Insurance salesman George "Fatty" Bowling lives with his humorless wife and their two irritating children in a dull house in a tract development in the historyless London suburb of West Bletchley.
The year is 1938; doomsayers are declaring that England will be at war again by 1941. When George bets on an unlikely horse and wins, he finds himself with a little extra cash on his hands. What should he spend it on? But a chance encounter with a poster in Charing Cross sets him off on a tremendous journey into his own memories—memories, especially, of a boyhood spent in Lower Binfield, the country village where he grew up.