4 May 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

A miserably cold day with showers of sleet + snow. Fairer in afternoon. Breakfasted 7.30 + left at 8.45 motoring to Briarbank, Riddell Lodge, Dryden (via Middlestead) to Crosslee, Oakwood, Old Mill Farm + Beechwood, getting home at 1.15. Attended Mrs R Snowden (Margaret Stewart) at her mother’s house (primip1). Went to meeting of Panel Committee at Galashiels, + saw some cases coming home. Went to Home2 + arranged for Miss Kirkpatrick’s reception on Friday3. Notified Alex. Ford4 about his boy. Helen5 at Ovenscloss at a singing party. Nancy, Louise + Stewart6 looked in from the picture.

1 Margaret T Stewart Snowden, born 4 May 1921 place , daughter of Robert Snowden and Joan Bateman Stewart, married 1921, Selkirk

2 The Home was Viewfield, the Muir and Graham medical partnership’s new cottage hospital

3 Lilias (or Lillias) Mary Kirkpatrick (1866-1950), sister of Roger Sandilands Kirkpatrick (1859-1943), M.A. (Edin.), Church of Scotland minister at Yarrow 1912 onwards

4 Dr Muir has confused the names: James Alexander ‘Alex’ Ford (1918-) was to be operated on later in the week (see diary entry for 7 May 1921) but, aged 2 years 9 months, he was not the one notified, that would have been his father Robert Purves Ford

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

6 Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s second daughter and two of her children, Louisa Jane ‘Louise’ Roberts, later Rutherford (1906-1982) and Stewart Muir Roberts (1908-2003)

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

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

Still very cold but dry and a good deal of sun. N.W. Cycled to High Street, Halliday’s Park, Sloebank, Bleachfield Road +c + then to Heathpark, Riddell West Lodge + via Ashkirk + Hartwoodmyres to Oakwood1. Stopped at the summmit + had a smoke sheltered by the dyke2 from the keen wind. Didn’t see nor hear a single Whaup or Peewit3. Came home by Beechwood + Old Mill Farm + it was 3.30 before I got tea. Helen4 drilling at County Hotel. Stewart5 sent a pellet from the air gun through my dressing room window.

1 Dr Muir has come back from Riddell through Ashkirk village and over the hill to Hartwoodmyres (grid reference NGR NT433,248) before dropping to the Ettrick Water opposite Carter Haugh and just short of Oakwood

2 Dr Muir has presumably stopped at the boundary dyke near the Bishop’s Stone, NGR NT442,235; the description of the stone by T Craig-Brown (1886), is worth repeating “A large whinstone, called the Bishop-Stone, which used to lie on the ridge of the hill, is now built into the march-dyke between Woll and Hartwoodmyres, a few paces to the west of where it intersects the turnpike to Ashkirk. Beyond the initials of some passing loiterers, no marks are visible on the uncovered portions of the stone; and none, we are informed, were traceable on the rest before it was built in. Mayhap, it marked the bounds of abbey lands, or was set to mark the ‘rest and be thankful’ of some fair, round prelate, who loved to sit there and absorb the glorious view of Ettrick vale. Still more probably, Woll having been originally acquired from the Bishop of Glasgow, the stone was put there to indicate the limits of the bishop’s territory.” [Canmore ID 54337]

3 The northern lapwing Vanellus vanellus, known as the peewit and the Eurasian curlew or common curlew Numenius arquata, known as the ‘whaup’ in Scots

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

5 Stewart Muir ‘Little Stewart’ Roberts (1908-2003), Dr Muir’s grandson

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

2 May 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

After a brilliant morning it rained heavily from 12.30, but faired after 4. It got very much colder + the contrast from yesterday was most horrible. I cycled in the town + to Beechwood + Philiphaugh + back + got pretty wet. Was nearly 2 hours in the evening with a stream of chiefly N.H.I.s1. David2 went back to camp this morning.

1 Assume National Health Insurance cases, under the National Insurance Act 1911

2 David Charteris ‘Dav.’ Graham (1889-1963), M.B., medical practitioner and Dr Muir’s business partner, had been away from Selkirk as part of a widespread mobilisation in response to the miners’ strike

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

1 May 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Lovely May Day: sunny + warm with more cloud than yesterday, Friday. Saw a few town cases walking + went to Communion. Sat in my own pew as I was not required. Mr Connor a friend of Ross1 preached. Was also at evening service when his text was “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ”2. David3 came up in afternoon + we went over the cases. Mrs [illegible]4 came to supper. Helen5 lunched at Elmpark6. Dunlop7 very kindly sent me a lot of gulls eggs.

1 The Reverend Andrew Ross (1871-1942), Church of Scotland minister

2 “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes …” Romans 1:16

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

4 The Editor would be pleased to hear suggestions about this name

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

6 Elmpark, Selkirk had been the home of Mrs Mackintosh who had flitted but it is not (yet) clear whether she has moved back

7 Assume Charles Walter Dunlop (1846-1922), merchant, of Whitmuirhall, Selkirk; just conceivably Charles Bertram Dunlop (1877-1956), his son, but he was born in Yorkshire and even as late as the 1939 England and Wales Register he is still living there

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

30 April 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Fair weather continues. Today there was scarcely a cloud in the sky all day. At 9.15 gave boy Turnbull1, R.C. School chlor[oform] and extracted teeth. Then I cycled via Goslaw Green, Sloebank, Dunsdale Road + Buccleuch Road to Beechwood + Oakwood + at 2.15 motored to Lilliesleaf, Riddell N Lodge, Kirklea + Dryden getting back at 5.30. There was a gathering of Ogilvies at Kirklea2. David3 came this evening + cycled over to Yair. Helen + Nancy4 to Faldonside + had tea with Jessie Boyd5.

1 Not identified

2 Kirklea, Ashkirk was the home of William Henry ‘W H’ or ‘Will’ Ogilvie (1869-1963), poet, author, journalist and one of Australia’s great Bush poets, and his wife Katherine Margaret ‘Madge’ Ogilvie née Scott Anderson (1879-1965)

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

4 Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948) and Helen Frances ‘Mousey’ Muir (1880-1963), Dr Muir’s second and third daughters

5 Jessie Milne Brack Boyd (1867-1961), of Faldonside, plantswoman and gardener

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

29 April 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

A very perfect day with the usual E. wind much modified. Some dust going. Nearly cloudless sky all day. Mrs I saw Mrs Henderson1 at 9.45 last night when she was still only partially dilated. Came home + lay down on sofa. They came for me about 11.30 but I did not hurry + when another massage came I went to find the child born at 12.10. Pretty good work for [a] 40 year old Primip! Today I saw 18 town cases: cycled to Dunsdale, Bogle House + Beechbank Road + then to Ettrick Road, Yarrow Road, Ettrickhaugh Road, Beechwood + Oakwood. Had consults from 6.15 till nearly 8.

1 Agnes Henderson, born 29 April 1921, at Goslaw Green, Selkirk, daughter of Edward Henderson, foreman woollen spinner, and Mary Elizabeth Henderson née Murray

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

28 April 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Another fair day + without the fog of yesterday morning. A busy day. Was called at breakfast time to Mrs Henderson1, Goslaw Green who hung on all day but never required me. Cycled in town + to Curror Street, Sloebank2, Dunsdale, Bridge Street, Yair, Bogle House, Faldonside (Jessie3 in Edinburgh), Bleachfield Road + after tea to Howden, Oakwood Mill, Oakwood, Howford Cottage + Beechwood = 321/2 miles + finished quite fresh. Helen4 went with the Wellwooders5 to Picture House. Got a box of lovely grapes from Mrs Baptie (Molly Inglis) from Cape Town6.

1 Mary Elizabeth Henderson née Murray, of Goslaw Green, Selkirk and wife of Edward Henderson, foreman woollen spinner, gave birth to a girl just after midnight, see diary entry for 29 April 1921 [778/ 41, Selkirk]

2 Dr Muir has abbreviated Sloethornbank previously

3 Jessie Milne Brack Boyd (1867-1961), of Faldonside, plantswoman and gardener

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

5 The Wellwooders, of Wellwood, Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk were John ‘Jack’ Roberts junior (1876-1966) and Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948) and their children Andrina Barbara Henderson ‘Barbara’ Roberts, later Thwigg (1902-1996), John Stewart ‘Jock’ Roberts (1904-1950), Louisa Jane Roberts, later Rutherford (1906-1982), Stewart Muir ‘Little Stewart’ Roberts (1908-2003) and George Edward ‘Tim’ Roberts (1911-2005)

6 Mary Jane ‘Molly’ Inglis (1876-?1961) of Forest Road, Selkirk married James Armstrong Baptie (1876-1951), hardware merchant or commercial agent, of Orange Grove, Bridge Street, Cape Town, South Africa on 20 July 1911 at Darling’s Regent Hotel, Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, officiating minister the Reverend Andrew Ross of the Lawson Memorial U.F. Church, Selkirk

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

27 April 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Today began with dense welling fog but by midday the mist had cleared + the rest was delightfully bright + warm. The wind though E had no bite in it. It is the pleasantest day since the 1st. After seeing a few town cases walking I cycled to Curror St Dunsdalehaugh through Sunderland Hall to Bogle House (it is a mile from Sund. Hall E. Lodge to N. + 1 mile from latter to Tweed Bridge), Beechwood, Bluecairn and Oakwood. It was after 3 before I got tea. Distributed Communion Cards + voting papers for election of elders. Crowd of people at night.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

26 April 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

A nicer day again with some sun + no wind to speak of. I started a little after 9 + cycled to Forest Road, Wellwood (Louisa1, sore back) + Curror Street. Then I motored to Beechwood2 + stopped Minty’s3 hydra[…]. Dav.4 had diagnosed emphysema but he was wrong. From there I went to Yair + Bogle House, returning by Beechwood + Yarrow Terrace. Saw Roy Dees + his father5 at 4 in surgery + then motored over to Lilliesleaf to see old Leitch6 + back in time for concert. Helen7 had her “Brownies” in + she + Barb.8 (in Girl Guides uniform) went along to County Hotel.

1 Louisa Jane ‘Louise’ Roberts, later Rutherford (1906-1982), one of Dr Muir’s granddaughters

2 Beechwood, Linglie Road, NNE of Philihaugh Saw Mill, see Ordnance Survey 25 inch Selkirkshire Sheet XI.8, published 1899

3 Miss Jemima Colville (1857-1932), presumably known as Minty, was occupier of a Villa and ground ‘Beechwood’, Linglie Road, Selkirk [1921 Valuation Roll, VR011700009-/326, Selkirk County, page 326 of 611]; born Lanarkshire, she was the daughter of David Colville, steel maker, and Jane Colville née Barr, and died 1932 at the Crichton Royal Institution, Dumfries, usual residence Beechwood, Selkirk

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

5 Robert Irwin Richardson ‘Roy’ Dees (1904-about 1988), son of Robert Irwin Dees (1872-1923) and Edith Mary Boileau Dees née Henderson

6 Bella Scott Leitch was tenant of a house and garden at Lilliesleaf 1920-1922 [sources include 1922 Valuation Roll, VR011600033-/887, Roxburgh County, page 887 of 993]

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

8 Andrina Henderson ‘Barbara’ Roberts, later Twhigg (1902-1996), Dr Muir’s eldest grandchild

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]

25 April 1921 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Complete + disagreeable change to dull cold wet weather. There was some heavy rain about 10 but not much after. It was raw + cold + the most awful contrast to yesterday. David1 was called back to camp early so I didn’t see him. Motored in town + to Linglie Cottages, Beechwood + Oakwood. Then to Yair to see Mrs Lindough2. Found them quite nice. Banked + drew some money. Got hair cut. Letter from Dora3 to say Indian affair quite off.

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

2 Madelaine Harriette Mary Theresa Burns-Lindow née Boileau (1869-1948), wife of Isaac William Burns-Lindow, married 1896, Ormesby-St Margaret, Norfolk [for context see diary entry for 24 April 1921]

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

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/24, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1921]