12 September 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Rose at 5: breakfasted 6 + left at 7.5 for Foulden1. It was a lovely clear … with a S.W. to W. wind. I took it very easy to Smedheugh2 + from there went along with very little exertion. I went via Mertoun Bridge, Mainberry, Courthill, Stitchill + Eastfield to Orange Lane3. Between the 2 latter I went over a disused road, just a farm track with long dew covered grass4 but I managed without dismounting. Once on the main road I got along without the least exertion. Turned off the main road to Whitsome + then to Allanton + Chirnside5. Got to Foulden West Mains6 at 11.20 without fatigue + no thirst. The views were splendid. Found Mrs Craw7 + Dorothy8 at home. Frank9 + Craw10 were out shooting. Mrs Craw is a niece of Mr R M Ballantyne11 + my boyhood’s friend Jane Grant12. Foulden Mains (where Craw was born + which he has bought) is a farm of 1,000 acres. The house is an old fashioned 3 storey one with a flight of steps to the front door. Saw Frank’s two girls Diana + Margaret13. Had lunch + left at 2, returning via Hutton + turning off by Kelso racecourse. The wind was against me + I was pretty tired when I got back. Had a lovely Jargonelle pear14 that Craw gave me, at Mainberry.

1 Foulden, Berwickshire, grid reference NGR NT932,558

2 Smedheugh, Selkirk, just east of Selkirk Golf Club, NT NT489,279

3 Dr Muir travelled from Mertoun Bridge, NT609,320, along the B6404 though the junction at NT673,351 past Mainberry, NT679,357 and Courthill, NT688,365, presumably across Stichill Bridge to Stichill, NT713,384 before continuing north eastwards before turning south east to Stichill Eastfield, NT732,397

4 The Editor speculates that this refers to the track that runs just north west of Eccles Hill, linking Harlaw road end and Crosshall, through grid reference NGR NT754,417, en route between Stichill Eastfield and Orange Lane, NT773,425; it is shown as a road or track on Ordnance Survey Six Inch Berwickshire Sheet XXVIII.NW published 1909

5 Whitsome, NT864,505, Allanton, NT866,541 and Chirnside, NT869,565

6 Foulden West Mains NT9098,5582, also West Foulden or West Foulden Farm [Canmore ID 128362]

7 Annie Millard Craw nee Grant (1886-1953)

8 Dorothy Muir née Armitage (1873-1943), of Cheshire

9 Francis ‘Frank’ Muir (1877-1972), electrical engineer and Dr Muir’s nephew

10 James Hewat Craw (1880-1933), farmer, Proprietor Occupier of a farm and house at West Foulden, Berwickshire [1921 Valuation Roll]; the son of Henry Craw, farmer, and Alison Goodwillie Craw née Hogue, he was born West Mains, Foulden, married 3 Dec 1875, St Giles, Newington, Edinburgh, to Annie Millard Grant (1886-1953) [1914, 685/4 1033] and died aged 53, at Laggan Ulva [Mull], Argyll, usual residence, 5 Merchiston Gardens, Edinburgh

11 Robert Michael ‘R M’ Ballantyne (1825-1894), Scottish author and artist

12 Jane Grant is not identified

13 Diana Marianne Muir, later Greener (1910-) and Margaret Helen Muir (1913-), daughters of Francis ‘Frank’ Muir and Dorothy Muir née Armitage (1873-1943); Admirers of Mary Queen of Scots may appreciate the fact that a family newsletter of 1935 stated that “Margaret Muir is on a Dairy Farm at Fotheringhay, where her principal job is cheese-making.”

14 The dessert pear Pyrus communis ‘Jargonelle’

[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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