Norwich And Norfolk Valentines.—
“If you’ll be mine, I ‘ll be thine, And so Good Morrow, Valentine.” The last three words are for the most part written on the wrapper, also with the address: thus— Miss Mary Smith, St. Giles’s, Norwich. Good Morrow, Valentine.
When a valuable present is laid on the street doorstep, the messenger gives a thundering knock, the louder the better, and stands in hiding to see it duly picked up. If he has to deliver several valentines at the same house, each one is deposited separately, and a due interval allowed between them, the fun being greatly enhanced by the number of the separate knocks.
Young children have always amongst their valentines an orange and a packet of sweets, made up of a stick or two of Turkey sugar and sugar barley.
In families where there are several young children, Mamma assembles them all soon after dusk in a convenient room on the ground floor, and seats them round a table.
One of the servants then delivers one by one the house-presents, rapping loudly on the door with her knuckles as she deposits each valentine on the threshold, or throws it into the room, and runs away. The children are far too eager to pick up the valentine and see its address to think about the fugitive, and the interval between one nip and another is filled up in examining the present, clapping of hands, should ing with joy, and the wildest guesses at the unknown sender.
The more valuable presents for the elder ones come in between whiles, and at proper intervals small suitable valentines from the children to the servants are sent, much fun being caused by reading out the address of the nursemaid, cook, or housemaid, who is duly summoned to receive what has been sent her.
From five o’clock to eight St. Valentine’s Eve is a saturnalia of fun for children. Such knockings and rappings at doors, such jumping off and on to chairs, such running to pick up valentines, such shoutings of glee, such guessings, such clapping of hands, and such eager expectation, are combined together on no other day throughout the year.
No sport can be compared to that of Valentine’s Eve. No amusement is so well sustained. Even the refreshments of fruit and a new plum or seed cake are converted into valentines, and every valentine bears the magical inscription of
“Good Morrow, Valentine.”
Source: notes and Queries, 1873