16 August 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Mild day. S wind: fair up till 2.45 + then very heavy rain till 8 or 9. After seeing some town cases walking I cycled over to Lilliesleaf via Greenhead to see Mrs Bell1 the policeman’s wife whom Dav. attended yesterday at her confinement. I came back via Midlem + was not long home till the rain began. Dora1 had her friend Mrs Douglas Brown (nee Donald)1 + the Smiths1 to lunch. I dined at MCall’s1 with his friend Brown1 + Boylan1. The former a fine singer. McCall surprised me by singing very well “Did you ever see an oyster”1 + Boylan by reciting.

1 Margaret Smith Bell née McFarlane, whose son Walter Anderson Bell was born 15 August 1921 at the Police Station House, Lilliesleaf, Roxburghshire [1921, 795/ 9, Lilliesleaf]; she had married George Bell 29 November 1918 at Callander, Perthshire (presumably because he had survived military service in the Army Service Corps) and by 1921 George was Inhabitant Occupier of the Police Station House, Lilliesleaf [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011600033-/554, Roxburgh County, page 554 of 993]

2 David Charteris ‘Dav.’ Graham (1889-1963), M.B., medical practitioner and Dr Muir’s business partner

3 Margaret Meikle ‘Peggy’ Donald about 1885-), a nurse at the time, had married, September 1918, James Douglas Brown, Lieutenant K.O.S.B. of Ashwood, Galashiels [1918, 775/ 50, Galashiels]

4 Andrina Dorothy ‘Dora’ Muir (1882-1978), nurse and Dr Muir’s youngest daughter

5 The Smiths may be the family of Katie Smith née Locke of Lauriston, Selkirk or that of Alice Smith née Paterson of The Firs, Selkirk; it is tempting to think that, with Dora’s medical work, it is the latter because Alice Smith’s daughter Alice Barbara Stewart Smith (1892-1970) was at this time undertaking her training (M.B., Ch.B. Edinburgh 1920, Diploma in Public Health, Dublin, 1922) before spending the rest of her life working in India, being awarded M.D., Edinburgh 1921 and dying in 1970 at Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, South India

6 The Reverend, later Canon, James George McCall (1866-1954), sometime rector of St John’s Episcopal Church, Selkirk but was in the process of flitting at this point in 1921

7 John Dun Boylan (1850-1924), civil engineer, acquaintance of Dr Muir, sometime of Shawmount and Shawpark, Selkirk

8 ‘Did you ever see an Oyster walk upstairs?’ was a popular comic song, words and music by Frederick Younge Gilbert (1850-1903), English theatrical agent and music hall song writer

[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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