The BBC drama series adapted from Mary Gaskells classic novels of small town gossip, secrets and romance. 1842. "Cranford", a market town in the North West of England, is a place governed by etiquette, custom and above all, an intricate network of ladies. It seems that life has always been conducted according to their social rules, but "Cranford" is on the cusp of change... For spinsters Deborah Jenkyns, the arbiter of correctness in "Cranford", and Matty, her demurring sister, the town is a hub of intrigue - a handsome new doctor Frank Harrison from London has arrived; a retired Captain and his daughters have moved in to a house opposite and the preparations for Lady Ludlows garden party are underway. Everyone - from charming rogue Dr Marshland to mean Mrs Jamieson and her lap dog talks, and is talked about, behind closed doors. The town also has its secrets which it slowly reveals: Matty's encounter with an old flame at the garden party; Lady Ludlow's gardener, Mr Carter, teaching a gypsy lad to read and write; the wild expectations of the May Day celebrations and - news that shakes the town when it is revealed - a railway line from Manchester is coming to "Cranford".