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

What an interesting 3 days! 18th, summer: 19th Sou’ Wester + rain, 20th frost: + keen N.W. wind + a shower of snow. Dav.1 went to Ed. to see the football match Scotland v France.2 I motored to Hospital, Sloebank3 + Ettrick Terrace + out to Whitmuir. Came back + got warmed + gave Baptie4 + self a cup of hot Bovril + then went to Mount Benger.5 James Mitchell6 not improving. Got back about 2.45 + after had to go across to Viewfield to see Miss McBride.7 Scotland beat France 13 – 6.8 Helen9 had Mrs Falconer, Thornfield10 at tea. Ploughing match at Whitehope.11

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

2 The Scotland vs France fixture was played, as was usual at this time, at Inverleith, Edinburgh. W E Bryce of Selkirk was in the Scotland team alongside two other representatives of Borders teams – D S Davies of Hawick and J R Lawrie of Melrose [source: Kenneth R Bogle, ‘Scottish Rugby Game by Game’, Luath Press, Edinburgh, 2013].

3 Sloethornbank, Selkirk, looking down over St Mary’s Mill from Ettrick Terrace and shown as Sloethorn Bank on the Ordnance Survey 25 inch Selkirkshire sheet XII.1, published 1899.

4 Thomas Baptie (1860-1929), driver and handyman for Dr Muir.

5 The Editor assumes by Mountbenger Dr Muir means on the way to Henderland, Megget, north of St Mary’s Loch, grid reference NGR NT232,233, where he had been attending the Mitchell family since late 1921.

6 In the 1921 Census the family comprised James Mitchell senior aged 67, James Mitchell junior, 35, Mary Richardson Mitchell, 33, Eliza Dalgleish Mitchell, 25, and Isabella Shiel Mitchell, 26.

7 Miss McBride is unidentified.

8 Dr Muir has his numbers transposed. Scotland won 16:3 with tries by Edward ‘Teddy’ McLaren (2), William ‘Willie’ Bryce and Eric Liddell and two conversions by Daniel ‘Dan’ Drysdale.

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

10 Miss Falconer is unidentified but may conceivably be the same Catherine Falconer (aged 19, nursemaid, born Ardclach, Nairn) recorded working for William Clayton Dundas at Hillside Terrace, Selkirk, 1921 Census who, in that case, was working for the Roberts family of Thornfield, Selkirk by 1923 – though it is not clear from the 1921 Census at Thornfield that a nursemaid would have been required but that was two years previous [Valuation Roll and 1921 Census].

11 Whitehope, Yarrow, Selkirkshire.

[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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