19 October 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Frost again at night: calm, cold day. Dry. Was seized this morning when dressing with a violent Pleurodynia1 in right side which disabled me considerably. Walked to Goslaw Green, Curror Street, Wellwood Stables + Chapel Street. Messages afterwards to Miss Dunn2, Miss Hall3 + Jeannie Scott, 8a Mavisbank4. Saw Mrs Harper5 + Amos6 at Viewfield before dinner.

1 Pleurodynia is a general term for pain from the Pleura, the linings around the lungs, thus pain in the chest or upper abdomen when you breathe

2 Not identified

3 Perhaps Janet Hall (c.1846-1930), spinster, Proprietor Occupier of a house at 3 Heath Park, Selkirk [1920 Valuation Roll]

4 Mrs Jean Scott, widow, was tenant at 8a Mavis Bank, Selkirk [1920 Valuation Roll]

5 Margaret Jane Harper née Lyle, of Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk, wife of John Johnstone or Johnston Harper (c.1851-1932)

6 John Amos, shepherd, had suffered a very serious compound fracture and dislocation at Glengaber, Yarrow on 14th October 1920; he was “Inhabitant Occupier, not rated” at Glengaber, 1920 Valuation Roll

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

18 October 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Coal Strike1

Sharp hoar frost, dull cold, dry day, E. [wind]. Cycled to Bank + Rockville. Saw Mrs Harper2 + Amos3 at Viewfield with Dav. [Graham] + then cycled to Ettrick Road, Yarrow Terrace, Fairnilee E. Lodge + Faldonside. Phyllis Dees4 down in Drawing room, Ailie and Dawn Boyd Wilson5 at lunch. Helen [Muir] supped at Viewfield. I shewed Kate Dunlop6, who was over with a message, the pictures of Mugwort + Cudweed in a Vol. of “English Botany”7 which Jessie Boyd8 lent me.

1 “In the summer of 1920 the economic boom collapsed. As prices and unemployment rose further, industrial strife became more likely. The unions planned a revival of the pre-war Triple Alliance between mining, transport and railway workers. The miners began a strike for higher wages in October 1920, with railwaymen and transport workers threatening supportive action. The government passed an Emergency Powers Bill to ensure essential services and negotiated a temporary six-month increase in wages.” [Source: The National Archives: Labour Legislation]

2 Margaret Jane Harper née Lyle, of Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk, wife of John Johnstone or Johnston Harper (c.1851-1932)

3 John Amos, shepherd, was “Inhabitant Occupier, not rated” at Glengaber, Yarrow, 1920 Valuation Roll

4 Phyllis Mary ‘Fiff’ Dees (1899-1920), daughter of Robert Irwin Dees (1872-1923) and Edith Mary Boileau Dees née Henderson, the new (1920) tenants at Faldonside

5 Ailie Brack Boyd Wilson or Boyd-Wilson, later Ailie Brack Boyd Wilson Milne (about 1891-1955) and Dawn Gordon Belle Brack Boyd Wilson, later Boyd Wilson Milne (1894-1980)

6 Katherine Mary ‘Kate’ Dunlop (1874-1944), nurse, sometime of Whitmuirhall, Selkirk

7 Conceivably ‘English Botany’ by James Sowerby, an illustrated multi-volume set published in 267 monthly issues 1791-1814

8 Jessie Milne Brack Boyd (1867-1961), of Faldonside, plantswoman and gardener

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

17 October 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

No fog but a good deal of rain + much colder. Clear + starry at night. Saw half a doz. town cases + was twice at Church. – children’s day. Mrs Harper1 very poorly: great sickness: rather better at night. David is afraid Amos2 may lose his foot. Supped at Wellwood. Wrote Jean asking her to come here with Pike3. Wrote Agnes Logan4 + David Ingles5. Sent out cards for Colporteur fund6.

1 Margaret Jane Harper née Lyle, of Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk, wife of John Johnstone or Johnston Harper (c.1851-1932)

2 John Amos, shepherd, had suffered a very serious compound fracture and dislocation at Glengaber, Yarrow on 14th October 1920; he was “Inhabitant Occupier, not rated” at Glengaber, 1920 Valuation Roll

3 Jane Henderson Logan ‘Jean’ Pike née Muir (1877-1941), Dr Muir’s eldest daughter, and her husband Frederick Charles Pike (d.1921), theatrical agent

4 Agnes Logan (fl.1920), daughter of Alexander Stuart Logan (1810-1862), advocate & Sheriff of Forfarshire, and Agnes Logan née Greig, thus Dr Muir’s cousin

5 David Nicholson Ingles (1888-1943), A.R.H.A., Selkirk-born artist who was doing Dr Muir’s portrait

6 Colporteur, “A hawker of books, newspapers, etc. esp. (in English use) one employed by a society to travel about and sell or distribute Bibles and religious writings.” Source O.E.D.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

16 October 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

This is the first morning for a week that there has been no fog.

There was only a very slight drizzle in the forenoon. It was cold with an E. wind but on the whole a reasonable day. I saw Mrs Harper1 + Amos2 at Viewfield, both as well as could be expected. Motored to Dunsdale Mill + Faldonside. Was in the house all afternoon except to see Mrs Archibald Johnstone3, the Glebe, who had [? Laryngitis]. Helen was all afternoon at a sale of work for Lord Roberts’ Workshops4 in Victoria Hall.

1 Margaret Jane Harper née Lyle, of Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk, wife of John Johnstone or Johnston Harper (c.1851-1932)

2 John Amos, shepherd, had suffered a very serious compound fracture and dislocation at Glengaber, Yarrow on 14th October 1920; he was “Inhabitant Occupier, not rated” at Glengaber, 1920 Valuation Roll

3 Not identified

4 Workshops for ex-servicemen, particularly those disabled, producing a range of toys, games and household items; they were named Lord Roberts’ Memorial Workshops in 1914, in memory of Field Marshall Lord Roberts (1832-1914) who had taken an interest in them, and were latterly operated by the S.S.A.F.A.; the last one in Scotland closed in 2013

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

15 October 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Change of weather. Drizzling rain all day from the east. Amos1 came down in the Ambulance at 11 + we put his leg up. When at Viewfield got a message to Mrs Harper2, Ettrick Terrace. She turned out to have appendicitis + after some trouble owing to the car having broken down at Bowhill, got David + he agreed that an operation was necessary so we got her to Viewfield + D. removed the appendix + a large very much irregular cystic fibroid. Mrs H. was over 2 hours under chlor[orform] + ether.

1 John Amos, shepherd, had suffered a very serious compound fracture and dislocation at Glengaber, Yarrow on 14th October 1920; he was “Inhabitant Occupier, not rated” at Glengaber, 1920 Valuation Roll

2 Margaret Jane Harper née Lyle (c.1854-1927), of Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk, wife of John Johnstone or Johnston Harper (c.1851-1932), coal, potato and grain merchant

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

14 October 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

I had a most terrible night of dyspepsia + had to rise at 4 + sit in the Smoke room.

Usual fog in morning + very hazy all day but sun strong. Cycled to Faldonside. Miss D.1 better than I have seen her. Dav. [Graham] got message to Glengaber to see Amos2 the shepherd who was said to have broken his leg. D. [Dr David Graham, co-partner] couldn’t go so I motored to Deuchar + walked over carrying the game bag with splints &c. Found a very severe compound frac[ture] + dislocation close to the ankle. Gave chlor[orform] + was assisted by a man [illegible] who with his wife is lodging there. Arranged to get Amos down to Viewfield tomorrow. Told Turnbull3 of Tinnis about it. Got a tremendous sweat walking down.

1 Phyllis Mary ‘Fiff’ Dees (1899-1920), daughter of Robert Irwin Dees (1872-1923) and Edith Mary Boileau Dees née Henderson, the new (1920) tenants at Faldonside

2 John Amos, shepherd; he was “Inhabitant Occupier, not rated” at Glengaber, Yarrow, 1920 Valuation Roll

3 William Turnbull, farmer, was tenant at Tinnis, Old Tinnis, Deuchar and Glengaber, Yarrow, 1920 Valuation Roll

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

13 October 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Dense fog again through which the sun never penetrated till after midday. Otherwise it was a calm, pleasant day with S.W. air. I met Dav. [Graham] at Mitchell’s, Wellwood + adjusted the splints1. Cycled to [Faldonside deleted] Oakwood. Mr Linton2 none the worse of getting his teeth out. Accounts being paid.

1 Alexander Mitchell had fallen off a horse on 2nd October whilst riding at Headshaw with two of Dr Muir’s grandsons; he was a chauffeur, “Inhabitant Occupier, not rated” at Wellwood, Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk, John Roberts junior, manufacturer, Proprietor [1920 Valuation Roll]

2 Not identified, though the Linton family was well established at Oakwood

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

12 October 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Dense fog in the morning which disappeared early + was followed by a perfect day. Gave chlor[oform] for Dav. to operate on Miss Scott1, Bridgelands + remove her ovaries + a small fibroid. Cycled to Faldonside + allowed Miss Dees2 to be carried down stairs + out to the front. Saw no town cases. Sat in the bower + read the papers. Got a long letter from Agnes Logan3 describing her [mental ?] condition after an attack of flu. Helen4 had tea at Elmpark5 + was down at Te Whare6 after dinner.

1 Miss Scott of Bridgelands is not identified but William Scott was tenant farmer there in 1915 and 1920 Valuation Rolls

2 Phyllis Mary ‘Fiff’ Dees (1899-1920) had suffered a head injury in a car accident 24 August 1920; she was the daughter of Robert Irwin Dees (1872-1923) and Edith Mary Boileau Dees née Henderson, the new (1920) tenants at Faldonside

3 Agnes Logan (fl.1920), daughter of Alexander Stuart Logan (c.1812-1862), advocate & Sheriff of Forfarshire and Agnes Logan née Greig, thus Dr Muir’s cousin

4 Helen Frances ‘Mousey’ Muir (1880-1963), Dr Muir’s third daughter

5 Agnes Mackintosh née Watson lived at Elm Park, Selkirk

6 Te Whare, 25 Scott’s Place, Selkirk, home of George Roberts, textile designer, and former home of John ‘Jack’ Roberts and Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir; the name, Maori for house, little house or meeting place may well be rooted in John Roberts’ birthplace, New Zealand

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

11 October 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Had a charming cycle run with Archie Robertson1. Left in the car at 6 + got the 6.40 at St Boswells for Kelso. It was daylight when we arrived. We ran to Cornhill via Sprouston + being unable to get any breakfast there as the inn was full of fishers, went on to the Blue Bell at Crookham2. I took the wrong road from Cornhill viz the one to Mindrum which made it about a mile further. After breakfast we went to see the Flodden Memorial3 then back to Crookham [and] Ford + Etal4. At the latter saw the old castle. I had not been on this road for about 35 years. We went on via Grindon5 to Norham. Saw the castle: crossed to Ladykirk + went via Birgham to Kelso where we got tea + so home a little after 6.

1 Archibald ‘Archie’ Robertson (c.1872-1952), chemist and druggist

2 The Blue Bell Inn at Pallinsburn just E.S.E. of Crookham, grid reference NGR NT910,382

3 Flodden Memorial, NT890,373

4 Ford & Etal Estates are around NT932,380

5 Grindon, NT914,448), Norham, NT899,472, and Ladykirk, NT887,475

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

10 October 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Less wind + a good deal of sunshine but coldish. Very pleasant. Cycled to Bridgelands, Faldonside, Fairnilee E. Lodge + Bogle House. Was not out afterwards till evening service. Jack, Nancy + Barb1. came to supper. I got all my preparation for an early start with Archie Robertson2 for a cycle ride tomorrow, including shaving!

1 John Roberts junior ‘Jack’ (1876-1966) and Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s second daughter, and their daughter Andrina Henderson ‘Barbara’ Roberts, later Twhigg (1902-1996)

2 Archibald ‘Archie’ Robertson (c.1872-1952), chemist and druggist

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]