31 March 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Thick fog. Mild calm N.E. to S.E. + E. Raining in afternoon:- very heavily about 4.30 + very dark. Cycled to Forest Road, Beechwood (where I got a ‘Phone from Dav. wanting my assistance at a Confint [confinement] in Yarrow Terrace (Mrs Nichol). Neither forceps nor version availed + decapitation had to be done1. Then I went to Levenlea + saw Mrs Harrison, returning by Curror Street. Got everything adjusted for end of month + end of our 2nd year + hope to get the accounts out quickly. Helen + Cath Smith2 at a recital in Victoria Hall. Letter from Jean saying she is not going to give up Pike3.

1 The two doctors appear to have been reduced to using a process something like that described here https://www.ozy.com/flashback/before-the-c-section-there-was-this-barbaric-birth-practice/71619/

2 Jane Henderson Logan ‘Jean’ Pike née Muir (1877-1941), Dr Muir’s eldest daughter and Catherine Adam ‘Cath’ Smith (1874-1929)

3 Jane Henderson Logan ‘Jean’ Muir (1877-1941) was to marry, 15 June 1920 at Mayfield U.F. Church, Newington, Edinburgh, Frederick Charles Pike (d.1921), theatrical agent. At their marriage both were living (at different premises) in East Preston Street, Edinburgh

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

30 March 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Another miserable day of fog + rain from N.E. but calm + mild. Walked to Curror Street, Nursing Home (chlor[oform] for a curetting), Philiphaugh Cottages, Beechwood, High Street + then to Knowepark, Backrow + Russell cottage. No County work for either of us. Was in house all afternoon + worked at books. Alice Muir came to tea with Helen [Muir]. Helen was at women’s missionary meeting.

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

29 March 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Before March 31st the Crocuses were quite over. The daffodils beginning to flower + the fronds showing on the leaf buds of the Rowan1

A dull mild day with almost continuous drizzle. With only 4 town cases to make I walked over to see Wm. Hall, Yairbridge + enjoyed it. Got back at 2.30 + at 4.30 had to go to Ettrickbridgend + see Mrs. Rob. Mitchell. Dav. [Graham] was at Deloraine but they failed to catch him2. I went in Ad. Scott’s car, a very fast one. Later a message came to [go to] Jas. Mitchell junior, Henderland, who had had an accident with his car near the Craig. I hired from Bryson + didn’t get home till nearly 12. There were 19 or 20 people at Consulting hour.

1 Assume Dr Muir is referring to the hairs on the buds of the Rowan or Mountain Ash Sorbus aucuparia

2 Catch him i.e. while he was part of the way up to Ettrick

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

28 March 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

It blew + rained all night + stopped at 9 or 10 this morning. The Ettrick was over the grass at the sluice + I don’t remember when it was so swollen. I had to go Yarrowford + donned all my waterproofs for cycling but I didn’t get a drop of rain + the afternoon was quite fine. David [Graham] had 2 confinements, a girl Purvis in Forest Road + Mrs Harrison1, Levenlea2. Went to evening service + supped at Wellwood.

1 Assume births of Olive Margaret Purves and Beatrice de Fraine Harrison (1920-1998), daughter of John Harrison

2 Levenlea is one of the series of large houses north west of Philiphaugh Farm and above what is now Bannerfield Estate, the others being Philipburn, Manorhill, The Firs and Bannerfield, see Ordnance Survey 6 inch Selkirkshire Sheet XI.NE, revised 1897, published 1901 https://maps.nls.uk/view/75674482

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

27 March 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

It was fair today but blowing strongly from S. It began to rain about 2 + continued all evening. I cycled round town + out to Buxton. At 5 had to go to Beechwood to see one of the nurses + it was raining heavily. I cycled. There at 8.15 I got a message for Mrs Archibald Johnston1 + walked down. Agnes Durnford + her baby2 arrived at Elmpark. Jack3 motored to Easter Lilliesleaf for eggs + they went on to Hawick + met Barbara4 who came home for Easter.

1 Assume the widow of Archibald Johnstone (about 1842-1914), bookseller, of 24 Market Place, Selkirk

2 Agnes Watson Durnford née Harper (1888-1976) and her baby son Stanley J H Durnford, born 9 March 1920 at 20 Melville Street, Edinburgh, son of Norman Stanley M Durnford, of Stoke Bishop, Bristol, managing director of a limited company, and Agnes Durnford

3 John Roberts junior ‘Jack’ (1876-1966), mill owner and Provost of Selkirk, later knighted “for political and public services in Selkirk”

4 Andrina Henderson ‘Barbara’ Roberts, later Twhigg (1902-1996)

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

26 March 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

A Blink of sun at 7 + then a day of rain. I saw a few town cases walking, seeing after Mrs Baptie (Nelly Douglas), Ochre Hall, who is long past her time. Neither Dav. [Dr David Graham] nor I had any County work. There was some sleet in the afternoon + the hills were white before dark.

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

25 March 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Brilliant morning + quite fair till evening when there was a little rain. My dyspepsia better + I enjoyed both lunch + dinner. Was not out of town. Cycled to Wellwood, Hospital, Bridge Street [and] Philiphaugh Cottages. Attended meeting of Red X [Cross] Exec. to consider mode of electing to Council. David [Graham, co-partner] was at Broadmeadows + Carterhaugh, Ramsaycleuch + back to Kirkhope Manse to dinner with McKenzie + McDonald McDonald. The Swift broke down at Broadmeadows + he had to ‘Phone for a hire.

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