A British dynasty express which races through births, marriages, and deaths--ending in the 1940s and beginning in the 1880s when Sam Hardacre, a fish ""guttie,"" starts his move from dockside to mansion. It takes Yorkshire Sam five chapters to inaugurate his chain of food stalls with a soaring soul and the vision of Colonel Sanders: ""I supply thee with everything. . . . Thou has the stall and every three shillings thou takes thou keeps one."" Thou must then plow through the remaining eleven chapters to watch the generations fly by, born if not to the purple, at least to classier diction. There are war losses, one suicide, one disagreeable wife, and a brace of monks. At the close, after the death of Sam and his wife, their gentle, farmer son muses over the artifacts of yesteryear. Routine stuff but summat for the summer.