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

Run to Peebles + Moffat

Left at 6.5. Lovely morning clear + calm. Got to Peebles at 8.10. To the Tontine Hotel in 21.2. Had breakfast there + left about 9.15. Met Willie Johnstone (Annie Steele’s husband)1. Went over the hill road to Manor Water2. Fine views from top: passes Sir H Ballantyne’s place – Craigerne3. It is about ½ mile further. Lovely run up Tweed + road splendid right to the County March after which it is pretty rough from the Talla [?]4 to near Moffat. Stopped beyond Teva + had a smoke + a look at the Scotsman. Reached Moffat [at] 2 + had lunch at the Annandale where I was charged 10d for a bottle of lager! Went on to Beattock Ho.5 where I turned down a road to the 3 Water Foot which I don’t remember of [sic] having been before which added 3½ to the mileage6. The wind helped me up Moffat Water as it had got stronger. Stopped near 3d milestone + had a smoke. Rode right up the Birkhill burn7 + ran down to Chapelhope in 11 mins8. Called At Cutkerwood [sic] + reached home at 7.35. Most enjoyable run of 92½ or nearly9.

1 William Johnstone and Annie Steele are unidentified

2 Dr Muir has taken Bonnington Road south out of Peebles, turning west past Edderston, grid reference NGR NT240,394, to reach the fine views at Manor Sware, area of NT234,398

3 The Editor can find no evidence that Craigerne was Sir Henry Ballantyne’s (he lived at Minden, Peebles), and in the early years of the 20th Century its proprietor was in fact Thorburn, see Valuation Rolls; Craigerne and the early stages of Dr Muir’s journey from Peebles are visible on Peebles-shire Sheet XIII.SW, published 1900

4 Perhaps Dr Muir meant the Talla which debouches into the River Tweed at NT102,247

5 Beattock House, NT078,026

6 Dr Muir took a route that did indeed prolong his ride if he hit Threewater Foot, NT095,024, a little too far to the south of his ideal route

7 Presumably Birkhill and the Birkie Cleuch, the two coinciding at grid reference NGR NT201,158, more or less exactly at the watershed from which Dr Muir would have commenced his fast descent

8 Chapelhope, NT230,190

9 It has been noted previously but is worth emphasising that Dr Muir is 76 at this time; his route measurements may be taken as accurate because it is established that he had a mileometer

[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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