1 December 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

A better day with some sunshine in afternoon + no rain to speak of. N.W. [wind] slight. Motored to Kilncroft [?], Beechwood + Hospital where sheep have done a lot of damage to the garden + grounds. Got Beattie1 down to look at it. Message in evening to Mrs Neil, Fairnilea.2 Went there after dinner + on my return found that Mrs Elliot Thomson3 was requiring my attendance.

1 Assume Thomas Beattie (1878-1952), architect and sometime Burgh Surveyor for Selkirk; born 6 August 1878, Aberchirder, Marnock, Banffshire, died 21 February 1952 at Leith, married 5 June 1912 at Craigiebrae, Marnock, Banffshire, Isabella Copeland, music teacher, children Thomas (1912-), George Copeland Beattie (1913-) and William James Beattie (1916-), children born S Queensferry, Linlithgow; Cathcart, Lanarkshire and Marnoch, Banffshire respectively. At 1 Chapel Street, Selkirk 1921 Census.

2 Assume Christina Assume Christina Neil née Scott, married 4 April 1919 at Oxnam to Adam Grey Neil, forester and joiner; she had a daughter, Agnes Grey Neil, later Caie (1921-1987) in April 1921; the family was at Whitmuir, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/333, Selkirk County, page 333 of 611].married 4 April 1919 at Oxnam to Adam Grey Neil, forester and joiner; she had a daughter, Agnes Grey Neil, later Caie (1921-1987) in April 1921; the family was at Whitmuir, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/333, Selkirk County, page 333 of 611].

3 Mrs Elliot Thomson is unidentified.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

30 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Damp + dull : some rain at night. Dav.1 shooting at Gala with the Adjutant2. Motored to Beechwood, Kirkhope Manse + Farm. Concocted you speech for nursing Concert + made sure of recitation.3 The Hall was only half filled + I spoke my mind about it. Made them give 3 cheers for Armstrong.4 Menzies5 + Nurse Beck6 were on the platform. Hiddleston 7 sent apology. Dav. was called away but came back. Recited Holyrood8 + Tam + the Leeches.9

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

2 The Adjutant is unidentified.

3 Dr Muir presided at a Jubilee Nurses Concert held at the Victoria Hall. After dancing and other performances Dr Muir gave what the Southern Reporter described as “Elocutionary items”: a descriptive piece ‘Holyrood’ and the “highly diverting” ‘Tam McPhail and his Leeches’ [sic – see footnote 9] after which the Reverend J A Somerville of West U.F. Church proposed a vote of thanks [see ‘Jubilee Nurses Concert’ in Southern Reporter, 7 December 1922].

4 William Armstrong, a native of Selkirk but otherwise unidentified, gifted, in memory of his wife, a nurse’s house on the Green, Selkirk to Selkirk Town Council for the use of the Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute for Nurses [reported at annual meeting, see ‘Selkirk Nurses Annual Meeting of Victoria Jubilee Institute’ in Southern Reporter, 7 December 1922].

5 James Morris Menzies (1871-1926), M.B., Ch.M., M.D., medical practitioner, of Ettrick Lodge, Selkirk.

6 Elizabeth Fyfe Beck (1865-1954), nurse, born Dumfriesshire, died Ceres, Fife; the Southern Reporter, 10 August 1916, describes her as a District Nurse at Selkirk before she was released to take up military nursing.

7 John Murray Hiddleston (1891-1954), L.R.C.P.S., L.R.F.P.S., medical practitioner; he had served in the Royal Navy (invalided out 23 March 1916) and “purchased the Panel and Private practice of the late Dr John Wilson, Selkirk.”

8 ‘Holyrood’ is an unidentified poem, ballad or text “bringing out in detail” the Southern Reporter noted “the neighbouring surroundings of Arthur’s Seat, with Salisbury Crags and the form of the Lion’s head”. The Editor would be pleased to know the text’s identity.

9 ‘Tam and the Leeches’ from ‘The Auld Doctor, and Other Poems and Songs in Scots’ by David Rorie (1867-1946), D.S.O., M.D.C.M, D.P.H., doctor, folklorist and poet (“Faith there’s a hantle queer complaints | To cheenge puir sinners into saints | An’ mony divers ways o’ deein’ | That doctors hae a chance o’ seein’ | The Babylonian scartit bricks | To tell his doots o’ Death’s dark tricks.” etc

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

29 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

I had brighter: a nice clean sharp day N.W. + drying. Helen1 went to town with the 8 train. There was a case of T + A2 at Viewfield.3 I had almost nothing in the town but Tom Murray4 to whom I told his true condition. Cycled to Woll Rigg returning via Hartwoodmyres.5 It is 6.6 to Woll Rigg via Ashkirk + 6.35 via Hartwoodmyres.6 Called at the nurses house in the Green7 that has been gifted by Mr Armstrong.8 Ian McDonald9 got hurt at football + I gave him gas at Viewfield to examine his knee.

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

2 Tonsils and Adenoids.

3 Viewfield nursing home, the Muir & Graham medical practice’s property.

4 Thomas Murray (1866-1922), woollen pattern weaver, in the 1911 Census he was recorded as head of household at 3 Tower Terrace, Selkirk with his mother aet 70 and sisters Lizzie, 40 and Maggie, 30.

5 Dr Muir was more or less reversing part of a ride he did on 8 November 1922 but this time, travelling clockwise, he has climbed from Ashkirk past Woll Rigg headed towards Hartwoodmyres.

6 Dr Muir had at least one velometer, which explains the precise distances he records.
On 30 June 2019 Dr Muir noted “I have no Velometer for a 28 inch wheel”. The editor suggested at the time that it was a reasonable proposition that wheel size was a consideration in the accurate measurement of distance travelled pre-GPS, presuming that it counted rotations, and that the difference in wheel size would thus have rendered Dr Muir’s device unusable on his new bike. ‘Canadian Cycling’, 15 November 2018, helpfully describes the Veeder Cyclometer (made at Hartford, Connecticut), the one that Dr Muir used, and confirms that the operating principle was wheel revolutions [see also diary entry for 21 July 1919].

7 The property concerned was 14 The Green, Selkirk and in due course it was recorded in the Valuation Roll as Proprietor “Town Council of Burgh of Selkirk (Common Good Dept.) …”, its tenant “Selkirk Branch of the Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute for nurses …” [sic] and its inhabitant occupier not rated “Miss E F Beck, district nurse.” [Elizabeth Fyfe Beck (1865-1954), nurse].

8 William Armstrong, a native of Selkirk but otherwise unidentified, gifted, in memory of his wife, a house on the Green, Selkirk to Selkirk Town Council for the use of the Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute for Nurses [reported at annual meeting, see ‘Selkirk Nurse Annual Meeting of Victoria Jubilee Institute’ in Southern Reporter, 7 December 1922]

9 Almost certainly Ian McDonald (1908-), son of Alexander McDonald, tweed designer, and Janet McDonald née Scott, married 1905 at Hawick; in the 1921 Census the family was recorded at Clifton Road, Selkirk.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

28 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Same dull skies but not so cold though wind much stronger from N.W. Walked to Backfeus, Goslaw Green, Hospital, Pinegrove, Kirkwynd + Rosemount. Then cycled to Nest + Caddonfoot. Was settling down in the Smoke room after lunch when I got a message to William Dewar, Woll Rigg1 who had got his hand lacerated when sawing a branch off a tree. Motored there. David2 was in Edinburgh with Roughead3 seeing Ed. Bramwell.4

1 William Dewar, manager, was Inhabitant Occupier not rated of a house known as Wollrig, Ashkirk [1922 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/355, Selkirk County, page 355 of 611].

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

3 Dr Muir mentioned (25 November 1921 diary) that David Graham had new patients (“Dav. has been pretty busy + has got new patients, the Rougheads at Oakendean”), probably referring to Francis A Roughhead [sic] who was Tenant of a house at Newstead, Melrose (close to Oakendean); the best guess as to Roughead’s identity is that he was Francis Arthur Roughead (1892-1977), born Haddington, East Lothian and died Leicestershire, a Lieutenant 17th Lancers (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) 1915-1918 who requested his medal ribbons in 1919 from Greycrook, St Boswells [birth, Roughead, Francis Arthur, 1892, 709 / 103, Haddington; 1921 Valuation Roll, VR011600033-/600, Roxburgh County, page 600 of 972; British Army World War I Medal Rolls, Index Cards, 1914-1920].

4 Professor Edwin ‘Ed’ Bramwell (1873-1952), M.B., F.R.S.E, F.R.C.P.E., L.L.D., Scottish neurologist, a First World War specialist in brain injuries and shell-shock and President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh 1933-1935.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

27 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Weather much the same – cold sunless but dry. N.N.W. [wind] Saw a town list of eight + spent the afternoon at Record + Summary Cards + finished [the letter] M. Helen1 went by train to Galashiels at 6 to some meeting connected with Girl Guides. Letter from Dora2 saying she is “fed up” with Craigleith3 + is thinking of going to London!

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

2 Andrina Dorothy ‘Dora’ Muir (1882-1978), nurse and Dr Muir’s youngest daughter.

3 Craigleith, Edinburgh, opened 1868 as the Craigleith Poorhouse and Hospital and later known as the Western General Hospital.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

3 March 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Arranged with Hiddleston1 about seeing the woman McLaren at Yarrowfeus. She stays with Mrs Walt Turnbull2 but I went first to Turnbull at the Townhead3, called at Lewenshope + came back by Hiddleston + signed the [lunacy] certificate4. David5 did Oakwood6. There was rain last night + Ettrick was fuller but not discoloured. I gave my third Home nursing lecture but cut it short + left nurse Beck7 to give some practical instruction in bedmaking +c + went to a concert given by the band at which I recited “The Annuity”8, “The Pill”9, + “Janet McLuskie”10.

1 John Murray Hiddleston (1891-1954), L.R.C.P.S., L.R.F.P.S., medical practitioner, at Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk.

2 Assume Mary Turnbull née Ritchie, widow of Walter Turnbull, roadman and the liferentrix and proprietrix of a house at Townfoot, Yarrowfeus, Yarrow [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/340, Selkirk County, page 340 of 611].

3 This appears to be the same Mrs Mary Turnbull but the wrong address – she was also Tenant Occupier of a house and land at Townfoot Townhead, Yarrow [Valuation Rolls].

4 See diary entry for 2 March 1921.

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

6 Dr Muir was making repeated visits to Simon Linton at Oakwood around this time.

7 Elizabeth Fyfe Beck (1865-1954), nurse, born Dumfriesshire, died Ceres, Fife; the Southern Reporter, 10 August 1916, describes her as a District Nurse at Selkirk before she was released to take up military nursing.

8 Assume The Annuity by George Outram (1805-1856), author of Legal & Other Lyrics which starts “I gaed to spend a week in Fife – | An unco week it proved to be – | For there I met a waesome wife | Lamentin’ her viduity. | Her grief brak out sae fierce and fell, | I thought her heart wad burst the shell; | And, – I was sae left to mysel’, – | I sell’t her an annuity.” and ends with the stanza “The water-drop wears out the rock, | As this eternal jaud wears me; | I could withstand the single shock, | But not the continuity. | It’s pay me here, an’ pay me there, | An’ pay me, pay me, evermair – | I’ll gang demented wi’ despair – | I’m charged for her annuity.”

9 Dr Muir’s recital ‘The Pill’ is from ‘Fancies of a Physician, Medical and Otherwise, in Scots and English’, Brown Son & Ferguson, Glasgow, 1938 by Dr John Freeland Fergus (1865-1943) [see also Mason, Sir David and James Beaton. “The Fergus Family and the Scottish Royal Colleges.” Scottish Medical Journal, vol. 54, issue. 2, RSMSMJ, 2009, pp. 48–51, https://doi.org/10.1258/rsmsmj.54.2.48.%5D.

10 The last recital has been noted before but is yet to be identified.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/26, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1923]

26 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Another fine day Some rain + sleet this morning but fair after : cold : sunless N.E. to N. Some snow on Newark Hill. Gave Mrs Geo. Douglas, Chapel Street1, with first [?] of an autogenous vaccine2 Went Opened Tonsillar abscess for Rob. Beattie, Kirkwynd.3 Went to morning Service. Called for Central Fund.4 Lunched at Elmpark.5 Supped at Wellwood.6

1 Assume Georgina Douglas née Henderson (1883-1924) of 19 Chapel Street, Selkirk, wife of George Douglas, woollen mill worker, married 14 November 1913 at Selkirk.

2 Autogenous vaccines were introduced in the early twentieth century working on the principle of stimulating an individual’s own immune system to protect against an infectious pathogen.

3 Assume Robert Beattie (1867–1952), labourer and tenant at 39 Kirk Wynd, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR007900012-/160, Selkirk Burgh, page 160 of 644]; born 15 April 1867 at Hope Park, Wilton, died 12 June 1952, aged 85, at 37 Kirkwynd, Selkirk, woollen millworker, previously a general labourer, son of Henry Scott Anderson Beattie, framework knitter, sometime stockingmaker, and Isabella Beattie née Turnbull, married 15 June 1860 at Ladhope [Galashiels], Robert had married 28 April 1905 at Bridge Street, Philiphaugh, Selkirk, Helen Symington (1880-1968), powerloom weaver.

4 The Editor cannot readily identify any references to the mooted Central Fund in the 1920s.

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

6 Wellwood, Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk, home of the Roberts family.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

25 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Sharp frost + a dour cold sunless day but dry up till between 6 + 7 when it rained + probably snowed on the hills. David1 was shooting with Dees2 + was away all day. I saw town cases + cycled to Bowhill Lodge3 + Lewenshope. Worked at Summary cards in afternoon. Helen4 + Mrs Mack5 walked (!) to Middlestead.6

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

2 Robert Irwin Dees (1872-1923), anded proprietor, formerly a marine engineer, he was the son of James William Dees and Eliza Jane Irwin and lived at Faldonside, Galashiels.

3 Bowhill Lodge presumably refers to Bowhill North Lodge where Dr Muir had been visiting James Hogg [see diary entries for 19, 20 and 22 November 1922].

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

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

6 Middlestead, Selkirk, grid reference NGR NT452,264.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

24 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Fine clear sunny day. N. wind. Colder. Looked like frost at night. Walked to Cannon Street, Dunsdale, Hospital + Pinegrove + at 11.30 gave Chlor[oform] to Mrs William Douglas (Katie Davidson)1 while David2 operated for incontinence of rectum. Got draft for £3 + sent it to Patrick.3 Wrote Jean4, Sunday being the anniversary of Pike’s death.5 Got letter from Mary.6 Helen7 cycled to Melrose + spent the day with Mrs Kennedy.8

1 Mrs William Douglas or Katie Davidson is, so far, unidentified.

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

3 Patrick Rodger Stewart ‘Pat’ Muir (1879-1961), Dr Muir’s only son, living in New Zealand since 1902.

4 Jane Henderson Logan ‘Jean’ Pike née Muir (1877-1941), Dr Muir’s eldest daughter.

5 Frederick Charles Pike (1883-1921), son of Samuel T Pike and Esther Pike née Wilkins, married, 15 June 1920, Mayfield U.F. Church, Newington, Edinburgh, Jane Henderson Logan ‘Jean’ Muir; at their marriage both were living (at different premises) in East Preston Street, Edinburgh, he died 26 November 1921, of Phthisis pulmonalis, at Lutton Place, Edinburgh, just off South Clerk Street, Newington, aged 39.

6 Mary Jane Wallace née Muir (1836-1933), one of Dr Muir’s sisters.

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

8 Assume Mary Balfour Kennedy née Alison (1889-1978), wife of William Nicol Watson Kennedy, medical officer of health and school medical officer for Selkirkshire, 1921-about 1924.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

23 November 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Inclined to dampness with a little drizzle in forenoon. Mild : sunless. Started to cycle to Beechwood1 but when leaving the bank it began to drizzle so I came back to the car + on mounting my bike in West Port fell + hurt my right thigh. Motored to Heatherly [sic]2, Beechwood, Muthag Street, Mavisbank + then to Kersknowe3 (to get signature of a lad Bathgate4 to an Emigration out [?] + was consulted by his mother) + Whitmuir (Mrs Neil).5 Bella6 still in bed + Mousey7 doing all the work + doing it well. We had high tea in the kitchen.

1 Dr Muir had been attending a patient at Beechwood, Linglie Road, Selkirk.

2 Heatherlie, Selkirk, area of NT464,284.

3 Kersknowe, Bowden, grid reference NGR NT508,270 is visible south east of Whitmuirhall on Ordnance Survey Roxburghshire Sheet XIII (and parts of Selkirkshire Sheets XI), published 1863.

4 Henry Bathgate, orraman [odd job man on farm], was tenant at Kersknowe Holding, Bowden, Roxburghshire [1921 Census] with his wife Ellen, 49, born Carham and son Robert, 20, born Southdean.

5 Assume Christina Neil née Scott, married 4 April 1919 at Oxnam to Adam Grey Neil, forester and joiner; she had a daughter, Agnes Grey Neil, later Caie (1921-1987) in April 1921; the family was at Whitmuir, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/333, Selkirk County, page 333 of 611].

6 Isabella ‘Bella’ Paulin (1873-?1952), the Muir family housekeeper, daughter of James Paulin, groom, and Grace Paulin née Cranston, born Ladykirk, Berwickshire [Sources include: ‘A Souter’s Bairn, recollections of life in Selkirk’ by Jenny Corbett with Avril Jack, published Selkirk Common Good Fund, 1993].

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

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]