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Bring out your romantic side this February half-term at Blists Hill Victorian Town (8th February 2012)

Uncover your romantic side this February half-term and have a go at printing your very own traditional Valentine’s card for a loved one at Blists Hill Victorian Town. Between Saturday 11th and Sunday 19th February visitors to the museum will be able take part in these hands-on family workshops and view a fascinating display of original Victorian Valentine’s cards.

The museum is running these special activities in association with The British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA). The whole family can get creative in these fun-filled workshops which are based upon the BPMA’s beautiful collection of original Valentine’s cards and will take place in the Goods Shed. 

The BPMA will be putting together a small display featuring original Victorian Valentine’s cards, including   traditional spiteful cards, which visitors will be able to view during the course of the week at Blists Hill Post Office.

The sending of Valentines cards has a long and colourful history. Until the 1880s Valentines cards were more popular than Christmas cards. Not only were there cards with declarations of love during the Victorian period but spiteful or mischievous cards were also sent. Before the introduction of the Penny post in 1840, the person receiving the post had to pay the postage which led to the Post Office receiving a number of complaints from people who had to pay the postage for spiteful cards that they received!

Jenny Karlsson, PR & Communications Officer for the BPMA said that: “People often think that the sending of Valentine Cards is a modern tradition, created by card manufacturers, however our research shows that they were probably first sent in the mid- eighteenth century. The oldest Valentine that we have in our collection is a rebus card from 1790. It is a single large sheet of paper, which unfolded in the right way show verses and illustrations.

It is great to be working with  Blists Hill Victorian Town, showcasing some of our wonderful collections including pop-up and lace Valentine’s cards as well as some examples of Victorian hate cards which were sent out of spite! We are sure that visitors of all ages will enjoy gaining inspiration from the historic cards and then having a go at making their own.”

These fun-filled workshops and beautiful card display are included in the museum admission fee. Open from 10am until 4pm daily, Blists Hill Victorian Town is one of the ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums; entry is £14.95 adults; £11.95 for the 60 plus and £9.95 for children (up to 18 years and in full time education), under 5s go free.

A great value Annual Passport Ticket is also available which can be purchased for entry into Blists Hill Victorian Town and the 9 other Ironbridge Gorge Museums allowing an unlimited number of fascinating days out and repeat visits over 12 months. The Annual Passport Ticket is priced at £61.50 for a family, £22.50 for an adult, £18.25 for the 60 plus and £14.75 for students and children.

For further information, contact the Ironbridge Tourist Information Centre on Tel: 01952 433 424 or visit www.ironbridge.org.uk.  The Gorge is easily reached via the M6 and M54 motorways exiting at Telford (M54 junction 4 or 6). 

For information on the BPMA visit: http://www.postalheritage.org.uk/page/valentine-humourous