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

I had rather a busier day than usual. First I walked to Curror Street + Hospital: next motored to Sprot Homes1 for Dav.2 to see a Miss McBride3 who wanted to come to Viewfield but I had to wire4 that there wasn’t a bed + she came to a friend Miss Moir, Raeburn Meadow.5 Then I had to go to Ashkirk to see an old tramp Pat Doyle, whom I saw a few days ago.6 In the evening I went over to Galashiels by train + had supper with the Patons.7 A very trying test of friendship but I got back by the 8.30. Had to see Miss McBride after + give her a hypo. Foggy miserable day.

1 The Sprot Homes, Lilliesleaf, were six almshouses provided by the Miss Frances Sprot Trust endowed in 1881 by Miss Frances Sprot and known as the Miss Frances Sprot Homes.

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

3 Miss McBride is unidentified.

4 Dr Muir was sending a telegram, very likely from a Post Office where the message was keyed into a device, transmitted by wire, printed out at the receiving end and probably at this time in Selkirk having the message delivered on a slip of paper.

5 Mrs Jane Haig Moir née Thomson (about 1879-), millworker, divorced, living at 11 Raeburn Meadow, Selkirk with a boarder Madge G Thomson and her daughter Jessie Anderson Moir (1905-).

6 Pat Doyle is unidentified. There are no matches in the Selkirkshire, Berwickshire, Roxburghshire, Dumfriesshire or Midlothian returns so Pat Doyle could have come from farther afield in Scotland or just as likely from over the Border. The 1921 Census did record homeless individuals (cf John Watson, farm labourer, recorded as “In open air” at the end of the Lilliesleaf, Roxburghshire Enumeration 795 1 7, page 8 of 10) but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence and others must surely have been missed by the Enumerators.

7 Isabella Clementina ‘Isa’ Paton (about 1838-1929) and Marion Agnes Paton (about 1841-1940), sisters living on their own means at Selkirk from at least 1901 but who had flitted to Galashiels in May 1918.

[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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