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

Damp + dull : some rain at night. Dav.1 shooting at Gala with the Adjutant2. Motored to Beechwood, Kirkhope Manse + Farm. Concocted you speech for nursing Concert + made sure of recitation.3 The Hall was only half filled + I spoke my mind about it. Made them give 3 cheers for Armstrong.4 Menzies5 + Nurse Beck6 were on the platform. Hiddleston 7 sent apology. Dav. was called away but came back. Recited Holyrood8 + Tam + the Leeches.9

1 David Charteris ‘Dav.’ Graham (1889-1963), M.B., medical practitioner and Dr Muir’s business partner.

2 The Adjutant is unidentified.

3 Dr Muir presided at a Jubilee Nurses Concert held at the Victoria Hall. After dancing and other performances Dr Muir gave what the Southern Reporter described as “Elocutionary items”: a descriptive piece ‘Holyrood’ and the “highly diverting” ‘Tam McPhail and his Leeches’ [sic – see footnote 9] after which the Reverend J A Somerville of West U.F. Church proposed a vote of thanks [see ‘Jubilee Nurses Concert’ in Southern Reporter, 7 December 1922].

4 William Armstrong, a native of Selkirk but otherwise unidentified, gifted, in memory of his wife, a nurse’s 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 Nurses Annual Meeting of Victoria Jubilee Institute’ in Southern Reporter, 7 December 1922].

5 James Morris Menzies (1871-1926), M.B., Ch.M., M.D., medical practitioner, of Ettrick Lodge, Selkirk.

6 Elizabeth Fyfe Beck (1865-1954), nurse, born Dumfriesshire, died Ceres, Fife; the Southern Reporter, 10 August 1916, describes her as a District Nurse at Selkirk before she was released to take up military nursing.

7 John Murray Hiddleston (1891-1954), L.R.C.P.S., L.R.F.P.S., medical practitioner; he had served in the Royal Navy (invalided out 23 March 1916) and “purchased the Panel and Private practice of the late Dr John Wilson, Selkirk.”

8 ‘Holyrood’ is an unidentified poem, ballad or text “bringing out in detail” the Southern Reporter noted “the neighbouring surroundings of Arthur’s Seat, with Salisbury Crags and the form of the Lion’s head”. The Editor would be pleased to know the text’s identity.

9 ‘Tam and the Leeches’ from ‘The Auld Doctor, and Other Poems and Songs in Scots’ by David Rorie (1867-1946), D.S.O., M.D.C.M, D.P.H., doctor, folklorist and poet (“Faith there’s a hantle queer complaints | To cheenge puir sinners into saints | An’ mony divers ways o’ deein’ | That doctors hae a chance o’ seein’ | The Babylonian scartit bricks | To tell his doots o’ Death’s dark tricks.” etc

[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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