Introduction to Collection:
This collection contains sets of images copied from glass plate negatives that belonged to Miss Marian Agatha Crawford Mcfall who lived at Ryefield (later Ryefield House) from 1929 and latterly Crawford House, which she had built in the grounds of Ryefield House, until she died in 1983.
Many of the glass plates were damaged as they had been stored in a container outside where they had been subject to damp and physical shock.
Where possible, the plates were cleaned with weak detergent to remove mould and paper that had stuck to the photo-emulsion where it had become damp.
Several plates were cracked and emulsion had come away due to the damp storage conditions.
The images were digitised and it was possible, in some cases, to remove the worst of the defects.
Cataloguing the collection in a meaningful way has been nearly impossible as available documentation is very limited.
The earliest images date from the late 1800s before Miss Mcfall was born.
She was born in 1901 in pre-partitioned Ireland where she spent her childhood.
Many of the images from this period show Miss McFall and her sister Vera born one year later.
Some show interesting glimpses of family life: the family owned a rural estate, took part in country pursuits such as angling and fox hunting and employed staff for domestic, equine and farming activity which all feature in the collection.
The Mcfalls, apparently, were connected to the Australian wool industry and may have suffered financially as the demand for wool fibre decreased in the early 1900s.
No ducumentation has been found but eventually the family arrived in Dorset and acquired the manor house at Winterborne Zelston where Miss McFall and her sister spent their late teenage years and early twenties.
There are several photographs from this period with the buildings featured being recognizable to this day.
Miss McFall moved to Ryefield in 1929 one year after the house had been built by a Mr Moneypenny Morgan who purchased the land from the Drax estate.
Cars feature in many of the photographs from this era; both Miss McFall and her sister, Vera, were clearly enthusiasts.
Miss McFall was the proud owner of a Rhode tourer which was frequently photographed at Ryefield and at the family home at Winterborne Zelston along with the cars of family and friends including sporty models belonging to the younger set.
Most of the material relating specifically to Bere Regis is based at Ryefield but there a few images of Rye Hill Farm, just down the road, with the late Tony Shave as a young lad, his parents and magnificant shire horses.
The photographs have been arranged in folders relating to subject matter rather than chronological order, mainly because of a lack of documentation.
However, in most cases, the approximate period can be guessed through the visual clues.