Former Tiller Girl, 102, was a real firecracker, says friend

Doris 'Squibbs' Flack at her 100th birthday party in 2011.
Doris 'Squibbs' Flack at her 100th birthday party in 2011.

London-born Doris Flack was said to have been a “firecracker” in her day - and her vitality kept her going until she was well over 100.

A former dancer, she made the Province her home and continued volunteering every Saturday with Cancer Research in Dunmurry until two months after her centenary.

Born Doris Gregson on December 24, 1911, she had become a dancer while still a teenager and it was when she was aged in her late teens that she came to Northern Ireland.

She had been a member of the popular act the Tiller Girls, and according to her friend Linda McCausland her nickname ‘Squibbs’ came about because she so lively – in other words, the very opposite of a damp squib.

“When she was a Tiller Girl, they said she was a live-wire, and she was a firecracker,” she said, adding that at the Finaghy Cancer Research shop where she helped out until 2011 customers would come in just to see her, adding: “She definitely was the life and soul.”

Future husband Gordon spotted her when she visited the Province and pursued her to Cork, and later to London.

When they married she gave up her dancing career.

Gordon, a D-Day veteran who was wounded in the eyebrow on the landing beach, died in the early 1980s.

She had lived in Ormonde Park, Finaghy, before moving into her nursing home in Dunmurry only months before her death.

She died on May 10 from what daughter Gay termed simply “extreme old age”. She was 102.

Her funeral was at Roselawn on May 15, and she is survived by Gay, son-in-law Michael, three grandchildren and six-great-grandchildren.