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. At 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’.”
For more about rural life in Oxfordshire in the 1940s and 50s see the Nora Morgan video at Youtube