22 November 1919 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Another quick + unexpected change to mild fresh weather. Dull + sunless: fairly strong W. wind. Left at 9.15 + motored to Hamilton. Called at Yair but did not see Dubs1. Went via Carnwath + returned via Biggar. It is 62 miles but I went a little out of the way in Hawick seeking Woodhouse. Got there at 1.15. Had lunch. Jean [Muir] was there having come last night. It was a sad affair1. Came straight way from the cemetery at 3.25 + got home at 7.25. Had to put the Stepney3 on off hind wheel near Biggar. Lit the lamps at Carmichael [South Lanarkshire]. Poor Helen had a bad time with double emphysema, synovitis of knee + endocarditis. She had operation for [illegible].

1 Albert Dubs (1860-1920), engineer and locomotive builder, later of ‘private means’ with nine servants [source: 1911 census], born Anderston, Glasgow but now staying in Yair

2 The funeral of Helen Muriel Patrick (1880-1919) who died 18 November 1919 at Hamilton, Lanarkshire – see Dr Muir’s diary entry for 19 November

3 The Stepney Spare Wheel was invented by Thomas Morris Davies of Llanelli in 1904 at a time when motor cars were made without spare wheels – Davies’s brilliant idea was to make a spokeless wheel rim fitted with an inflated tyre; by 1920 the need was diminishing as cars came with a spare wheel but a ‘stepney’ is still the everyday name for a spare wheel in India, Bangladesh, Malta and in Brazil, where it is called an ‘estepe’ [BBC ‘A History of the World’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/qPgTiS8fQ6SeIqZLvZVfXQ]

[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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