters' much-anticipated parcel. Lady Midwinter thinks she might be pregnant.
17 February 2008
Having secured a month's work at the manor house, Laura's father takes in a homeless family. It's only meant to be for one night but when they wake the next morning, they find the family has gone on having left their little girl, Polly, behind. He takes her to work with him but when Lady Midwinter finds her in the garden, she proposes to her husband that they keep her as their own. He doesn't agree and raises eyebrows, especially those of the Pratt sisters, when he takes the girl to Dorcas' house late in the evening. Dorcas and Laura plot to move true love along by sending a poem from Thomas to the minister's daughter. He receives one in return but a mix-up leads some people to jump to wrong conclusions.
24 February 2008
The hamlet of Lark Rise is divided when Susan Brady brings charges of wife beating against her husband Sam. He hit her while drunk but she had always warned him not to raise a hand against her and now she is being true to her word. Emma Timmins tries to convince her otherwise, but she won't budge. Sir Timothy and Lady Adelaide have a major row when she dismisses the local workmen in favor of hiring someone from away to complete the new front gates. Laura brings home her young beau, Philip, for Sunday dinner but her father doesn't like his politics very much.
2 March 2008
The new "school mistress" is an attractive man, causing emotional upheaval among the ladies of Candleford and some concern at the manor.
9 March 2008
Queenie finds a beautiful hand-embroidered panel depicting Adam and Eve wrapped in a 40-year-old newspaper. It was lying atop the grave of someone named Harold Wigmore and both Dorcas and Sir Timothy takes an interest in the origin of the piece and investigate. The Pratt sisters believe they have dreamed an important clue. Alf Arless decides to take on the gamekeeper by poaching on the estate. As an act of defiance against his father, Laura's brother Edmund also takes up poaching but is seriously hurt in the process. Caroline Arless returns from her stint in the workhouse and gets a letter from her husband who expects to be home before her confinement. Thomas continues to fancy Miss Ellison and finally manages to ask her out for a walk.
23 March 2008
Having spent the night in the pouring rain searching for Edmund Timmins, Twister Turrill finds his health in serious decline. He decides to distribute some of his personal effects to friends in Lark Rise. Knowing that her love for Sir Timothy can never lead to anything, Dorcas Lane announces that she is selling the postal outlet and will be traveling abroad. Philip the gamekeeper tells Sir Timothy that Robert Timmins knows who is poaching on the estate but Robert won't reveal the name and soon finds himself out of work. Laura and Philip subsequently argue. Caroline Arless is determined not to have her baby until her seaman husband returns home but goes into labor in the post office. Zillah prepares for her "surprise" birthday party.
21 December 2008
When Dorcas and Emma each want to give Laura the same gift for Christmas, an old family wound is opened up and Laura finds herself torn between two mothers. As the inhabitants of Lark Rise and Candleford prepare for the festivities, loyalties are tested and, amid the gift-giving and carol-singing, tensions are building. However, the arrival of a ragged, barefooted young woman, who goes by the name of Cinderella Doe, introduces a note of Christmas mystery. Dorcas also receives a Christmas letter from Sir Timothy.
4 January 2009
A handsome stranger rides into Candleford, giving away silver three-penny coins. He has come from London to open his new hotel in the town, and Pearl and Ruby Pratt are delighted to welcome such a sophisticated incomer. However, he is actually James Dowland, a former Lark Rise orphan fostered by the Turrills who, on advice from Dorcas' father, left the area to make his fortune in the capital. In gratitude to his adopted parents he has their leaking roof mended, but Robert Timmins believes that he is not only buying the villagers' affections but also allowing the Turrills' greedy landlady, Mrs. Herring, to shirk her duties. In the Candleford Post Office, meanwhile, Dorcas, whilst encouraging Thomas's courtship of Margaret, is having problems with her very stupid new young maid, Minnie, who creates more work than she achieves.
11 January 2009
James Dowland campaigns for the parish council on a promise of house-building but Robert challenges him, claiming that he is motivated by profit. When James' opponent withdraws through illness Dorcas puts herself forward as a candidate. In Lark Rise the battle of the sexes continues when the men complain that Lilly, a butch female itinerant laborer, has invaded the male domain of the local inn. This leads to a bitter row between Emma and Robert. During a public debate James patronizes Dorcas.
18 January 2009
Parson Ellison dies and at his funeral Margaret is extremely hostile when her long-lost younger brother George appears. He is a qualified doctor who believes in science, not God, and she will not give him house room. To Thomas' disgust Dorcas puts him up and he proves popular in Lark Rise, as he has manual skills and is happy to pitch in and help build a foot-path. Eventually Margaret confronts him, admitting that her resentment was caused, not by his beliefs, but by the fact that he escaped to make a life for himself, condemning her to a life of duty to a bullying father - the true common enemy. Ashamed of her unChristian outburst she gets very drunk which perplexes Thomas when he comes to propose marriage to her. He rides off into the storm and falls off his bicycle. When George rescues him there is a reconciliation between the siblings and Margaret and Thomas agree to a long engagement whilst she acts as the governess to the incumbent vicar's family.
25 January 2009
To help out stressed cousin Emma, Dorcas agrees to look after her baby, Annie, at the post office. Thomas is horrified but proves to be far more expert at child-care than Dorcas and her female friends, who are all very broody at Annie's presence. Thomas shocks Margaret by saying that he does not want them to have children. A cocky young Irishman called Fisher Bloom arrives in town to install a public clock, paid for by James. The foolish Minnie, after an innocent night out with him, thinks she is pregnant, but, after initial, mutual, hostility, he begins to fall for Laura. James, meanwhile, seeks Robert's advice on how best to declare his feelings for Dorcas.
1 February 2009
Dorcas gets flu and Laura runs the counter for her very ably but will not tell her that the telegraph machine is malfunctioning, Thomas has started to sleep-walk, and that threatening letters are arriving, in case Dorcas thinks she has failed her. Minnie runs away but Twister finds her and brings her home. Dorcas is still wary of Fisher because she thinks he will make Laura too fond of him and then go on his way.
8 February 2009
On the eve of the public opening of the clock, a vital piece does not arrive and Laura's father's tool-bag is stolen. Edmund sells his boots and Dorcas sets up a fund to buy him new tools. He is, predictably, resentful to be regarded as a charity case. Learning that her father was forced to stay in Lark Rise when he first arrived because Emma was so besotted with him she stole and hid his hammer, Laura owns up to hiding the missing piece for the clock. It was to make Fisher stay. Whilst Fisher confesses his love for Laura, Robert gives him a harsh pep talk, asking if he is up to the responsibility of marriage after a life as an itinerant single craftsman.
15 February 2009
Laura is still mourning Fisher's departure so Dorcas sends her home to Lark Rise, where her grandfather Edmund is visiting to celebrate his birthday. He once courted Queenie and annoys Twister with his presence, especially when he lets it drop that the Turrills never married. A sophisticated middle-aged widow, Celestia, sweeps into Candleford to stay at James' hotel and turns heads. Margaret is convinced she has bewitched Thomas as he keeps avoiding her but he is in fact moonlighting as a hotel porter to get extra money for their wedding and does not want her to know. Celestia was once James' lover when she helped him establish his hotel business in London and Dorcas feels betrayed that he never spoke about her, turning down his marriage proposal as she feels she cannot trust him.
22 February 2009
Following the Turrils' wedding Alf meets Nan, a milkmaid from Fordlow, a neighboring hamlet. There has been a long-standing feud between the two communities and the pair date in secret before Alf, having heard gossip from Twister, stops seeing Nan. Margaret and Thomas set a wedding date and Minnie makes clumsy efforts to reconcile Dorcas with James, whose business is floundering.
1 March 2009
Constable Patterson's wife falls ill, as she does every autumn, and gives him permission to re-marry if she passes on. He takes a shine to Pearl Pratt, giving her presents, and, whilst she is initially shocked, she ends up kissing him, to Ruby's horror. Mrs. Patterson makes a miracle recovery, telling Laura her annual illness is due to resentment of her husband's enthusiasm for the Autumn Produce Fair and his obsession with his garden, which has killed their marriage. She resolves to make it work, helping him to win the show. As the couple reconcile, Ruby comforts her sister.
8 March 2009
James discovers he has a ten-year-old son, Sidney, whose mother has just died, but he is reluctant to remove the boy from his boarding school, feeling it would unsettle him. Dorcas argues that Sidney's place is with his father and they fall out over the matter. Laura hurts Alf by telling him she saw Nan kissing another boy. Margaret annoys Thomas by asking Robert, whom he sees as an atheist, to give her away at their wedding.
15 March 2009
Whilst James recovers in hospital from his fall Sydney stays with Dorcas, whom he adores, showing no interest in his father, who discharges himself from hospital early, unsuccessfully trying to bully Dorcas into giving him his son. Nan is cruel to Alf, claiming that she prefers bad boys but Emma discovers that this is only because the girl feels she is not good enough for Alf. Margaret hides from Thomas in Lark Rise when she develops a nervous rash days before their wedding. Miraculously her skin clears and the marriage goes ahead.
10 January 2010
A journalist, Daniel Parish, arrives in Lark Rise with news that Emma Timmins is set to inherit a large amount of money, enough to change the family's life forever. Daniel plans to write their story for his newspaper, but Dorcas is suspicious of his motives,. Can Laura and Daniel's friendship survive this? Meanwhile Ruby looks for romance and Minnie tries not to tell a lie.
17 January 2010
When a tree at Lark Rise appears to bleed human blood days before the bishop is coming to consecrate a new font, people begin to act strangely. Twister takes to the street telling everyone food will rain from the sky, Robert has trouble finishing the font, and Dorcas accidentally tells Pearl of Ruby's pen friend, causing the sisters to row. An irate Thomas tries to chop the tree down but Dorcas stops him, reminding him that his faith is above local superstitions. Daniel returns to court Laura though Emma disapproves.
24 January 2010
Alf Arliss gets his first proper wage and can afford to rent his own cottage so he throws a house-warming party. But the Timmins' enjoyment is short-lived when Edmund announces he is leaving school to work in the fields, despite an excellent exam result. He argues with his parents and moves in with the Turrills, whilst the Arliss children accuse the Timmins family of snobbery because Emma wants better than labouring work for her boy. Dorcas, noting Minnie's maternal instincts, suggests she would make a good mother so, when Minnie finds a baby on her doorstep, she decides to 'practise' by caring for her in secret. The baby turns out to be the newly-born sister of Alf, whose mother is back in prison. Dorcas locks horns with Robert when she suggests he should hear out Edmund's viewpoint
31 January 2010
It is harvest time at Lark Rise and all the families are working in the fields. However, a measles epidemic sweeps through the county and as the mothers must stay at home to look after the sick children, the harvest is in danger of being so delayed that it cannot be saved. Daniel, come to tell Laura that he is leaving to work in Cambridge, deliberately gives up his new job to stay on and organize isolation and to rally the people of Candleford to come to Lark Rise to act as field workers and nurses.
7 February 2010
Mr. Reppington, a recluse staying at the Golden Lion hotel, asks Dorcas to administer a fund he has set up to help poor widows. He turns out to be William Bourne, a famous concert pianist who has now given up playing as he is mourning his childhood sweetheart, a Candleford girl whom he sacrificed for his career and who has recently died after years of marriage to another man. She and Minnie also prevail upon Ruby, who is leaving for Pontefract, to bid a proper farewell to Pearl rather than slipping away in the night.
14 February 2010
Pegleg, a crippled Crimean War veteran, makes his annual pilgrimage to Lark Rise to beg and Daniel, setting up his new paper The Candleford Chronicle, plans to highlight the government's shameful treatment of him by denying him a war pension. Thomas feels inadequate after reading a self-help book whilst Alf lets a lovestruck Minnie down gently.
21 February 2010
Sir Timothy is expected to visit Lark Rise from London to view the locals' mummers play but only Lady Adelaide shows up. The play goes ahead, with Queenie, who has temporarily left Twister to teach him a lesson, upstaging her husband, but afterwards Lady Adelaide confesses to Dorcas that she had a short fling, now over, with another man, causing a rift with Timothy. She assumed he had returned to Lark Rise to seek comfort with his old flame, Dorcas, hence her visit.
28 February 2010
Pearl Pratt is struggling to maintain her business after Ruby's departure and is overjoyed when Enid, a brilliant seamstress, shows up in Candleford and works for her, revitalizing the shop. However, they fall out when Enid reveals she belongs to the Rational Dress Society, who oppose the wearing of corsets, and makes an oration outside the shop. Enid is also a runaway wife. Thomas and Daniel come to grief whilst playing conkers and Sidney goes to great lengths to prevent a goose being killed for Michaelmas.
7 March 2010
After a visit to Oxford, where postmen work shorter, prescribed hours, Thomas strives to form a union but gets little help from his colleagues. Dorcas is patronizing. Margaret and Emma both step into the breach when the village schoolmistress is scared off by the rowdy children and both hope to get the post permanently. Neither is supported by her husband, Thomas being annoyed that Margaret sees the job as compensation for her childlessness and Robert believing Emma should look after the family.
14 March 2010
Bessie Mullins, the biggest gossip in Lark Rise, points the finger at Daniel when her daughter Emily gets pregnant and refuses to name the father. She has no proof and nobody believes her until Minnie sees Daniel give Emily money. Dorcas discovers he was only acting as agent for the real father, the son of Emily's wealthy employers, who have sent him abroad in disgrace. Bessie apologizes to Daniel and, although she considers returning the money as a gesture of defiance, decides it is better for the baby if she and Emily keep it. Twister sulks when Queenie sells his chair to pay the rent and Minnie and Alf get close, though a letter from Fisher Bloom to say he is returning to the area drives a wedge between Laura and Daniel.
21 March 2010
Fisher Bloom arrives in Candleford on his way to a commission in the nearby town of Inglestone. After he is greeted with general hostility by the friends of Laura and Daniel, Laura explains she no longer loves him. Dorcas is looking forward to Mischief Night when the townsfolk play pranks on each other but is less happy when Fisher tells her his work in Inglestone is connected with the arrival of the railway there, which will divert postal services from Candleford, to her detriment.
28 March 2010
As Fisher tells Daniel he is his love rival for Laura and Laura feels torn between the two boys, Dorcas makes an unwelcome discovery. In the light of the railway forcing new arrangements, Blakestone, the district manager and an old enemy of hers, wants to buy the Candleford post office for his son and will turn her out if she refuses. Daniel organizes a campaign to support her, backed by all in Lark Rise and Candleford. Minnie and Alf begin to walk out properly, whilst adopting a gorgeous stray dog brings joy to the Browns.
9 January 2011
Robert is working in Oxford and sending money home whilst Ruby Pratt has returned from Pontefract after splitting with her gentleman friend. Gabriel Cochrane, whose wife has died and whose foundry has been repossessed by the bank, comes to Candleford, penniless, and Dorcas employs him in her forge where the work interests Sydney. After Edmund has collected money from Robert at the post office, he arrives home saying he has been robbed. The whole village rallies round Emma.
16 January 2011
Daniel launches a poetry competition in his paper. Ruby Pratt, jealous of her sister Pearl's doting on their young lodger, puts it about that the contest is rigged and Laura, as Daniel's girl-friend, is set to win it. Laura withdraws from the contest but, after she has had a lace-making lesson and heart-to-heart with Queenie, Ruby feels guilty and urges Laura to re-enter, at the same time reconciling with Pearl, though the prize is won by Emma after Laura has entered one of her mother's old poems. Dorcas and Laura find, hidden in a book, a letter from Gabriel's late wife to her lover, claiming that she only got married for material gain and does not love her husband. They agree to keep it from him, although he is aware that there is another man who regularly puts flowers on the woman's grave.
23 January 2011
When the vicar is indisposed, young curate Benedict Marley assumes his duties, including running the church bazaar, to the annoyance of staid Thomas, who regards Benedict's free, enlightened interpretation of the Bible as ungodly. Seeing a snake, the uptight Thomas totally over-reacts and sees it as a demonic sign. Emma is also troubled by the sight of the snake as it makes her feel vulnerable as a woman temporarily without a husband. Benedict is seen leaving her house after dark and tongues wag, but Emma explains that the relationship is purely one of pastoral comfort and takes her children to the bazaar. The snake reappears but Thomas now sees it as one of God's creatures and nobody fears it. Gabriel discovers his wife's letter, thanking Dorcas for her diplomacy and,on her advice, burning it.
30 January 2011
Queenie wins a pig at a fair and plans to fatten it up to share with the inhabitants of Lark Rise. However, daft Twister 'sells' it to various Candleford residents and then loses the money. Queenie throws him out and Gabriel lets him stay at the post office, annoying Dorcas. Minnie believes that Alf cheated to win the fair's shin-kicking contest, leading to a temporary rift.
6 February 2011
Daniel throws down a challenge for a grudge match against the cricket team from Little Garth, whose captain Larry Jupp is a notorious cheat. But with Thomas away, there are no star players in the Candleford side until it transpires that Margaret is an excellent batswoman. However, women are disallowed from playing so the Pratt sisters disguise her as a man. Laura, feeling Daniel is obsessive about the game, talks Margaret out of playing, and the team does badly...until Dorcas comes up with an idea. Gabriel also comes to see why Dorcas will never marry.
13 February 2011
Gabriel finishes work on his steam-powered seed-planter, planning to tour the county hiring it out. He asks Alf to accompany him but Alf turns him down as his feckless mother Caroline has returned and Alf feels he has to look after his young sisters as she is a bad mother.
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