5 August 1919 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Very calm + warm day with very slight N.W. to N. air. Lovely evening clear sky: hazy during the day. Letter from Helen1 at last describing her eventful journey. She is at a place on the Norfolk coast called Happisburgh. I saw 7 town cases + cycled to Newarkburn, Bowhill + Back o’ Hill, Howford2 where I have not been for many years + never except on horseback. I walked from Whitehillbrae. It was to see a girl Scott who was run over by Usher’s motor on Sunday.3 Coming home I had a narrow shave with McKenzie on his motor bike below Hutlerburn. Bella4 has an inflamed foot + I made her rest it. Dined off boiled eggs &c which I cooked.

1 Helen Frances ‘Mousey’ Muir (1880-1963), Dr Muir’s third daughter and sometime housekeeper.

2 Unidentified but assume in the Howford Moss area of Kirkhope; Dr Muir has struck south off the Howford to Hutlerburn road at Whitehillbrae (approximate grid reference NGR NT403244), see Ordnance Survey 6″ Selkirkshire Sheet XI, published 1863 https://maps.nls.uk/view/74428522/, and headed into the area of Howford Moss surrounded by Howford Hill, Cavers Hill and Hutlerburn Hill, see Selkirkshire Sheet XV, published 1863 https://maps.nls.uk/view/74428526/.

2 Neither the girl Scott nor the driver Usher are identified but the incident was to have a lasting effect – see Dr Muir’s diary entry for 16 September 1922; it is possible that the child is the daughter of James Scott, shepherd, Inhabitant Occupier of a house at Howford, Kirkhope [1919 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/219, Selkirk County, page 219 of 611].

3 Isabella ‘Bella’ Paulin (1873-?1952), Dr Muir’s housekeeper.

[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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