1 January 1923 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

My naso-laryngeal catarrh awfully bad

Most charming New Year’s Day. Heavy hoar frost which at first I thought was snow and which never disappeared. The sky was clear till about 3 when it became hazy. There was no wind + the roads were hard + dry. It was a perfect day for open air exercise. I ran out to Shawpark on the bicycle to see Mrs Dickson1 + then gave Chlor[oform] to Mrs Geo. Linton2 while Dav.3 removed varicose veins in her leg. Had a walk with Kennedy4 to Haining Loch + Deerpark. Got out the wine : carved the turkey. At dinner we had all Wellwood5, Kennedys6, Mrs Mack7, Boylan8, Erskine Harper9 [and] Ralph10 + Connie Smith.11 Spent a merry evening at the end of which I had no voice!

1 Mrs Dickson was Bessie Lee Dickson née Henderson (1868-1952), wife of William Stewart Dickson (1863-1939), market gardener, formerly a grocer, married 1 June 1893 at Newbattle, Midlothian. There were at Shawpark, Selkirk with two daughters, Agnes Stirling Dickson (1894-1965) and Alexandra Jessie Dickson (1902-1994) [1921 Census].

2 Mary Linton née Dixon (1878-1946), wife of George Linton (1879-1945), mason, who was tenant at 20 Ettrick Road, Selkirk, 1921 Valuation Roll [see also Dr Muir’s diary entry for 6 January 1921]. They had married in 1907 at Selkirk.

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

4 William Nicol Watson Kennedy (1888-1961), O.B.E., M.D., D.P.E., medical officer of health and school medical officer for Selkirkshire circa 1921 but by June 1921 recorded in a similar role in Croydon, Surrey (1921 Census taken 19 June 1921).

5 The Wellwooders, sometimes Wellwoods, were John ‘Jack’ Roberts junior (1876-1966), Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948) and their children Andrina Barbara Henderson ‘Barbara’ Roberts, later Thwigg (1902-1996), John Stewart ‘Jock’ Roberts (1904-1950), Louisa Jane Roberts, later Rutherford (1906-1982), Stewart Muir ‘Little Stewart’ Roberts (1908-2003) and George Edward ‘Tim’ Roberts (1911-2005).

6 Kennedy (above) and his wife Mary Balfour Kennedy née Alison (1889-1978) had come to stay for a few days with their sons Ian Alexander Kennedy (1916-1988) and Charles Gordon Kennedy (1920-), see Dr Muir’s diary for 30 December 1922.

7 Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946), of Elm Park, Selkirk.

8 John Dun Boylan (1850-1924), civil engineer, voluble friend of Dr Muir, lived at Shawpark, Selkirk [1921 Census and 1922 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/375, Selkirk County, page 375 of 611].

9 James ‘Erskine’ Harper (1887-1953), barrister, son of Ebenezer Erskine Harper, sheriff substitute, and Agnes Harper née Watson, later Mackintosh. Brother of Agnes Durnford née Harper.

10 Ralph Colley Smith (1891-1957), son of Patrick Smith (1858-1930), advocate and sheriff-substitute, and Alice Paterson (1863-1943). He had been badly maimed during the First World War.

11 Constance Harper ‘Connie’ Smith (1900-1977), daughter of Patrick Smith (1858-1930), advocate and sheriff-substitute, and Alice Paterson (1863-1943).

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/26, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1923]

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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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