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

It kept quite fair today but there was less sunshine than yesterday. Wind N.or N.W. I left at 11 + cycled via Ayr + Minnyshant to Kirkmichael1. I had done this road before but the opposite way. Then I took a new road over the hill to Patna on the Doon2 + home again by Ayr, almost 30 miles. After dinner I walked to Ayr + got some cakes for Mrs Mack3 + some sweets for Helen4 at Fleury Meng’s5 + a cod roe for Rennie6. We had a [great ?] evening of his personal reminiscences in which as usual the ‘ego’ largely predominates7. I met Tom Hardie8 in Ayr in the morning.

1 Dr Muir’s precise route is not clear on his way to Kirkmichael, South Ayrshire, grid reference NGR NS342,087, but to have continued to Maybole would have taken him out of his way; the Editor suggests that his route took Dr Muir through Grimmet, NS324,105

2 It looks likely that Dr Muir took one of two routes, the one on the minor road being the longer, and then went over or past Dalvennan Bridge on his way to Patna, a community in Straiton and Dalmellington parishes, East Ayrshire, grid reference NGR NS414,105 and on the River Doon; built 1802 by William Fullarton to provide housing for workers on the coalfields of his estate

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

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

5 Fleury Meng’s pastry and confectionery premises in Newmarket Street, Ayr (Nos. 44, 46 & 48) and there were other branches at 22 Fawcett Street, Sunderland and 3 St Ann’s Passage, Manchester; Florian ‘Fleury’ Meng (about 1858-1915), baker, confectioner and pastry cook was resident at Newmarket street, Ayr, 1891 Census, aged 33, with Lucius or Lucian Meng, brother and Ursula and Agatha Meng, sisters, they were the children of Christian Meng, farmer, and Barbara Meng née Gadient and born in the Canton of Graubünden (Grisons), Switzerland

6 The Reverend James Rennie (1826-1924), Dr Muir’s brother-in-law, widower of his late sister Catherine

7 There have been many comments from Dr Muir over the years about both Rennie’s verbosity and his ego

8 Thomas Hardie may conceivably be Thomas Anderson Alexander Hardie (1881-), skinner, living at Mill Street, Ayr in 1925 (the 1921 Census should be helpful here); born at Pinegrove, Selkirk he may have been one of the 3366 babies Dr Muir helped bring into the world [sources: 1881 Hardie, Thomas Anderson, Statutory registers Births 778/ 89, page 30 of 83 and 1925 Valuation Roll VR000700059-/64, Ayr Burgh, page 64 of 265]

[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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