3 July 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Dull + sunless up till midday and a brilliant day after. Warm in sun. Cool E. wind. Was called up at 2 for Mrs Alex Harper1, Kirkwynd who had a d [daughter] before I arrived. Got back to bed at 3 + had to rise at 5 to relieve Jamie Orr2, Dovecot. Was late with breakfast. Had a town list walking. Message to Hislop3, 110 Forest Road + after I had done my round had to go to Marshall4, 110 Forest Road case of Scarlet. Had quiet afternoon + filled up the new leaf day book + ledger for July5. I think it will be very handy if one were into the way of it. Went to evening service. Mrs Mack6 at supper. Read some extracts from my diary of /687.

1 Esther Ramsay Harper, born 3 July 1921 at 31 Kirkwynd, Selkirk; she was the daughter of Alexander Harper, woollen millworker, and Esther Harper née Ramsay, married 8 March 1912

2 James Kennedy ‘Jamie’ Orr (about 1845-1924), tailor, husband of Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Chisholm (about 1847-1926) and resident at 9 Dovecot Cottages, Selkirk, 1911 Census

3 William Hislop, mill warper, was Tenant Occupier of a house (no garden) at 110 Forest Road, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR007900012-/165, Selkirk Burgh, page 165 of 644]

4 James Marshall, tuner, was Tenant Occupier of a house and garden at 110 Forest Road, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR007900012-/165, Selkirk Burgh, page 165 of 644]

5 This was not the start of Dr Muir’s move to modern record-keeping and accounting systems defined as “… order and billing systems , indexes, ledgers or any form of original or final record where a loose-leaf, or detached, or detachable documents are used in lieu of the same information in a bound book” because he had moved to index cards for patient records from about 1915; the pressure of a large number of patients signed up under the National Insurance Act 1911 may partly have driven the change, as may the greater need for accountability and information sharing demanded by a formal co-partnership [see Wootton, Charles W., and Carel M. Wolk. “The Evolution and Acceptance of the Loose-Leaf Accounting System, 1885-1935.” Technology and Culture, vol. 41, no. 1, 2000, pp. 80–98. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/25147454. Accessed 29 June 2021.]

6 Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946), of Elm Park, Selkirk

7 This comment tantalisingly suggests that Dr Muir kept a journal throughout his time at Selkirk but it seems that only the diaries for 1891, 1899-1925 and 1927-1938 have survived

[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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