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Time for Jack Valentine to come knocking…

It’s the stuff of folklore here in beautiful Norfolk, a tradition spanning centuries, with a resurgence in recent years...

Whether you’re declaring your undying love for your long-term partner, or trying to catch the affection of someone new, you can rest assured that Norfolk is the place to do it. This area has always been home to many romantics

From the Victorian tradition of swapping gifts on Valentine’s Eve to the mysterious Jack Valentine, we certainly love romance! Read on to find out how Valentines Day has been celebrated in Norwich and the surrounding area over the years

During the Victorian era, lovers in the Norwich area and Norfolk often spent more money on their Valentines gifts than on Christmas presents, which they swapped anonymously on February 13th. Valentine’s Eve was as eagerly anticipated as Christmas Eve and it was always good fun

Bags were filled with love tokens by people to give away. As soon as it was dark, they would knock on their lover’s door and run away before being spotted. The bag would be left on the doorstep to be found. Of course, this led to a lot of hoaxes and pranks being pulled – who wouldn’t relish the idea of knocking on someone’s door and then running away!

In other parts of the country during the same period a solitary love letter or card had to suffice

Of course, there is one tradition that seems to be unique to the area. Jack Valentine, often known as Father Valentine or Mother Valentine, would disappear into thin air after knocking at the door and leaving gifts for the occupants

No-one knows when this mysterious figure first appeared, but he is as likely to visit children as adults. During the early 20th century, youngsters would probably be given a little treat from the village shop, while lovers would be more generous. Today it is children who are most likely to be visited, with gifts left at the front or back door, or even a parcel that would magically disappear when the door was opened and the child wasn’t quick enough to catch it!

Jack Valentine is still as popular today in the area as he ever was, so expect to hear his name mentioned in coming weeks. With a bit of luck, you may even receive a gift from him (purchased from yours truly!)

Long Live Love to you all!

Team Sinsins x

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