Manchester draftsman Vic Brown (Alan Bates) becomes involved with secretary Ingrid Rothwell (June Ritchie), who works at his firm. After they sleep together, she gets pregnant. Vic feels a sense of responsibility -- although he's not really in love with her -- and proposes marriage. The couple is forced to live with Ingrid's mother (Thora Hird), who treats Vic with contempt because of his working-class background. But, when tragedy strikes, Vic must decide what his new wife means to him.