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

A touch of summer at last. Lovely brilliant morning + a delicious soft [text deleted] air at first N.W. + then S.W. I saw 4 cases + then cycled to Forest Terrace, Ettrick + St Mary’s Mills + on to Upper Faldonside Lodge where I returned Mrs Graham1 her handkerchief. Then I went on through Melrose to Maxton + up past Muirhouselaw + took my lunch at Downlaw2 where I have never been before. Found my Thermos smashed + a lot of the tea lost.3 My new carrier4 is a failure [?]. Came back by Sandystones + Midlem to Deepslade5 to see a child Henry.6 Got back a little after 6. Hot bath. M 31.8.

1 Minnie Meikle Graham née Morrison lost a newborn baby on the night of 14/15 April 1923 and Dr Muir does not appear to have seen her since, so it is impossible to know if this is a thoughtful or a deeply insensitive gesture.

2 Dr Muir stayed on the south side of the River Tweed to the eastern end of Maxton where he turned south east to Muirhouselaw, grid reference NGR NT629,285, and on towards Down Law, NT637,268.

3 The old-style glass thermos must have been a nightmare to cycle with. Dr Muir had smashed one previously, on a trip to Lauder 10 September 1914, see Diary entries, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, 7-12 September 1914.

4 On 4 April 2023 Dr Muir reported that Stark and Murray had supplied his new Singer with a “stupid little carrier” and on 10 April to getting a “front carrier + cyclometer” but evidently the, supposedly better, replacement didn’t save his flask.

5 Dr Muir came home via Sandystones, NT595,266, Midlem, NT527,274, and Deepslaids, on Selkirk Common, NT486,268, following a route between Sandystones and Midlem which the Editor cannot even guess at.

6 The Henry family had four sons and daughters in 1921, though only two might be described as children by 1923: Alexander Kitchener Henry (1916-) and Elizabeth Wright Henry (1918-). Their father, Peter Henry (1880-1924), ploughman, later dairy vanman, was the Inhabitant Occupier of a house at Deepslaids, Selkirk from at least 1921 until 1924 after which date his widow Agnes Dempster Henry née Craik took on the property. Born West Morriston, Legerwood, Berwickshire, Peter Henry died of pulmonary tuberculosis on 25 August 1924 at Deepslaids, aged 44, and his death was certified by Dr Muir.

[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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