27 June 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

I succeeded today in reaching but not in exceeding my cycling record of 120 miles. It was a perfect morning when I left at 4.45. The sun was just above the horizon + the slight wind from N.E. I got to Peebles in 13/4 hours. There the decorations of were Beltane day festival still apparent1. Going via Harestanes2 I reached Biggar at 8.20. My only dismount was at Kirkurd to pass some cows. Breakfasted at Clydesdale Arms3 + then ran on to Douglas4 where I managed to get a Scotsman. It was a lovely day + fairly clear. Took the Glespin – Abington road + had some walking, rested at the top for a smoke + read the paper. Rapid run down to the Sanquhar road. Had a glass of beer + bread + cheese at Crawfordjohn + gained the main R [road]. Came back via Culter5. Had tea at the Tontine6, Peebles after being refused at the Cleikum Inn7 + reached home via Lindean at 9.30. Comfortably tired. The wind, though slight, told a little against me on the homeward journey but I rode right up to the O.B. Road8.

1 Peebles’ Beltane Festival is the third week in June

2 Old Harestanes is at grid reference NGR NT123,441 so Dr Muir appears to have gone through Kirkurd

3 The Editor has been unable to identify or locate the Clydesdale Arms

4 Douglas, grid reference NS834,308, via Glespin, NS810,283, then SSE to Duneaton Water and the B740 (the Sanquhar road) at NS864,222 where Dr Muir turned east towards Crawfordjohn, NS879,237, after which he would have regained the Carlisle – Edinburgh road at Abington, NS931,233

5 Culter, now Coulter, Lanarkshire, just south west of Biggar, grid reference NT023,339

6 The Tontine Hotel, High Street, Peebles

7 The Cross Keys Inn or Cleikum Inn, Northgate, Peebles, a 17th Century Inn well known to Sir Walter Scott

8 The Old Bridge Road, Selkirk; in other words Dr Muir cycled 120 miles and on his return pedalled almost to the top of Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk, before dismounting and walking his bicycle part, if not all of, the last couple of hundred yards home, he was 76 …

[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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