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The Black Sail pub is the pub owned by Aunt Flo, it is very popular with the men of Poplar and has been seen several times over the course of the show.

Overview[]

The black sail has it’s first official appearance in Series 5, Barbara Gilbert is dropping cooling powders for Aunt Flo’s granddaughter, through she is just called Florrie in this episode as Valerie Dyer had yet to be introduced. There she meets the husband of one of the mothers she is caring for, Johnny Beckett who’s wife Stella is angry for him for not bringing in enough money in his docker career. He pretends he’s been given an early finish but Florrie comes in and says he’s been there all day. As it turns out Johnny was sacked from his docker job causing Stella to force him out, but it turns out Johnny has Leukaemia and is dying. However he gets to meet his son before he goes.

The black sail is seen again in Series 6 when Valerie Dyer is helping out, she told people she left her career as an army nurse because there was a lot of curing but not enough caring. Though the real reason was because she was a victim of persecution from a nurse who didn’t think working class women should be allowed to train as nurses. One day a massive explosion takes place and Valerie rushes to the scene, one of her customers George Marsh was caught in the explosion, Valerie and Shelagh Turner help rescue him but they get too late for his friend Arthur Pilbury. George is blinded by this and Shelagh and Valerie must testify at court.

In the 2017 Christmas special the community centre, the site for the weekly antenatal clinic is put out of bounds because of the weather. So Aunt Flo allows the clinic to take place in the pub. When Fred and Violet Buckle prepare a beauty pageant Valerie Dyer enters as Miss Black Sail pub and comes in runner up. The pub is next seen later on in the series when a man named Ade Babayaro is supposedly sick with smallpox and is hiding in the streets of Poplar. The usually bustling pub is like a ghost town because of the rumour he slept rough round her bins the last night so the dockers are nowhere to be seen. In the end Ade is diagnosed with leprosy and can be cured of the disease.

Clark Lombardi was drinking at the Black Sail when he was told of the news of his triplets, the youngest went into a state of Foetal distress and needed special care at the hospital, Clark decided to go there as he wanted his daughter to be with family. The next major appearance of the pub is during S08 E07 when Valerie Dyer is called by Aunt Flo, the urgency of the call prompts Trixie Franklin to go there too. Aunt Flo hustles them up the stairs where it turns out Valerie’s grandmother has been doing an abortion, and the customer Teresa Banley is haemorrhaging heavily. Trixie forces Aunt Flo to call an ambulance for Teresa which she complies reluctantly and shoes any onlookers away. Elsie Dyer is arrested and put on trial where she sentenced to six years in prison.

The pub is next seen in the 2020 Christmas special when the circus comes to Poplar, unfortunately a massive fire takes place and expectant mother Jaquetta Ellings and her sons are put up in the black sail where Aunt Flo proves to be very rude to them. Jaquetta goes into labour and is attended to by Sister Hilda and Phyllis Crane, after Jaquetta gives birth to a boy she has a heart attack, she is then taken to hospital where she makes a recovery. The exterior of the pub continues to be seen in later series of the show but has not been featured in a storyline since.

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