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

Breakfasted 7 but did not get away till 8.45. Cycled via Riddell (where I called for Mrs Allan1 who was confined yesterday) + Lilliesleaf (just at Falla’s Smithy2) I picked up a big … horse nail in my back tyre + it took me 45 m to mend the hole) to Denholm, over the Dunion3 (stopping at the summit for a smoke + a look at the Scotsman) to Jedburgh (I think I have only once gone this route before) + on to Crailing Hall4, Cessford, Otterburn, Morebattle, Linton, Greenlees, Lempitlaw, Lurdenlaw + Kelso. I don’t remember the bit of road from the point where it branches off to Oxnam to Crailing Hall nor from thereto the Rennieston road end. Also the bit of road from Linton to the Frogden road5 was new + a very rough disused road to Lempitlaw6 + another of the same from Lurdenlaw to to the Yetholm road. It was a charming day for cycling . Not much wind + not too hot but there was a haze which hid all the distant views. I got home at 7 riding from Roxburgh Castle without dismounting having covered 57 miles. I had nothing from breakfast but 4 biscuits + cheese, some bannock7 + tea. Enjoyed a W + S8 a hot bath + dinner. Dora9 had a nasty faint turn.

1 James Young Allan was born 27 September 1921 at Riddell Gardens Cottage, Lilliesleaf, the son of Harry Weston Sanderson Allan, estate joiner, and Marie Young Allan nee Steele; the parents had married 8 April 1916 at Edinburgh

2 William Falla, blacksmith, had a Smithy on the north west side of the road and just along from the Cross Keys Inn [Sources: 1921 Valuation Roll and Ordnance Survey 25” Roxburghshire Sheet XIII.12, published 1899

3 The Dunion would be the B6358 Denholm to Jedburgh road which passes north of Dunion Hill at its highest point, at grid reference NGR NT625,195

4 Crailinghall, grid reference NGR NT698,221, Cessford, NT735,236, Otterburn (presumably only the road end), NT757,244, Morebattle, Linton, NT775,260, Greenlees (again presumably only the road end), NT782,293, Lempitlaw, NT786,326 and Lurdenlaw, NT768,320

5 Presumably Dr Muir means the stretch to the junction at NT771,271 where the road continues in a north westerly direction to Frogden NT763,281 while he cycled in NNE through NT776,282

6 Presumably Dr Muir has taken on of two routes away from the Graden – Hoselaw road, either taking him through NT794,320 to Lempitlaw and later he has ridden on through NT772,323 to Lurdenlaw

7 Selkirk Bannock is that town’s famous rich and buttery leavened tea bread

8 Whisky and Soda

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

[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