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Jack’s Back in the Norwich Lanes

Good morrow, Valentine, 
God bless the baker,
You’ll be the giver,
And I’ll be the taker

Norfolk is a rum ole place. Cut off from the rest of the world by the North Sea, a haphazard network of single carriageways and a slow tractor that I always find myself driving  behind; we have developed our own traditions and customs. One of our most loved and ancient is the tradition of Jack Valentine.

Norfolk folk have historically celebrated Valentines eve enthusiastically and generously as the fictional character of Jack Valentine was reputed to deliver gifts to both adults and children on February 13th. He would leave the gifts on the door step, knock on the door then mysteriously disappear.

Local shops would be well stocked in advance as this tradition reached its peak in the Victorian era when Valentine’s day saw more giving and receiving of presents than Christmas.

This year Norwich will be reigniting this tradition in the campaign to ‘Bring Back Jack’.

CCTV footage indicates that this elusive figure has been spotted already wandering through The Lanes, with his urban fox, no doubt admiring the Valentine themed window displays competing for the newly established, but already coveted, Jack Valentine Trophy.

I was thrilled to be asked to dress the window of Boutique Fusions in Bedford Street and took great delight in hammering out a message of love on the wall.

Here’s a glimpse of what else you might find if you venture through the Lanes this February….


But people of Norwich beware – Jack Valentine has a sinister counterpart. Snatch Valentine ties string to his presents and just as the innocent recipient reaches for their gift the string is tugged and it is snatched away out of reach.

I hope you find a gift on your doorstep this Valentines eve – but do check that there are no strings attached……..

This post is a link in a circle of blogs called Sisterhood Stories. Please visit the next post by  Laura and leave some love on the way 🙂


This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. I love the idea of keeping a tradition alive. And the shop windows you dressed look just gorgeous. I just hope any possible strings attached are not unwanted 😉

  2. I absolutely love that display you created! That classic feel is just beautiful! I like that tradition, much better than the commercial cupids…

  3. Sue, You did such a beautiful job with your Valentine’s display. Thanks for teaching me about Jack Valentine. Something tells me that since i’ve heard of him, he might show up in my neighborhood. If we can find him his fox might be able to answer the riddle “what does the fox say?” Happy Valentines!

  4. I love your window too!! Especially having seen you creating it earlier in the circle in Boo’s blog post!
    And I’d never heard of Jack Valentine either – what a lovely, warming tradition.

  5. I had such fun sharing the day with you Sue, and how lovely to see all the other windows! Well done on all your hard work – the window looked fabulous!

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