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

Had a splendid night’s sleep. Breakfasted 8.30. It was a bright morning but during the day there were heavy showers + some peals of thunder. In the forenoon I cycled to Hexham1 by the road on the left bank of the Tyne passing Wall + Alcomb [sic].2 The Tyne at Hexham is a fine river. Saw the Cathedral.3 Got 2 illustrated papers + returned by Warden + Chesters.4 Before starting I walked to Chesters + saw the museum.5 After lunch I cycled to Errington (by mistake) + struck Watling Street which I followed to 5 Lane + from there I went about 2 miles on the Stamfordham road : turned north to Hallington + on till I struck the Rothbury road + back to 5 Lane + Chollerton.6 I was lucky to get into a shed at Errington during a [word deleted] thunder plump of hail + rain.7 It was a delightful run but very up + down. Altogether I put in 20 miles. Had a very good dinner + a tankard of ale!

1 Hexham, grid reference NGR NY936,642.

2 Wall, NY917,690 and Acomb, NY929,664.

3 Hexham Abbey.

4 Warden, High Warden and Nether Warden, area of NY913,670, on the opposite side of the River North Tyne from Acomb, and Chesters, NY910,703.

5 Chesters museum, now known as the Clayton Museum at Cilurnum or Cilurvum was a fort on Hadrian’s Wall mentioned in the Notitia Dignitatum. It is now identified with the fort found at Chesters near the village of Walwick, Northumberland, was commissioned in 1895 and opened in 1903. Grade II* Listed, it was designed by Richard Norman Shaw and displays part of John Clayton’s collection of Roman finds.

6 Dr Muir took an anti-clockwise loop east of Chollerford via Errington, NY959,716, Dere Street (not Watling Street!) through NY960,735, Five Lane Ends, NY951,745, towards Stamfordham, NZ080,721, Hallington, NY985,759, the Rothbury road (the B6342) through NY975,784 and Chollerton, NY933,721.

7 A heavy downpour of rain, a deluge, “the heavy shower that often succeeds a clap of thunder” [Source: Dictionar o the Scots Leid].

1 Helen.

1 Nancy.

1 Jack.

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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