7 July 1919 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Left at 6.8 (after having to get out through a window ( as the doors were all locked + I couldn’t find a key) + went via New Luce to Barhill [Barrhill]1. After New Luce the road is very rough + steep until Glenwhilly. On the top there was a thin wetting mist + it was not a very enjoyable time. Got a middling [?] breakfast at Barhill. Ran down Duisk Burn to Pinwherry + thence by a good road following the railway to within a mile of Girvan3. There I turned S along the coast by Bennane Head4. It turned out a very pleasant day, though hazy + the slight S. wind, though against me, was only pleasant. Enjoyed the rock scenery around Kennedy’s Pass + Bennane Head. Tried to get some choc [?] at Ballantrae but failed. Inspected Ardstinchar Castle5. Found Glen App spoild [sic] + the road terribly cut up. Had a nice tea at Cairn Ryan + got home at 6.15 having run 67.2 miles. Had a stroll after dinner.

1 Dr Muir has taken the minor road north via New Luce, grid reference NGR NX174,647, and Glenwhilly, NX174,713, to join the Newton Stewart to Girvan main road at Barrhill

2 Dr Muir went northwards from Barrhill NX232,823 along what is now the A714 and until Pinwherry, NX197,869, also ran alongside the Duisk River until it joins the River Stinchar (which Dr Muir recrossed later in the day) heading westwards while he continued northwards through Pinmore and Pinminnoch

3 Dr Muir almost certainly turned south at the junction where a roundabout now stands at grid reference NX184,964 – the milepost immediately north of the junction states “Girvan …. 1” – see Ordnance Survey 6 inch Ayrshire Sheet LV.NE, published 1897

4 Dr Muir’s ride along the coat took him through Kennedy’s Pass, NX148931, Lendalfoot, Bennane Head, NX091,866 (where Dr Muir probably followed the then unfenced road west of Meikle Bennane Farm – then called Big Bennane – and very close to the headland – see 6″ Ayrshire heet LX.SE & LXI.SW, published 1909 – whereas the road now runs inland and east of the farm) to Ballantrae, NX083,826 and Ardstinchar Castle, NX086,824

5 The part of Glen App thus spoiled would probably been the glen itself (not to be confused with Glenapp House and its policies to the north) as the loop inland turns back towards the coast and Cairnryan, NX065,685, from where it must be pointed out Dr Muir still had a stiff run back to Glenluce via Castle Kennedy

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/22, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1919]

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Archivist, interests include Dr John Stewart Muir 1845-1938) of Selkirk, general practitioner, and Seton Paul Gordon (1886–1977), naturalist, author and photographer

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