Roses are read for St Valentine’s Day

The Vale marked St. Valentine’s Day with a return visit from the Streatham’s Festival’s Helen Bird. She provided a fascinating talk on St Valentine and how some of our Valentine’s Day traditions have evolved.

Valentine was imprisoned and executed by the Romans for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire in the 3rd Century.  Legend has it that, whilst imprisoned, he restored the sight of his jailer’s blind daughter. Before his death, he is reputed to have sent a note to the girl signed ‘Your Valentine’.

We explored all aspects of St Valentine’s Day, including flowers and their romantic meanings, gifts, cards and poetry. Verses, sentimental and modern were mulled over. Everyone knew the ‘roses are red, violets are blue’ verse which has its origins in Edmund Spenser’s ‘The Faerie Queene’, written in 1590.

Our chef had produced some heart-shaped cookies which were much enjoyed, as were the romantic word search, trivia quiz and heart-shaped props. 

Life through rose-tinted glasses took on new meaning as everyone tried on pink heart-shaped sunglasses for size and agreed they were a throwback to hippy days. Perhaps they reminded our audience of the summer of love?