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Dr Werner Kissling

Eleanor Scarr dressed up



Eleanor Scarr dressed up, Wensleydale, c. 1964


These photographs, taken by Dr Kissling, show sixteen-year-old Eleanor Scarr dressed as a milkmaid. She is standing in the garden of her family home in Thornton Rust, Wensleydale. She has a yoke with a pail hung from either end and is wearing a long dress and shawl with heavy boots.


Dr Kissling worked as a seasonal research assistant for the University of Leeds Folk Life Survey from 1961-1967. He travelled around Yorkshire recording local agricultural practices.


He made friends with farmers in local pubs and joined them and their families at work to take photographs. Dr Kissling was interested in ways of farming that were no longer practiced. To take photographs of these, he asked people to recreate them.


The day these photographs were taken, Eleanor had been wearing a plain shirt and trousers. Dr Kissling convinced her to get dressed up for the photograph, including holding the yoke which belonged to her father but had been out of use for years.


Eleanor said she had no idea where they had got the old-fashioned pinny from, and added 'those were definitely not my shoes!'


With thanks to Eleanor Scarr and Owen Metcalfe for providing information.


Dr Werner Kissling (1895-1988) was a German photographer and ethnographer who spent most of his life documenting Scottish crafts, architecture, and agricultural practices. He was associated with Dumfries Museum from the mid-1950s until his death in 1988.

Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
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Dumfries & Galloway Council