5 March 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Rose 5.30: breakfasted + left at 8.15 with Baptie1 in the car for Prestwick2. It was raining heavily + never faired till we got to Mauchline3. The bicycle was fixed up behind + my larger Gladstone bag was on the step+ though covered, got pretty wet. We reached Peebles in at 9.25 + Biggar at 10.25 + Hyndford by 10.52. Prestwick 1.35 = 5 h 20 m for 91 miles. The old Swift4 went without a hitch. Found Rennie5 very well. Baptie got some dinner + then went home. From dinner at 2.30 till teatime, except when he took a short nap, Rennie never ceased talking6.

1 Thomas Baptie (1860-1929), driver and handyman for Dr Muir

2 Prestwick, Ayrshire, where Dr Muir’s brother-in-law stayed

3 Dr Muir is sometimes more specific as to his route but evidently they have travelled from Biggar, skirting Lanark to its south at Hyndford, before presumably travelling via Muirkirk to reach Mauchline, from which their journey is more or less due east to Prestwick

4 The Swift Motor Company made Swift Cars in Coventry; it is not clear which model Dr Muir owned of this small motor manufacturer’s many products but it had been the ‘workhorse’ car for the practice since Dr Muir had acquired it some time before August 1914

5 The Reverend James Rennie (1826-1924), Church of Scotland minister and widower of Catherine Stewart Muir, thus Dr Muir’s brother-in-law; living at Prestwick, Ayrshire

6 Rennie was a tremendous talker which Dr Muir has referred to previously including when Rennie and John Dun Boylan (called a windbag by Dr Muir on one occasion) met in June 1916 and provoked him to describe them as “a pair of prize egotists” [diary, 17 June 1916, Scottish Borders Archives SBA/657/19/35]

[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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