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During a holiday at Blackpool, Jo, the 17-year-old illegitimate daughter of impoverished and promiscuous Helen, is rejected by her mother's lecherous suitor, Peter. For solace Jo turns to Jimmy, a black sailor enjoying brief shore leave. They make love and Jimmy's ship departs. Indifferent to Jo's feelings, Helen, evicted from her Salford flat, moves in with Peter. Her deserted daughter gets a job as a shoe clerk and rents a room, which she shares with the gentle Geoffrey, a penniless homosexual. Upon discovering that she is pregnant, Jo is disconsolate, but Geoffrey is delighted. Enthusiastically preparing for the baby's arrival, he sews a layette, visits a clinic for instruction in child care, and proposes marriage to the indifferent Jo. Concerned by her depression, the homosexual visits Helen and tells her of the pregnancy. When Peter's interest wanes, Helen abruptly moves in with her pregnant daughter, promptly ousts Geoffrey, and torments Jo by bemoaning the baby's mixed race.