19 May 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

A dull day with one or two showers. Strong N.W. wind. Cleared up about 4. Saw 2 town cases + then cycled to Craighill. Got a shower at Hutlerburn + another just as I got to Ettrick Kirk, but no more. Found Mrs Anderson1 horribly thin. Went on up Tima + down Eskdalemuir2. Roads excellent. Summit 5 from Ramsaycleuch + 20 from Langholm. Took the high road from Eskdalemuir Church. Had my tea near the top. Took the road on left of Esk. Very pretty. Took the road to Sorbie + so home3. Had a very stiff ride from Hawick against the wind + had to walk hills that I generally cycle. Got home at 8.30 + enjoyed a lovely bit of salmon (from Magic Cave4) + a W. + S. [whisky and soda] = 76.15 miles.

1 The Editor assumes that this must refer to Grace Anderson née Davidson, wife of John Lindsay Anderson, shepherd and widower of Margaret Abbey McCliskie (1867-1914); at their marriage 7 March 1919 at Cossarshill, Ettrick, both John and Grace were recorded as of “Craighill Ettrick”

2 Dr Muir has continued up the Tima Water and down the White Esk, crossing the waters head at grid reference NT253,072, and appears to have taken the higher and more easterly route from Eskdalemuir and then the road east of the River Esk onwards perhaps all the way to Staplegordon without crossing the Esk

3 Dr Muir has started his journey home by cutting off the triangle of roads with Langholm at its south east tip travelling north of Wrae Hill and joining the Ewes Water and the A7 just after Sorbie, NY366,900, thereafter following the A7 very nearly the whole way home; the climb from Eweslees to Mosspaul at the end of a day’s cycling must have been punishing for a 76 year old man on a two-speed bike

4 Elm Park, Selkirk, home of Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946) whose lavish generosity had several times prompted Dr Muir to call her home ‘the Magic Cave’ though he had not called it that for longish period prior to this occasion

[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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