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

Rose 4.45 : breakfasted 5.30 + left at 6.35 to cycle to Berwick. It was a fine calm mild morning but rather hazy. There was a slight S. wind + I had a splendid run via Mertoun Bri[dge], Stitchill, Eccles to Paxton.1 Stopped at the Bridge over Whiteadder2 + had a smoke. I had quite forgotten the road from Paxton to Berwick where I arrived about 11. Bought a Mutton pie + ate it on the ramparts looking over the sea. Left Berwick about 12 + took the road by E Ord, Allerdean + Duddo to Twizel.3 It was painfully hilly + the wind had got much stronger. I stopped at Duddo + ate some cakes I had got at Berwick. Took the road from Twizel to Crookham + then by Sprouston4 to Kelso. At the Kelso Railway Bridge5 about 8 miles from here I stupidly took about 2oz of whisky neat + I could scarcely get home6. I got back a little after 8. = 91 miles.

1 Mertoun Bri[dge], NT610,320, Stichill, NT716,385, Eccles, NT763,414, to Paxton, NT935,530 (presumably taking the direct route via Swinton).

2 The bridge over Whiteadder must be the one at NT957,526 which was washed away in the 1948 floods.

3 East Ord, NT989,510, Allerdean NT966,465, Duddo, NT938,426 and Twizel, NT885,432.

4 Crookham, NT917,381, and Sprouston, NT756,352.

5 Kelso railway bridge is to the west of Kelso railway station on the south edge of Maxwellheugh, grid reference NT731,331, see Ordnance Survey 6 inch Selkirkshire Sheet n X, published 1923); the road crossed the railway almost exactly where the roundabout is now, below Sainsbury’s at Kelso, the old rail track these days being the route of the Kelso bypass.

6 This is not the first time that Dr Muir has experimented with combining cycling and whisky; on 10 September 1915 he noted that “The whisky & soda at Bridgend was a mistake. I had too little food having eaten nothing after breakfast at Moffat till I got home but a single biscuit at Borland [Boreland].“ [Scottish Borders Archives SBA/657/18/45].

[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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