Sunderland, 1940, and the women go to the shipyards to do their bit for the war effort. Polly never dreamed she would be able to work in the shipyards like the men in her family but times are tough and her new job ends up giving her more than she ever expected when she meets enigmatic dock diver Tommy Watts. During the day, head welder Rosie teaches her fledgling flock of trainees their new trade, but at night she hides a secret life. And mother hen Gloria signs up to escape her brutal husband, but finds she cannot run from her problems. The Shipyard Girls start off as strangers - but end up forging an unbreakable bond of friendship in the most difficult times.