Shelswell comprises a group of villages north of Bicester Oxfordshire, an area immortalised in Flora Thompson's intimate description of village life in the Victorian era in 'Lark Rise to Candleford'. The villages are Cottisford, Finmere, Fringford, Godington, Hardwick, Hethe, Mixbury, Newton Purcell, Stoke Lyne, and Stratton Audley. They comprise the benefice of Shelswell and Shelswell Park will provide the venue for the majority of events in the History Festival by kind permission of the Baroness von Maltzahn.
The Shelswell History Festival has been set up as a charity to increase awareness in local history and where its fits into the wider world and will be staging its first festival between 7th and 9th July 2017.
Flora Thompson referred to Shelswell Park in her trilogy of books “Lark Rise to Candleford” as Skeldon Park. At the celebrations in the park for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee she wrote: “There were more people in the park than the children had ever seen before, and the roundabouts, swings and coconut shies were doing a roaring trade. Tea was taken in a huge marquee in relays, one parish at a time, and the sound of the brass band, roundabout hurdy-gurdy, coconut thwacks, and showmen’s shouting surged around the frail, canvas walls like a roaring sea. “After tea there were sports, with races, high jumps, dipping heads into tubs of water to retrieve sixpences with the teeth, grinning through horse collars…. “The local gentlepeople promenaded the ground in parties; stout, red-faced, raising their straw hats to mop their foreheads; hunting ladies, incongruously garbed in silks and ostrich-feather boas; young girls in embroidered white muslin and boys in Eton suits…” “All the way home in the twilight, the end house party could hear the popping of fireworks behind them and, turning, see rockets and showers of golden rain above the dark tree tops. Al last, standing at their own garden gate, they heard the roaring of cheers from hundreds of throats and the band playing ‘God save the Queen’.”
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It was the most impressive packaging that I have EVER SEEN!!! An ocd person's dream...