7 February 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Frost less keen + almost thawing at night, calm S.W. [wind] My 77 birthday. Letters from Nancy1, Jean2, Dora3, Guy4, Mary5 + a lot of presents from Mrs Mack6 viz 2 pr. knicker stockings7: 2 shirts 4 collars8 + chocs. She also brought up a bottle of port + a cake. Bell Harkness9 sent me two silk hankeys [sic] + Isa Paton10 a pair of knicker stockings. I got a nice letter from Mrs Taylor, Jamaica11. Did a town list walking + motored to Greenhead +c. Did not get tea till 3.30. Had a meeting of V.A.D.12 (at which only 5 turned up) about the course of lectures on Tuberculosis by Kennedy13. Helen14 + Mrs Mack went to Picture Ho. + came in after to drink my health. Saw Mrs Mack home!15

1 Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s second daughter

2 Jane Henderson Logan ‘Jean’ Pike née Muir (1877-1941), Dr Muir’s eldest daughter

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

4 The Reverend Gavin Struthers ‘Guy’ Muir (1846-1927), Dr Muir’s brother

5 Assume Mary Jane Wallace née Muir (1836-1933), Dr Muir’s sister, married to James Wallace, living at Scotstoune, Haslemere, Surrey

6 Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946), of Elm Park, Selkirk

7 The Editor assumes that Dr Muir is referring to his knickerbockers or breeks, normally similar to but shorter than plus twos and very likely his cycle wear

8 Collars were sold (and laundered) separately from shirts and linked for wearing by a pair of collar studs

9 Isabella ‘Bell’ Harkness née Lockie (1859-1929), daughter of Hugh Lockie, woollen millworker, and Helen Lockie née Fairbairn, married John Harkness baker; her daughter Ella Fairbairn Harkness (1893-1915), woollen millworker, had died 1915 aged 22 at Curror Street, Selkirk of phthisis pulmonalis

10 Isabella Clementina ‘Isa’ Paton (about 1838-1929) stayed at Galashiels with her sister Marion Agnes Paton (about 1841-1940), though they had been at Selkirk previously

11 Mrs Taylor, Jamaica, may (just, though the Editor would have expected Dr Muir to be less formal) be Jane ‘Jean’ Logan Taylor née Rennie (about 1856-), daughter of The Reverend James Rennie (1826-1924), Church of Scotland minister and Catherine Stewart Rennie née Muir, thus Dr Muir’s niece, or it may refer to the wife of her son

12 The Voluntary Aid Detachment had been very active, with Dr Muir involved as a lecturer, during the First World War but was obviously in a diminished state by 1922

13 Dr William Nicol Watson Kennedy (1888-1961), O.B.E., M.D., M.R.C.P.Ed., D.P.E., medical officer of health and school medical officer for Selkirkshire, 1921-about 1924; he worked in public health roles at Craiglockhart, Croydon and Selkirkshire, saw service in the R.A.M.C. and wrote a sanitary history of the Northern Russia Expeditionary Force before his career as a G.P. in Cheshire (very close to some of Dr Muir’s relatives) [sources: birth, 1888, 685/5 486, Newington; death, 15 Dec 1961, Glendale, Ashley Road, Hale, Cheshire, registered Dec Quarter 1961, Bucklow, Cheshire, 10a 140; UK & Ireland, Medical Directories, 1845-1942, Wellcome Trust; London, England; Collection: The Medical Directory, 1940; Reference: b21330724_i13766363; “W. N. W. Kennedy, O.B.E., M.D., M.R.C.P.Ed. D.P.H.” The British Medical Journal, vol. 1, no. 5276, BMJ, 1962, pp. 491–491, http://www.jstor.org/stable/20356756.%5D

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

15 Dr Muir has probably used an exclamation mark because he had, perhaps was continuing to have, a very close even intimate friendship with Mrs Mackintosh

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

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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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