16 June 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Common Riding Day

Dull rather misty morning without much wind N.W. Kept fair all day + some sunshine in afternoon + evening. Saw the start from Victoria Hall1, all of us in dishabille2. There was said to be 153 riders. Had breakfast at Wellwood3 after the Casting4. Col. Dunlop5 + Mark Sprot6 there. The latter rode the Marches7 + afterwards motored to Edin[burgh]! Nancy8 + I cycled up Yarrow. She to Mt Benger School + I to Bengerburnhope. Got back about 5.20 + had to go up Ettrickhaugh Road to Mrs Gill9 + in the evening to Mrs Neil, Fairnilea Cottages10 in all 40.6 [miles]. Dora11 + Louis Brown12 went to Edin.

1 On the morning of the Common Riding the focus on the Victoria Hall from 06.30 before the procession forms and marches to Market Place awaiting the “Second Drum” at 07.00

2 En déshabillé means in a state of undress – or informally dressed – remember that Dr Muir lived directly opposite the Victoria Hall so he may well have been informal at this time

3 Wellwood, Ettrick Terrace, home of John ‘Jack’ Roberts junior and Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir and their children Andrina Barbara Henderson ‘Barbara’ Roberts, later Thwigg, John Stewart ‘Jock’ Roberts, Louisa Jane Roberts, later Rutherford, Stewart Muir ‘Little Stewart’ Roberts and George Edward ‘Tim’ Roberts

4 Casting is the part of the Selkirk Common Riding where the procession returns to town following the Rideout accompanied by the Selkirk Pipers and Silver Band for the Casting of the Colours (flags)

5 Colonel Dunlop is unidentified but is presumably a member of the Dunlop family of Whitmuirhall, Selkirk

6 Mark Sprot (1881-1946), landowner and army officer, of Riddell, Lilliesleaf

7 Riding the Marches (or boundaries) was the main task of the Common Riding

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

9 There are a number of references to Gill at Ettrickhaugh Road, Selkirk in the Valuation Rolls so it is not possible to identify Mrs Gill here

10 Dr Muir had seen a patient on 21 April 1922 whom the Editor suspects was the wife of James Neil, ploughman at Fairnilea, Caddonfoot

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

12 Louis (Louise?) Brown (the Editor thinks the reading Louis Thomson was correct for 15 June 1922 diary) is not identified

[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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