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

Coldish S.E. wind for most of the day but wet at night. Cycled to Sunderland to see a lunatic, Wm [?] Lindsay1 + worked away all day at my speech. David2 motored me over to Gala for the dinner of the Div. [Division3] at 6.30. Henderson4 in chair: Young5 [was] Croupier. I had Kennedy6 as my guest. Donald7 the minister was on my left. It was a capital dinner in every way. Donald proposed the B.M.A. + made a very good speech. I recited ‘The 12th’8 + ‘The Pill’9 + sang “Twanky Dillo”10. Did not leave till 11.30. I stood Kennedy + Fleming11 champagne + the latter stood port.

1 Perhaps William Lindsay, woodcutter, who was Occupier of a house at Sunderland, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/327, Selkirk County, page 327 of 611]

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

3 This appears to be the Borders Division of the Edinburgh Branch of the British Medical Association

4 Percy James Henderson (1871-1935), M.B., CM (Ed.), 1896, medical practitioner, at Church Street, Galashiels in 1920

5 Dr Young is presumably the same medic as the one referred to in Dr Muir’s diary entry of Wednesday 14 July 1915 “… to South Common, Ashkirk, Lilliesleaf & Newtown where I attended a meeting of the War Committee of the Div. Blair, Young, Oliver & myself.”; perhaps Dr John Young (1858-1934), M.B., C.M., medical practitioner, of The Thorn, Earlston [sources: Proprietor Occupier, Thorn House, Earlston, 1920 Valuation Roll, VR009; birth, 1858, 795/ 21, Lilliesleaf; death, 1934, 685/6 515, Newington]

6 This is likely to be William Nicol Watson Kennedy (1888-1961), M.D., D.P.H., Medical Officer of Health and School Medical Officer for Selkirkshire, 1921-about 1924

7 Probably the Reverend George Henry Donald (fl.1921), M.A., D.D., at this time at Galashiels, previously at Southdean, Hawick [Sources: 1921 Valuation Roll, VR003500014-/243, Galashiels Burgh, page 243 of 473 and 1903 Valuation Roll, VR011600026-/192, Roxburgh County, page 192 of 897]

9 Dr Muir’s recital ‘The Pill’ is from ‘Fancies of a Physician, Medical and Otherwise, in Scots and English’, Brown Son & Ferguson, Glasgow, 1938 by Dr John Freeland Fergus (1865-1943) [see also Mason, Sir David and James Beaton. “The Fergus Family and the Scottish Royal Colleges.” Scottish Medical Journal, vol. 54, issue. 2, RSMSMJ, 2009, pp. 48–51, https://doi.org/10.1258/rsmsmj.54.2.48.%5D

8 Dr Muir’s recital ‘The 12th’ has not been identified

10 Twanky Dillo or Twankydillo, ‘The Blacksmith’s Song’ “Here’s a health to the jolly blacksmith …”; a very ribald song in its bawdiest iterations (though the text has been confused by attempts to bowdlerise it) and it is definitely not Scots in origin with versions recorded in the south of England, notably Sussex and Dorset [see disussion here: Meaning of Twanky Dillo]

11 Assume Alexander Dickson Fleming (1865-1955), M.B., Ch.B. (Edin.), medical practitioner, physician at Kelso Dispensary and Medical Officer to Kelso Union

[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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