It is 1923 and The Allinghams have had a good war and are now living in a grander house, where Edmund is holding a weekend party for the entertainment of his political sponsor, Lord Kilmartin. Bert Middleton as wagered Kilmartin £5 that he’ll win as he attempts to save up to leave the Village for a job in Sheffield. John Middleton is now a dairy farmer and has been renting young Alf Rutter’s barn to house his 20 head of cattle and milking machine.
Phoebe and Bert begin a tentative relationship. Bill encourages Grace to take part in the bike ride across the Peaks, but tries to justify why she's spending so much time with Bill. John notices that she's distracted, but believes it's because she's in fact attracted to Alf. Marie Stope's caravan arrives in town. Gilbert takes charge at the factory and moves Agnes to another part of the floor, with disastrous results. Hankin's dancehall opens. Robin believes he has a way to help Martha escape.
Polling day is just around the corner and the rift between Grace and John deepens as she becomes increasingly impressed by Bill Gibby's left-wing ideas. John makes the dairy farm a success after he installs a mobile-milking machine and takes over the village's provision of milk after Rutter's herd get TB.
Edmund and Harriet are getting ready for their wedding, and despite Norma's opposition, Gilbert and Agnes get married in the chapel. Bert and Phoebe are caught on the Allinghams' estate. Grace defies John despite his best efforts to make things right between them.
The future of the Middleton farm is up in the air with John in a coma having suffering a blow to his head at the Mass Trespass. Grace feels conflicting emotions as she needs John to live, but she is scared that he will recover and remember what he saw. Eyre’s impending trial makes Martha realise just how much she is in love with him.
John still can't speak, whilst Bert is hurt and confused about the rumours surrounding his mother and Bill Gibby. Clem decides to settle the rumours once and for all. Bill returns to the village as the new councillor, suggesting that Sheffield needs a new reservoir. Clem's victory over Martha is short-lived as Caro decides she wants her son back. Norma struggles with the gossip surrounding her pregnancy. Grace declares to the village she wants to protect it from the impending building plans.