16 April 1923 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

It threatened rain this morning but the day was dry, dour, sunless, cold. East wind. Walked to Dunreay1, Chapel Street, Ettrick Terrace, Forest Road Green Square, Cannon Street + Curror Street where I saw a lad Lang2 at W Anderson3 with what I thought was Diph. + sent him to Hospital but it turned out to be Scarlet.4 Helen5 + Norah Graham6 motored in Swift7 to Hardrigg8 to some “Brownie” function.9 Got letter announcing death of Mrs McGill at Springholm.10

1 Dunreay, Selkirk, home of Wilhelmina Brown nee Reeve, widow of Andrew Brown (about 1840-1921), hosiery manufacturer, and their children Isabella Morton Brown (1869-), Maggie Turnbull Brown (1870-); preparatory school mistress and art teacher, George Brown (1873-), hosiery manufacturer, and Minnie Mackay Brown (1874-1966), school teacher and nurse.

2 Lang is so far unidentified.

3 Presumably either William Lang (about 1863-), gardener, born Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire but recorded living at Curror Street, Selkirk with his wife and three children in the 1921 Census or William Anderson (about 1876-), tweed pattern warper, born Lauder, Berwickshire but recorded living at Curror Street with his wife and two children in the 1921 Census.

4 There had been a nasty outbreak of Diphtheria and Scarlet fever in Selkirkshire through 1921 and early 1922 but they appear to be sporadic in 1923.

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

6 Norah Campion Graham née West (1887-1971), wife of Dr David Charteris Graham.

7 The Swift Motor Company made Swift Cars in Coventry; Dr Muir (or the medical practice) had run one as a ‘workhorse’ car since he had acquired it some time before August 1914 but Dr Graham’s must be one of their sportier models – perhaps the pre-war 3-litre 15 or the 1921 2-litre 12.

8 Assume Hardrigg, Annan, Dumfriesshire, grid reference NGR NY220,671.

9 The Brownies had started in 1914 and, though it is not known how long they had been operating at Selkirk, they were still enough of a novelty to Dr Muir in 1921 that he put a reference to them in quotation marks.

10 Presumably Isabella McGill née Dickson, died 14 April 1923 at Springholm, Urr Parish, Kirkcudbright, aged 84, She was the widow of Henry McGill, woollen dyer (they had married in 1860 at Lewinshope, Yarrow, Selkirkshire), and the daughter of John Dickson, ploughman, later railway servant, and Margaret Dickson née Mitchell.

[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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