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

… 1.15 this morning1 before I got to bed. Rose at 6 + breakfasted at 7. It was a perfect morning : [word deleted] sent my box to Hawick with the case for the 8.42. Left at 8. Went via Horn’s Hole [sic] to the Newcastle road : Bonchester Bridge, Note o the Gate + Saughtree2 + down to Wark, Barrasford + Chollerton. Took my lunch at a bridge that crosses the Tyne to a town called Gowanburn3 between Kielder + Plashetts 36½ miles. Stopped at Wark for a W. + S. + got to Chollerford at 5.10 rather tired.4 Had tea + hot bath + dined at 7.50. Wrote Bryson5 + Helen6 + a P.C. [post card] to David7 [?]. Total distance 63.9.

1 This entry continues directly from Dr Muir’s diary entry for the day before.

2 The Editor once cycled, as Dr Muir records doing here, from the River Teviot to Barrasford via Note o’ the Gate and Kielder and, as well as the distance involved, it is a relentless series of climbs from 99 metres at Hawick through 373 metres in Wauchope Forest and a final ascent to 346 metres beyond Singdean.

3 There is a footbridge shown crossing the North Tyne in the area of kilometre square NY64,91 (precise locations are difficult because the Kielder Reservoir lies across the old route of the North Tyne at this point) but the footbridge itself appears to be that visible as F.B. on Ordnance Survey six inch Northumberland Sheet nLIV, published 1924, quite near milepost 32 on the North British Railway Border Counties Section.

4 This is by no means the first time Dr Muir has combined whisky and cycling, on one occasion making matters worse by not eating “Had a whisky & soda at Bridgend & got home very tired at 6.30.” which he regretted the next day noting “The whisky & soda at Bridgend was a mistake. I had too little food having eaten nothing after breakfast at Moffat till I got home but a single biscuit at Borland.” [Dr Muir’s diary entries for 9 and 10 September 1915].

5 Perhaps Walter Bryson (1872-1941), motor car hirer at Selkirk or conceivably Mungo Bryson (about 1869-1941), M.B., C.M., medical practitioner, at Thornhill, Morton, Dumfriesshire whose roles included Medical Officer for Upper Nithsdale Combination Poorhouse, Medical Officer for the Scottish Education Department and Secretary of the Local Medical and Panel Committee of Dumfriesshire.

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

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

1 Agnes Mackintosh née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946), of Elm Park, Selkirk.

[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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