Plum House


At the least visited country house in the country - Plum House, the former stately home of a terrible poet George Pudding - the building now houses a museum which is fast losing money. In charge is eccentric curator Peter Knight. Tom Collyer is sent from the trust to save the museum, but he has to win round the team hand-picked by Peter which includes deputy Julian, educational director Emma, a corner-cutting manager Maureen and the unsafe maintenance man Alan. The state of the accounts however, which Julian has had to doctor, leads to Tom having to decide who to fire in a quick bid to cut costs.

Series 1

1. Why Why WI?

The museum is awaiting the arrival of the Women's Institute, who are expecting something different as they have threatened to go elsewhere in future years. Tom tries to offer advice on improving the experience, however Peter has the team make preparations by hiding the valuable artefacts which the women are prone to stealing, much to Emma's protestation. Emma locks Peter and Alan in a room, while Maureen throws the women out of her shop, leaving Julian to give the talk. The team end the day by looking through the guestbook to find out how they have performed.

2. Perilously Poorly Peter

The staff are in the house in a rain storm, and hear a moaning noise echoing through the house. They discover Peter feeling unwell due to a problem with his tooth, but he refuses to return after having a filling as a child, though is eventually convinced and heads off with Tom. Julian takes charge, and immediately puts plans in place to reopen his cafe which Peter previously closed. However, he finds Alan hasn't restored it to his liking when he takes Maureen's advice. An attempt to fire Maureen for insubordination ends with Emma, Maureen, and Alan going on strike.

3. Trust the Trust

Amidst the heavy rains, the museum has had to be littered with buckets by Alan due to a number of leaks in the roof. At a staff meeting, Tom tries to determine how the roof can be fixed, and sets up a committee to discuss ways that funds can be raised to pair for repairs. Meanwhile, a lone visitor arrives which leads to Peter, Julian, and Maureen questioning whether the trust have sent a surprise reviewer along to mark the museum's performance, and the three become paranoid that they are going to be shut down.

4. Peter vs Prynne

A group of scholars are to visit Plum House, and Tom decides on choosing a guest to attend and give a talk. However, his choice of Professor Mungo Prynne who Peter despises due to a supposed review he wrote of his work and past altercations, it results in them competing over a game of skittles. Meanwhile, Julian has issues with a nearby farmer, while Alan is required to dress up as a plum. The game ends with a win for Mungo, and Peter has still to introduce him for his speech. Julian's attempts to placate the farmer also end badly with the plum tree now under threat.

5. The Rather Risky Ramble

Tom returns from holiday, which includes taking part in a team management course, and finds the others arguing over Maureen's missing jigsaw piece. Eager to put his new skills into action as a way to improve bonding. Peter suggests a team event with a lengthy walk also done previously by George Pudding, which ends with them quickly getting lost up a mountain in bad weather. As the night draws in, Peter starts to become paranoid and Julian eats most of the food, while Tom and Emma become closer while out looking for help.

6. Lights, Camera, Pudding

While Peter and Julian play a game of eye-spy, Tom discovers that a film crew for Buttermere Hall, the Cumbrian Poldark, will be arriving to shoot part of the show at Plum House. Problems begin to crop up including Maureen who cooks lots of food that nobody asked for, Julian who has to deal with the electricity due to be cut off, and Alan who has to handle the lead actor while fixing the toilet. Alan has to save the day with a generator when the electricity is disconnected, and the resulting episode sees Peter's part in completely cut.

Series 2

1. A Sound Investment

Tom breaks a chamberpot belonging to George Pudding, and has to secretly organises Alan to fix it. The museum has also gained enough funding to record an audio guide of the museum, but cancels the hired voice actor in favour, to read the scripts written by Emma who is insistent they be followed. Deciding on telling Peter about his breakage, Tom ends up the victim of blackmail from Maureen, who wants an extension on her gift shop and Julian, who wants a recording studio in his office, though Alan comes through with a repair of sorts.

2. Thief Encounter

Peter is wanting to steal a piece of George Pudding memorabilia, a shopping list, from the heir of a collector who is planning to auction it. With the help of a criminal who takes an interest in Maureen, Peter and Julian end up in the car with a number of George Pudding's weapons, to retrieve the shopping list, by breaking into the heirs house. Meanwhile, Emma and Tom meet with the heir and try to negotiate the transfer of the artefact. However, both parties end up encountering each other at the heirs house, which results in Julian injuring his ankle.

3. Black Pudding

Peter receives news of him being given a honorary degree, though has a bad reaction when he finds out it is from the University of the Central Lakes, an ex-polytechnic. The staff take to trying to improve Peter's morale who has been hit with doubts and thoughts that he has wasted his life. They ask radical psychiatrist Doctor Bloch to help with his oddball ideas. Bloch however ends up going mad after dealing with the staff at Plum House.

4. Death Comes to Plum House

Plum House is hosting a murder-mystery evening for an amateur dramatics group, however heavy rain mean that the bus they are arriving on gets stuck. The staff set about playing the game anyway, until a horrifying scream from Alan has them panicking. They discover him in a locked room with a serious bump to the head, and this prompts Peter to tell them of the ghost of Isaac, a child who George Plum looked after. As the doors begin banging, they discover that they are not alone in the building. However, when the dramatics group eventually arrives, Alan reveals the cause of his bump.

5. Hot Quiz

Peter has installed a sauna in the old ice room using the last months budget, which he and Julian make use of with the help of Alan. Meanwhile, Tom, Emma and Maureen await the three to turn up before heading to the pub quiz. However, they soon stumble upon steam pouring from the building, which results in the discovery of the misuse of the budget. This sets about a competition between Tom and Emma, Peter and Julian, and Maureen and Alan who each want to control the budget, by way of winning the pub quiz.

6. Wedding Bells

Plum House is set to host a wedding, though Peter is against the idea. A journalist from a wedding magazine is due to attend to review the venue, but when the wedding looks to be cancelled, Tom sets about trying to get the couple back together. Failing that, he resorts to asking Emma to marry him in a fake wedding. While trying to organise the event and keep the journalist onside, Tom receives a phone call from the British Museum in London who are checking Emma's references, as she has applied to change jobs.

Series 3

1. Better the Devil

Tom is feeling depressed with Emma leaving, and having resorted to crying in front of visiting school children, he is sent on a sabbatical by the trust to get away from Plum House. The remaining staff plan on how to misuse the finances with Tom gone, however find the trust has sent another person, Roger, to sort out the museum and find he is much more stringent than Tom. When Roger throws out Peter's sweets, the staff plot a way to get rid of Roger and entice Tom back.


Peter is appearing in a television show looking back on his family history, and his eccentric display leads to him going viral on Twitter. The following day, the staff arrive at the museum to find a huge crowd demanding to meet with Peter and tour Plum House. The staff take to capitalising on the museums fame, but with Julian taking charge as his agent and manager, it doesn't take long before Peter gets above his station, and feels he is too good to meet the waiting crowds.

3. A Knight to Remember

Tom discovers that Plum House has been nominated, like every year, for an award of Best Lake District Museum, with the ceremony in London. Travelling down to London, and leaving Julian in charge, Peter and Tom win the trophy when the only other competing museum doesn't bother to turn up. Tom also spots Emma, and the pair miss the last train back, resulting in Emma putting them up for the night until Peter's complaining leads to them decamping to Peter's brothers. Julian meanwhile gets stuck in a suit of armour.

4. Grace and Favour

Tom has a new plan to raise money by having guests stay in Plum House, however this involves evicting Peter who is defiant that he will not be removed. An artist, Grace, turns up to paint the house, having arranged it with Emma, and Julian takes an immediate fancy though the feelings are not reciprocated. She does persuade Peter to stand for a portrait painting, though he decides to do it nude. The guests turn up and initially like their room, before Peter makes an appearance. Tom also finds himself in trouble when Grace makes a move.

5. All in Good Faith

Peter makes a new friend in the vicar who has taken over at the local church and attempting to raise funds for repairs. Volunteering Alan's services to look at the bell, Alan begins to find a variety of problems while Maureen also takes to helping out. Emma has returned to work at Plum House, though Tom receives a phone call from the trust that there is no money to hire her, leaving him with a difficult conversion. At the vicars first service however, Alan's building modifications have put the building in peril.

6. Fete and Fortune

Plum House is set to host the annual fete, but Tom has heard that the mayor is considering moving it to the village square due to previous years disasters. Maureen meanwhile has her annual competition with her rival, and has set about training for the welly throwing contest. Emma meets Iceland's second strongest man, and takes an interest leaving Tom jealous. When Maureen loses her contest with her rival and things are looking bad for the future of Plum House, Tom steps up.