Cue Mr Valentine
For the people of Norwich and Norfolk, Valentine’s Day isn’t just about lovers; it’s also about having a little bit of fun too! We have a character called Mr Jack Valentine, a man who mischievously leaves gifts on doorsteps and then runs away before the door is answered.
Quite often it doesn’t end there; the gifts sometimes have strings attached so when the excited recipient reaches forward to receive the gift, Mr Valentine pulls the string swiftly so the present is then out of reach!
Although little is known of Jack Valentine, it is a tradition that has remained in Norfolk and something we proudly speak of, so take inspiration from Jack and show your affections to a loved one of any age – especially children.
For more information on Jack Valentine visit the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell, where there is a display dedicated to the man himself, and also on the other Norwich tradition of (Victorian) Valentine’s Eve.
Valentine’s Eve in Norwich was as big as Christmas, with shop windows full of trinkets and presents for lovers in the lead up to the big day. Extra staff would be taken on to serve queues of people eagerly wanting to purchase something special. The Victorians made beautifully embroidered cards and would give these, and gifts, not on Valentine’s Day but Valentine’s Eve – February 13th.