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

Dull + mild but more wind + some rain in afternoon. After making half a dozen calls I cycled to Holydean Moor with hope of seeing something of the hounds which met at Kippilaw1 + I had a splendid view. I first saw them coming over between Prieston + Eastfield : then they made as if for Bowden Moor but turned round by Holydean + back across the St Boswells road to Kippilaw : then by Eastfield + Prieston to Houdshall : back again by Prieston + then towards Clarilaw. I left my bike at the [hunting ?] gate 4 miles from here + the hounds passed close by me. Jack2 was out + Sam Steel3 + a big field. Douglas Paton4 recognised me + shook hands. Mrs Kennedy5 was here at lunch + Kennedy6 looked in. I was at a meeting of the War Memorial Comttee to hand over the memorial to the Town Council.7

1 Kippilaw, NT548,286 (Kippilaw Mains is just to the north), Prieston, NT545,305, Eastfield, NT540,289 Holydean, NT537,302, Houdshall, NT516,279, and Clarilaw, NT553,275.

2 John ‘Jack’ Roberts junior (1876-1966), mill owner and Provost of Selkirk, and Dr Muir’s son-in-law.

3 Samuel ‘Sam’ Strang Steel (1882-1961), 1st Baronet, M.P., J.P., T.D., Lord Lieutenant of Selkirk 1948-1958.

4 Perhaps Edwin Douglas Paton (1866-1931), farmer, of Braehead, St Boswells. Born Tillycoultry, Clackmannanshire he was staying at Ashkirk, Selkirkshire in the 1901 Census.

5 Mary Balfour Kennedy née Alison (1889-1978).

6 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).

7 Selkirk War Memorial, corner of Ettrick Terrace and The Valley, Selkirk appears to have had a more than usually complicated, even messy, inception. On 15 February 1919 it was resolved that the Town + County councils should appoint a committee. On 4 April 1919 Dr Muir noted that he had attended a meeting of War Memorial Committee in Town Hall at which 3 sub committees were formed and on 9 September 1921 he noted that there had been meetings of the Special Committee of which he had no notice. After various comings and goings it was finally unveiled on 3 December 1921 by Robert Munro (1868-1955), 1st Baron Alness, GBE, PC, QC, DL, Scottish lawyer, judge and Liberal politician, Secretary for Scotland 1916-1922 after which Dr Muir noted that he “was disappointed that Munro had no local allusion in his speech“ and that “The Duke + other nobs were there”.

[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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