25 February 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

There must have been a good deal of rain last night but today was fair with a sharpish N.W. wind. Helen1 went to Ed[inburgh] with Mrs Mack2 + returned at 7. I cycled in town, Wellwood (when I gave Nancy3 £20 for Helen’s ?), Ashybank, Young, Glebe Terrace (Alice Palfrey’s husband4), + on to Oakwood. Mr Linton5 improving. In afternoon paid some accounts (including J Smith & Sons for the railing +c + work at Viewfield6).

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

2 Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946), apparently leaving her home Elm Park, Selkirk, prompted by all her servants leaving, perhaps reflecting changes in women’s work exemplified by the dramatic growth in clerical jobs for women which led to clerical work overtaking domestic service becoming, in one decade 1911 to 1921, the largest single occupation for women just entering the workforce [McCalman, Janet. “The Impact of the First World War on Female Employment in England.” Labour History, no. 21, 1971, pp. 36–47, JSTOR Accessed 2021.02.20.]

3 Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s second daughter staying at Wellwood, Ettrick Road

4 There is an Alice (birth registered as Alison Elspeth) Palfrey (1882-1973), aged 18 at Station Haugh, Selkirk with parents Charles A and Elizabeth Palfrey and siblings George Palfrey (about 1878-), Alice Palfrey (about 1883-), Ella Palfrey (about 1885-), Bessie Palfrey (about 1887-), John Ellis Palfrey (about 1889-1916), and Lottie Palfrey (about 1893-)1901; she is recorded as being born at Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire and appears to have married John Wilson Young, 1920, at Edinburgh [1920, 685/2 487, St Andrew (Edinburgh)]

5 Oakwood was the home of Simon Linton (1836–1921), farmer, formerly of Manor, Peeblesshire

6 Smith & Son had been doing this work as far back as May 1920, see 31 May 1920 diary entry

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

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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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