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

Quite a medium temp. with a WSW wind + once in the afternoon a sensation of rain. Found to my dismay that accounts1 cannot go by post for d1/2 but are charged 1d2. Got all the County ones posted + Baptie3 delivered 2 lots of town ones. I cycled round town, Hospital, Tweed + Linglie Mills4. At 3.30 got hurried message by Phone to Bella Hume5, Lilliesleaf. Found her with strangulated … hernia. ‘Phoned for Baptie to bring Chlor[oform] but succeeded with cold + pressure to reduce it before he arrived. Rode the old Manse brae near Midlem for the first time as I remember6.

1 The Muir & Graham co-partnership split its accounts between those posted and those delivered, usually by Thomas Baptie

2 Postage costs have evidently doubled in price but oddly Dr Muir has expressed the pre-increase figure with the superscript ‘d’ for penny preceding the fraction instead of following it as was usual; the Editor grew up with ‘old money’ but has never previously seen that format used

3 Thomas Baptie (1860-1929), driver and handyman for Dr Muir

4 Tweed Mills, Dunsdale Road, Canmore ID 145583, operated as Gardiner’s Tweed Mill from 1895 see Selkirk, Dunsdale Road, Gardiner’s Tweed Mill and Linglie Mill, Level Crossing Road, Canmore ID 54251, is probably best known as Edward Gardiner’s woollen mill from 1913 see Selkirk, Level Crossing Road, Linglie Mill

5 Bella Hume, Lilliesleaf cannot be reliably identified without an enormous piece of research – there were two Isabella Hume individuals at Lilliesleaf in the 1911 Census, aged 20 and 23 respectively, both living in the High Street and both with sisters called Agnes – and of course one cannot rule out the possibilities either that one of the Hume men in Lilliesleaf had married someone called Isabella or that quite another Isabella Hume had moved there in the decade since 1911

6 This refers to the long climb north west out of Midlem, past the Old Manse at grid reference NGR NT525,274 and up Braid Hill heading for Clarilawmuir; the Editor is surprised by Dr Muir’s assertion

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

Published by


Archivist, interests include Dr John Stewart Muir 1845-1938) of Selkirk, general practitioner, and Seton Paul Gordon (1886–1977), naturalist, author and photographer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s