Flora: Kerryann Christiansen

 

Flora was first seen in 1993 as Alfie and Anna's step-sister-to-be.

It soon became apparent in the 1994 series that relations between Alfie and Anna and their step-mother-to-be Jean, and step-sister-to-be Flora would be tense. Anna totally resented her father's remarriage and utterly rejected Jean. Alfie was less hostile to the remarriage though he remained loyal to his sister. Flora also resented the marriage and wanted to live with her father, Tony, rejecting Peter and therefore incurring Anna's wrath.

A truce between the three was called as they desperately tried to end the marriage; Flora interrupted the honeymoon and Anna and Alife staged a wild-party at their new home with the aim of wrecking it. However, the attempt failed and relations in the family improved.

Flora went to Byker Grove for the first time in episode 1 of 1994 but found the place not to her liking, fortunately though, she made friends with Brigid who was also making her first visit to the Grove.As both girls decided that the Grove was "sad" so they stayed away, meeting up in town and at Flora's mother's wedding.

However, on the day of Jemma's funeral they decided to enter the Grove via the cellar window, as there would be no one else there. There, they discovered the music system Marie had restored and they began dancing to Barney and Frew's dance records not realising the other Grovers had come back to the Grove to watch the "Screen Teens Special" which had been especially broadcasted as a tribute to Jemma. The other Grovers were shocked at their apparent callousness and inappriopriate behaviour, but they were saved by Geoff who drew an undeniable parallel between their behaviour and that of the late Jemma Dobson's.

Anna, Alife and Flora went to Kleethorpes Holiday Camp in episode 18 of 1994. Anna who became unduly concerned over the hold another girl at the camp, Karen, seemed to have over her brother did her utmost to ensure Flora won the competition and it became evident that Anna had accepted Flora as her "sister".

Three troubled years then followed Flora, in the 1995 series Flora went totally crazy over Ashley, the lead singer in the Grove's band, Rood. She hassles his girlfriend, stops eating after she learns he adhores skinny women and collapses at a concert. Luckily, Anna was there to support her and Flora became stonger and harder for her experience.

Barney found a sympathetic listener in Flora in the 1996 series who visited him frequently in prison and to whom he pledged his innocence. A sparkle of hope was cast in Barney's direction when it became common knowledge that Cher's grandmother was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and could've made a mistake at the identification parade. Flora (who has become more and more sympathetic to Barney's cause) and Anna interviewed Cher's grandmother and tried to collect evidence proving Barney's innocence which they intended to present to the Police. Frew reluctantly agreed to assist them after a further visit to Barney.

After Barney was beaten up by a Prison gang and his phone cards were stolen he put pressure on Flora to help him escape from Prison. Flora agreed and it was arranged that Barney would be helped by a ex-prisoner, Mark on the outside. However, Mark demands a large sum of money - one that Flora or Barney can not provide and they have no option but to ask Frew for help. Frew refuses and seriously thinks about ringing the Police and informing them of Barney's whereabouts. However, he decides instead to try to reason with Barney and make him realise the futility of his actions.

Barney refuses to give himself up, uses a derelict building as a hide-out and has Flora to supply him with food. After much thinking, Frew informs the police of Barney's whereabouts. Barney and Flora narrowly escape the police and unknowing that it was Frew who sent them on their trail, confront Frew just before his Comedy gig, where Barney asks Frew to join them. Frew agrees.

Minutes after leaving the comedy club, Barney steals a fruit van and they travel off towards the countryside. In the van Barney confronts Frew as to why he wouldn't be his alibi in court, the pair argue, Barney's attention is lost and the van crashes into a tree. Barney and Frew escape unhurt, though Flora doesn't. Barney reveals to Frew Flora's part in the escape, and Flora departs the two.

Flora decides to turn to the police and severs her connection with the escape, actually lying in court and placing most of the blame on Frew, who was then forced to leave Newcastle on the condition of his discharge.

In 1997 Flora decided it was time for saintly behaviour and gave 20 to Phillip as a token of her new generousity as his mother had lost her job with the council. However, Flora soon learned that Phillip's mother's job had been saved and collaborated with Anna to create the "Little Treasures" prank on Jack, Terraise and Phillip, to punish them for their lies and greed.

Flora was recruited by Rob and Ed into entering the second stage of the "Spacer Race" competition as they needed her "brain power" to help solve the clues.

Flora became suspiscious of the closeness developing between Terry and Brigid and Brigid confided in her that she was going out with both terry and Rob.

Flora found herself again in family contact after her family decided to move to Manchester after her step-father had been offered a promotion. However Flora had set her heart on doing a computer course at Newcastle College and refused to agree to the move. Flora tried to contact her father but like the last time he let her down and contributed to her woes.

Also about this time Flora began developing a series of violent headaches that were unexplained. Flora decided to leave home but found out she couldn't qualify for a local authority property because she was only 16. Luckily, Flora wasn't alone for long as she met up with Terry and the pair became close after spending the night in the caravan.

Flora's headaches grew progressively worse and Flora was rushed into hospital after suffering an epeleptic fit. Flora and her mother resolved their differences and it was tragically discovered that Flora was suffering from a brain tumor.

However, Flora didn't let the cancer beat her without a fight and she began a course of varied treatments in the hope of slowing down the development of the tumor. However, it was too late and Flora met her death with dignity after arranging her Funeral party with Alfie at the Grove.

Kerryann Christiansen's portrial of the impossible-not-to-like Flora was award-winning and her interpretation of a cancer-patient was inspirational to many sufferes in the UK who saught comfort in Flora's bravery.