2 November 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

There were some patches of snow on White Coomb1

A cold dull but dry day. Wind slight E. I walked up to Rockville2 + back by Hawthorn Cottage. Left about 10.30 in car with Helen3 + Winifred4: called at Hospital + then ran to Peebles, Dreva + Moffat. It was very cold + Winifred had to supplement her clothing with the “Scotsman” which she wore all the journey. We lunched at The girls inspected Neidpath5 + we lunched at Mossfennan6: stopped at Beef tub7 + Grey Mare’s Tail8. Had to light the lamps after Craighope9 + got home at 6.10. I had to go over to Pinegrove + the Hospital10 before dinner. My hands … + Winifred came back with Coryza11. The colouring of the Dawyck12 woods was marvellous.

1 White Coomb is the highest point in the Moffat Hills, grid reference NGR NT163,150

2 Rockville, Selkirk, home of Robert Currie ‘junior’ (about 1847-1923), hosiery manufacturer; the fourth of five generations at Selkirk with the given name Robert

3 Helen Frances ‘Mousey’ Muir (1880-1963), Dr Muir’s third daughter and sometime housekeeper

4 Margaret Winifred Armitage (1874-1970), daughter of William Armitage, cotton merchant, and Margaret Petrie Armitage; her sister Dorothy had married Francis ‘Frank’ Muir (1877-1972), electrical engineer, son of the Reverend Gavin Struthers ‘Guy’ Muir Dr Muir’s brother, and thus Dr Muir’s nephew

5 Neidpath, Peebles, NT236,404

6 Mossfennan, Broughton, Glenholm and Kilbucho Parish, Peeblesshire, area centred on grid reference NT117,316

7 The Devil’s Beef Tub, grid reference NT062,128 is the impressive hollow in the hills north of Moffat and adjacent to the A701; sitting below Annanhead Hill it is one of the main sources of the River Annan

8 Grey Mare’s Tail, NT183,148, below Loch Skene on the Selkirkshire – Dumfriesshire boundary

9 There seem to be two locations named Craighope which might be a ‘fit’, at Yarrow, NT280,283 and Innerleithen, NT297,451 but neither is a place which one would be merely driving past

10 Mauldsheugh ‘The Hospital’ appears to have been used by the Muir and Graham medical partnership as their main site (supplemented from 1920 by Viewfield Nursing Home) but also to have been Dr Graham’s home but should not be confused with the Infectious Diseases Hospital at the north end of the Selkirk Hills (though Dr Muir seems to have used the word interchangeably for Mauldsheugh and the Isolation unit)

11 Coryza (as Dr Muir prefers to call it) is the Common Cold or symptoms of it

12 Dawyck, Drumelzier, area centred on grid reference NT167,351

[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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