29 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

I had brighter: a nice clean sharp day N.W. + drying. Helen1 went to town with the 8 train. There was a case of T + A2 at Viewfield.3 I had almost nothing in the town but Tom Murray4 to whom I told his true condition. Cycled to Woll Rigg returning via Hartwoodmyres.5 It is 6.6 to Woll Rigg via Ashkirk + 6.35 via Hartwoodmyres.6 Called at the nurses house in the Green7 that has been gifted by Mr Armstrong.8 Ian McDonald9 got hurt at football + I gave him gas at Viewfield to examine his knee.

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

2 Tonsils and Adenoids.

3 Viewfield nursing home, the Muir & Graham medical practice’s property.

4 Thomas Murray (1866-1922), woollen pattern weaver, in the 1911 Census he was recorded as head of household at 3 Tower Terrace, Selkirk with his mother aet 70 and sisters Lizzie, 40 and Maggie, 30.

5 Dr Muir was more or less reversing part of a ride he did on 8 November 1922 but this time, travelling clockwise, he has climbed from Ashkirk past Woll Rigg headed towards Hartwoodmyres.

6 Dr Muir had at least one velometer, which explains the precise distances he records.
On 30 June 2019 Dr Muir noted “I have no Velometer for a 28 inch wheel”. The editor suggested at the time that it was a reasonable proposition that wheel size was a consideration in the accurate measurement of distance travelled pre-GPS, presuming that it counted rotations, and that the difference in wheel size would thus have rendered Dr Muir’s device unusable on his new bike. ‘Canadian Cycling’, 15 November 2018, helpfully describes the Veeder Cyclometer (made at Hartford, Connecticut), the one that Dr Muir used, and confirms that the operating principle was wheel revolutions [see also diary entry for 21 July 1919].

7 The property concerned was 14 The Green, Selkirk and in due course it was recorded in the Valuation Roll as Proprietor “Town Council of Burgh of Selkirk (Common Good Dept.) …”, its tenant “Selkirk Branch of the Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute for nurses …” [sic] and its inhabitant occupier not rated “Miss E F Beck, district nurse.” [Elizabeth Fyfe Beck (1865-1954), nurse].

8 William Armstrong, a native of Selkirk but otherwise unidentified, gifted, in memory of his wife, a house on the Green, Selkirk to Selkirk Town Council for the use of the Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute for Nurses [reported at annual meeting, see ‘Selkirk Nurse Annual Meeting of Victoria Jubilee Institute’ in Southern Reporter, 7 December 1922]

9 Almost certainly Ian McDonald (1908-), son of Alexander McDonald, tweed designer, and Janet McDonald née Scott, married 1905 at Hawick; in the 1921 Census the family was recorded at Clifton Road, Selkirk.

[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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