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Aunt Florrie (Flo for short) is a minor character in Call the Midwife. She is played by Nicky Goldie.

Overview[]

Flo is a landlady of a pub called The Black Sail and the aunt of Valerie Dyer.

Biography[]

Aunt Flo was first seen in Series 5 in her pub the black sail, nurse Barbara Gilbert was bringing her some cooling powders for her daughter Esme, she was struggling to get through the busy crowd of men so Florie as she is called in this episode shouts “shift it gents”. She says the cooling powders would help with keeping her sane as her granddaughter cried like a sea nymph according to her. When there Barbara meets Johnny Beckett the husband of another of her patients who told her he got an early finish at the docks but at that moment Aunt Flo turned up and said she’d never known a pint last longer, it turned out Johnny was fired from his job at the docks.

Aunt Flo isn’t seen in Series 6 but her pub is, her niece Valerie Dyer was helping out in the pub after leaving her job as an army nurse. This connection to the pub gave the nurses the idea of hosting their clinic after a flood ruined their original venue, despite Flo being a rather waspish woman, according to Sister Julienne she was rather accommodating. When Valerie says she’s clearing room in the back for urine testing Flo says she hoped it was clean urine as she had pies arriving. Her regulars had returned to work after Christmas to which Valerie says it would be women and children first, while dusting Flo sniped they said that on the titanic.  

Aunt Flo is seen again in Series 7 when there was believed to be a Nigerian sailor suffering from smallpox in the district. This sets the district into a panic and demands for vaccinations soar, Flo’s business suffers when a rumour spreads that the sailor slept rough by her bins so no one would go near her pub for fear of bringing the disease home to their families, Flo compares it to a ghost town. Anyway Valerie reminds her that they were in the pub because of the box of tin plates she promised to Violet Buckle for her picnic, to which Flo angrily snaps that she has an empty pub to worry about. As it turns out the sailor had leprosy so there was little danger in the first place.  

She is next seen in Series 8 when she places an urgent call to Nonnatus House to speak to her niece Valerie and asks that she come round to her pub quickly and bring her nurses bag. Valerie sets off and her colleague Trixie decides to go with her based on the urgency of the call. Both nurses arrive and find that Valerie’s grandmother Elsie had been doing an abortion and the recipient was bleeding. Flo brings towels but Trixie orders she throw them on the floor as they were filthy. Trixie then orders an ambulance and at first Flo refuses but Trixie says she would call an ambulance or her and Valerie would return with a police officer so she agrees. As the victim Teresa Banley was wheeled onto the ambulance Flo sharply asks they go through back door.  

While Aunt Flo knew of the abortions that Elsie had been doing for a long time she was not the actual abortionist and so not arrested or put on trial. She was however present and when Elsie pleaded guilty Flo got up and shouted “that’s bloody criminal”. Elsie is sentenced to six years, almost the maximum. Flo went to visit Elsie in holloway along with another of her nieces Maureen Bryant but according to Maureen she simply cried through the visit as Valerie had not been to visit. Maureen also helped Flo out in a cleaning shift at her pub.  

Elsie was released from prison after a year as she was diagnosed with terminal oesophagus cancer. Flo decided to go to visit her at her flat and brought her a vanilla slice, Elsie didn’t want her there but Flo said she had relatives all over Poplar wanting to see her but Elsie refused to allow them in. She wanted no one to cross the threshold of her room apart from her granddaughter Valerie. Elsie died soon after that.  

Aunt Flo was finally seen in the 2020 Christmas Special when a travelling circus burned down and a family paid for rooms in her pub, they brought their dog which annoyed her. Flo allowed them to stay after making some disparaging comments on theatrical types and charges extra for the dog. Aunt Flo has not been seen since however her pub makes occasional appearances and it can be assumed that Flo still runs it.  

Trivia[]

  • Nicky Goldie previously guest starred on Call the Midwife as a completely different character in S05E02 before being cast as Aunt Flo.
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