2 May 1923 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Fine day but wind round to N.E. again. Had splendid sleep + feel very fit. Cycled to Fairholme1 which has been sold to Mrs McGown.2 Went by Yarrow Terrace + Earlsheugh.3 Distributed Communion cards in afternoon + cycled to Whitmuirhall to say adieu to the Dunlops.4 Found Kate5 there. Helen6 was over at Galashiels at a Girl Guide [illegible]. Got prospectus of Cremation Society in Glasgow.7 Some clothes that were being cleaned arrived from Turnbull.8

1 The property was only called Fairholme with the purchase by the McGown. Previously owned by the Jane Kennedy Mitchell and not apparently named Fairholme until 1923 (though the Editor has previously noted a delay between places being described as something and it showing in the Valuation records). [Source: 1922 Mitchell, Jane Kennedy, Valuation Rolls VR011700009-/374, Selkirk County, page 374 of 605].

2 Agnes Jane Macgown appears as Proprietor / Occupier of Fairholme from the 1923 Valuation Roll [1923 Macgown, Agnes Jane, Valuation Rolls VR011700009-/426, Selkirk County, page 426 of 605].

3 Earlsheugh is presumably a house name but it does not appear in the Valuation Rolls around this time.

4 The Dunlop family, merchants, seem to have split their lives between the Scottish Borders and Yorkshire but their time at Whitmuirhall seems to have come to an end quite soon after the death of Charles Walter Dunlop in 1922.

5 Katherine Mary ‘Kate’ Dunlop (1874-1944), daughter of Charles Walter Dunlop and Edith Dunlop née Sugden. A nurse about whom Dr Muir, as Commandant of the Selkirkshire Voluntary Aid Detachment, noted in his diary in 1915 “Kate Dunlop has come out top at an exam. with 94%”. She died 16 September 1944 at Hoscote, Roberton, Roxburghshire, aged 70, a “Nurse (retired)” and the informant was her brother John Dunlop [source: 1944 Dunlop, Katherine Mary, Statutory registers Deaths 802/B 9].

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

7 According to the Cremation Society “In 1891 a society had been formed in Glasgow to be known as the Scottish Burial Reform and Cremation Society for the purpose of advocating “Simplicity in funerals and to provide for those who may declare their preference for it”” and by 1904 Glasgow had one of the nine crematoria in operation in Great Britain [source: https://www.cremation.org.uk/history-of-cremation-in-the-united-kingdom%5D.

8 Assume Turnbull’s of Hawick (John Turnbull & Sons Ltd. at Slitrig Crescent, Hawick) who operated a large scale laundry and dry-cleaning service including services by post and rail.

[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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