12 December 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Dull mild + damp with less more wind than yesterday + a sensation of rain. My side still improving. Motored to Ashybank, Buccleuch Road, Rockville and Woll Rigg. After lunch walked round Skely Brig1 + Greenhead.2 Saw Paterson3 at Shawbrae4 erecting a wireless apparatus. Hiddleston5 also has one + told me that he had heard quite clearly a concert in Paris + another in Birmingham!

1 A knowledgeable reader has informed the Editor that the Skeely [Skelly/ie] Brig crossed the Dean Burn on the road from Selkirk past Buxton to Greenhead at approximate grid reference NGR NT485,287. The Dean Burn, also known as the Skilly (or Skeely) Burn, subsequently skirts the southern boundary of Shawpark, and is marked as the Shaw Burn immediately after it crosses to the north of the road from Scott’s Place to Half Crown Corner and Lindean Moor Farm. The best view is on Ordnance Survey 25 inch Selkirkshire Sheet XII.5 (Selkirk), surveyed 1858, published 1860.

2 Greenhead, Selkirk, grid reference NGR NT491,293, visible on Ordnance Survey 6” Selkirkshire Sheet XII.NW, published 1900.

3 Presumably John Stewart Paterson (1889-1978), general engineer, who was recorded as living with his widowed mother Kate Lawson Paterson née Lawson (about 1856-1933), at Shawbrae Cottage in the 1921 Census. She was the widow of Alexander Paterson (about 1834-?), printer. [sources: 1921 Paterson, Kate Lawson (Census 778/ 15/ 3) Page 3 of 6, and Statutory BMDs].

4 Shawbrae is beyond Selkirk Cemetery on the same side of the road but was not named in the Valuation Rolls until later in the 1920s when it was recorded as owned by Selkirk Parish Council, tenant Mrs Kate Paterson, widow [1926 Valuation Rolls VR011700009-/588, Selkirk County, page 588 of 605].

5 John Murray Hiddleston (1891-1954), L.R.C.P.S., L.R.F.P.S., medical practitioner.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

Published by


Archivist, interests include Dr John Stewart Muir 1845-1938) of Selkirk, general practitioner, and Seton Paul Gordon (1886–1977), naturalist, author and photographer

2 thoughts on “12 December 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk”

  1. I was intrigued to read about the Skeely Brig. As a youngster, I used to play at the outflow of what is still called the Skating Pond, now nameless on the OS maps and overgrown. The outflow is called the Dean Burn, but was known as the Skilly (or Skeely) Burn. There is a sizeable deposit of boulder clay there and apparently this clay was used in the manufacture of writing slates for schools (or chalk crayons). The Skilly Burn flows into the Shaw Burn but before doing so, is crossed by a bridge carrying the road from Selkirk, past Buxton to Greenhead. I can only suppose that this is the bridge referred to. Approx. 55 32 58.13N 2 49 03.08W


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