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

Very dark morning + drizzling all day with some heavy rain towards night. Walked to Hospital +c Forest Road, Kirkwynd + also Shawpark where Boylan1 – the prince of button holers – kept me fully half an hour with a yarn about Scott Plummer’s2 ancestry. There was a jumble sale today in connection with the Girl Guides which kept Helen3 busy + a concert in the Union Hall at which I recited the ‘Borderland’4 + ‘Idealist’5. There was some good singing by Bell of Gala6. Mr Duffus7 (the inebriate from Viewfield) sent Helen some nice chocolates +c for the sale. She had taken him for a walk yesterday.

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

2 Charles Henry Scott Plummer (1859-1948), J.P.; Lord-Lieutenant, of Middlestead and Sunderland Hall

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

4 The ballad or poem Borderland has not been identified

5 The ballad ‘The Idealist’ is probably the short ballad about a louse by Robert W Service (1874-1958), ‘The Bard of the Yukon’ but of Scots descent and educated there, which starts “Oh you who have daring deeds to tell! | And you who have felt Ambition’s spell!”

6 Bell of Gala appears occasionally in Dr Muir’s diaries, he is not yet identified

7 Mr Duffus has not been identified but Dr Muir’s diary entry for 27 November 1921 notes that he is from Aberdeen

[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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