Day, Valentine’s


Giving cards, flowers and confectionary as a token of love and affection is a Valentine’s Day tradition that can probably be traced back to 16th century England, when the revival of romanticism took hold among the Elizabethan court.  Indeed, contemporary accounts record that the Earl of Dewsbury sent an embroidered wall hanging of cupid to his mistress, Magdalene de Lane Delaigne, along with 16,000 red roses and 200 oak chests filled with potatoes and tobacco (both then highly prized introductions to England).

Today, perhaps surprisingly, more pensioners send Valentine’s cards than the under-25s, with the majority honouring the origins of the practice by accompanying their card with a couple of Maris Pipers and an ounce of Digger Shag.  Until 2012, many pensioners added to the romance by posting their cards from the Wiltshire village of Lover, but due to the major inconvenience and disruption this caused to the normal business of the sub-post office, the parish council unanimously voted to change the village’s name – and thus the accompanying postmark – to ‘Old Tosser’.