Mrs. Bedlow helps Lyddie find a job and becomes her friend.
Mrs. Bedlow is the keeper of the boardinghouse where Lyddie lives. When Lyddie loses her job at the pub, her only choice is to get a job at the factory. Lyddie takes a coach, and the coachman introduces her to his sister.
Filthy as she had been, Mrs. Bedlow, the coachman's sister, had kindly taken her in. The boardinghouse keeper hurriedly gave her brother a cup of tea and sent him on his way. (Ch. 8)
After Mrs. Bedlow helps Lyddie get fed and clean, she makes sure that Lyddie is ready to get a job. Mrs. Bedlow gets Lyddie an interview with the Concord Corporation so that she can work at the factory.
"Of course, you're as good as anyone, a better worker than most, I suspect, but at the factory they'll look at your clothes and shoes to decide. The Almighty may look at the heart, but 'man looketh on the outward appearance' as the Good Book says…” (Ch. 8)
Mrs. Bedlow is a good judge of character. She knows that Lyddie is tough and that she will be a good worker. She just doesn't have very good clothes when she first arrives at the boardinghouse.
Mrs. Bedlow looks the other way when Lyddie’s little sister Rachel suddenly turns up. Children are not allowed in the boardinghouse, except for Mrs. Bedlow’s, but Mrs. Bedlow allows her to stay while Lyddie figures out what to do.
Lyddie has a lot of gumption, and she is a survivor. Her favorite saying is "we can still hop," and hop Lyddie does. She makes friends each place she ends up, and Mrs. Bedlow is an example of that. Mrs. Bedlow is a kindly lady who looks after the factory girls as if they were her own.