Activities & Occupations


Celebrations (village events) By Ken Harris Like most communities, Swanbourne has held celebrations and events marking special occasions over the years. The earliest village celebration of which we have yet found a record was for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, which was held in Swanbourne on Thursday 9th June 1887, about which there was a very […]

Lace Making

Lace-making (Bucks Lace) By Frankie Fisher Lace-making was a cottage industry carried out by women, mainly as a supplement to the family income, although for some women it was their sole source of income. As it required more skill than straw-plaiting, it was generally carried out by older women. The centre for the local industry […]

Farming in Swanbourne over the years

A History of Farming in Swanbourne By Frankie Fisher and Ken Harris In the Middle Ages, Swanbourne would have been farmed on the Open Field system – originally consisting of two fields, and then later, three fields with one field being left fallow each year. The main aim of the farm labourer was to provide […]

Boot Manufacture

Shoe manufacture at Ivy Farm (previously Maudlin’s Farm) Summary of known evidence by Clive Rodgers The late Ken Reading, noted that in 1850 a considerable shoe manufacturing business  employing many  members of the Anstee  family and others besides,  existed in this  area.  Shoemakers are also known as “cordwainers”, and they appear on successive Swanbourne censuses.   The farmhouse  has  been […]

Straw Plaiting

Straw-plaiting in Swanbourne By Frankie Fisher and Ken Harris Straw-plaiting was a cottage industry which helped poor families supplement their income, and was something in which even young children could play a part. The straw plaits were used for making into hats, and were brought up by traders who took the plaits to Luton which […]


Early 20th Century Swanbourne Sports photographs         RETURN to Activities and Occupations

Excelsior Band

Swanbourne’s Brass Band (early 20th Century) – The Swanbourne Excelsior Brass Band Ken Harris explains At the beginning of the 20th Century, Swanbourne had its own brass band. We do not know when it started, but the Bucks Herald of 24th May 1902 records that the band headed a parade of the village on Thursday […]