9 October 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

A foggy morning followed by a most charming mild, sunny, calm day. It was great to be outside + I sat quite a long time reading in the bower with my little friend the Robin singing over my head. In the morning I walked to Heatherlie + Ravensheugh. Mr Steedman1 is ill. I came back by Wellwood + readjusted Mitchell’s splints2. I sat in the afternoon addressing town accounts. Helen cycled with Miss Dicken3 + Quosbarth4 to St Boswells where a pennon was presented to Earl Haig5 + he laid the foundation stone of cottages for 18 soldiers6.

1 John Graeme Hay Steedman (1893-), solicitor, of Ravensheugh, Selkirk

2 Alexander Mitchell had fallen off a horse on 2nd October whilst riding at Headshaw with two of Dr Muir’s grandsons; he was a chauffeur, “Inhabitant Occupier, not rated” at Wellwood, Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk, John Roberts junior, manufacturer, Proprietor [1920 Valuation Roll]

3 Not identified

4 Alison Tweedie Quosbarth (1875-1947), later Alison Tweedie, hospital nurse, born Newport, Fife, daughter of Johann Herman Quosbarth, ship-broker and German Consul, and Isabella Miller Moffat

5 Described as a “guerdon in silk and embroidery” [Southern Reporter, Thursday 14 October 1920]

6 On 9 October 1920 at 2.45 p.m. Field Marshall the Earl Haig laid the foundation stone for old soldiers’ homes at St Boswells on behalf of the Scottish Veterans Garden City Association (Incorporated) at a well attended event, at which were also present the Dukes of Buccleuch and of Roxburgh, Lord Salvesen and Sir Richard Waldie Griffith [Southern Reporter, Thursday 7 October 1920]

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

8 October 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Lovely day with touch of frost last night. Calm, mild, sunny all day but no drouth for the crops. Saw a few walking + helped Dav. [Graham] to open an abscess in one of the Wards at Viewfield. We concocted a reply to the letter from the B.M.A.1 I cycled to Faldonside. Phyllis2 much the better of getting up. Saw Nancy + Tim3 going out for a ride on their Greys. Got the County accounts posted. Helen4 went to the Picture House with Nancy.

1 There was controversy at this time about the co-partnery’s newspaper advert for Viewfield as a private hospital, see diary entry for 7 October 1920

2 Phyllis Mary ‘Fiff’ Dees (1899-1920), daughter of Robert Irwin Dees (1872-1923) and Edith Mary Boileau Dees née Henderson, the new (1920) tenants at Faldonside; she had been involved in a car accident near Berrybush while travelling between the Gordon Arms and Tushielaw

3 Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s second daughter and George Edward ‘Tim’ Roberts (1911-2005), Dr Muir’s grandson

4 Helen Frances ‘Mousey’ Muir (1880-1963), Dr Muir’s third daughters

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

7 October 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

A better looking morning. Wind S.W., mild + pleasant: Heavy rain about 1. Bright + sunny after. Saw 7 town cases walking + sat down to the accounts about 11 + finished them at night. Was very little disturbed. David [Graham] came up at night with a most disquieting letter from the B.M.J.1 about the advertisement of Viewfield in the Kelso Mail. “Our enemy hath done this”! Helen [Muir] went up Ettrick with D. [David Graham, co-parner] + called at Gilmanscleuch.

1 The following diary entry states B.M.A. which on balance is more likely to be correct

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

6 October 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Wet in morning but fair after. No sunshine: misty. Went at accounts from 10 till 2.30 when I motored to Gala to meeting of Panel Committee, calling at Faldonside as I came back. Got Phyllis1 up for the first time.

1 Phyllis Mary ‘Fiff’ Dees (1899-1920), daughter of Robert Irwin Dees (1872-1923) and Edith Mary Boileau Dees née Henderson, the new (1920) tenants at Faldonside

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

5 October 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Dense fog. It continued raining up till 2 p.m. Very dull, damp + cheerless. Very little to do. Motored to Dovecot, Curror Street + Faldonside. Miss D.1 not making progress. Got a beginning at the monthly accounts. Helen had a letter from Dora2. One of the Webbs3 has died.

1 Phyllis Mary ‘Fiff’ Dees (1899-1920), daughter of Robert Irwin Dees (1872-1923) and Edith Mary Boileau Dees née Henderson, the new (1920) tenants at Faldonside

2 Helen Frances ‘Mousey’ Muir (1880-1963), Dr Muir’s housekeeper, and Andrina Dorothy ‘Dora’ Muir (1882-1978), nurse; they were Dr Muir’s third and youngest daughters respectively

3 Isabella Reid Webb, fundholder, died 23 September 1920 at 11 Priestfield Road, Newington, Edinburgh, aged 57, of encephalitis, born 1863 at Aberdeen, she was the daughter of Edward Webb, hatter, and Eliza Webb née Goldsmith; she and her unmarried brothers and sisters had been at that address since at least the 1911 Census

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

4 October 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

A day of incessant heavy rain from S.E. Ettrick in heavy flood. Motored to Ettrick Road (Mrs Paterson1, epistaxis) + Kilncroft. Then to Curror Street + Faldonside – at 1 motored to Colin’s Bridge. Oakwood [?] Deloraine + Crook Cottage getting home a little after 5. David [Graham, co-partner] got back at 11. He got a message yesterday to Shankend2 + went to Miss Beust3 via Eskdalemuir. He went + saw Louise4 yesterday.

1 Mrs Alison Paterson, widow, was at 3 Ettrick Road around this time (though this could refer to a wife of James Paterson, gardener, who was at 4 Ettrick Road) [1920 Valuation Rolls]

2 Shankend (not to be confused with the location and viaduct in Cavers Parish) is between Hopehouse and Thirlestane House, Ettrick Parish, approximate grid reference NGR NT292,162, and visible on the Ordnance Survey 6” Selkirkshire Sheet XVIII.NW, published 1900

3 Alexina Margaret Buist (1853-1936), see diary entry for 3 October 1920

4 Louisa Jane ‘Louise’ Roberts (1906-1982), Dr Muir’s granddaughter who was at school at Brampton, Cumberland

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

3 October 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Strong cold S.E. wind but dry up till 7 when it rained. David + Norah1 left to visit Miss Beust2: Norah going on to London from Carlisle tomorrow + Dav. to see Louise3 at Brampton near where she is at school. I had almost nothing to do + was twice at Church: …. Services. A Mr Watt preaching splendidly + the choir singing an anthem. Helen + I supped at Wellwood + after getting home I had to go down to see Mrs Paterson4, Ettrick Road.

1 David Charteris ‘Dav.’ Graham (1889-1963), M.B., medical practitioner and Dr Muir’s business partner, and his wife Norah Campion Graham née West (1887-1971)

2 Alexina Margaret Buist (1853-1936), the tenant of Viewfield prior to Dr Muir’s purchase who moved to Fergushill, a Victorian Gothic Revival house at Kirklinton, Cumberland

3 Louisa Jane ‘Louise’ Roberts (1906-1982), Dr Muir’s granddaughter

4 Mrs Alison Paterson, widow, was at 3 Ettrick Road around this time (though this could refer to a wife of James Paterson, gardener, who was at 4 Ettrick Road) [1920 Valuation Rolls]

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

2 October 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Raining all forenoon: calm [wind] S.E. mild. Saw 7 town cases walking. Motored to Dunsdale, Faldonside + Hospital. At 3 gave Peter Peden1 chlor[orform] + extracted 7 or 8 teeth at Viewfield. Mitchell, Wellwood Stables2 out riding with Jock + Tim3 on Headshaw Moor4 fell off his horse + broke his right forearm + collar bone. Tim rode in for me + I met Mitchell coming in at Henny Knowes. Gave him chlor[orform] + set the arm. Helen + Nancy5 had tea at Bell Harkness’6. Fancy parade for funds of Junior Recreation Club.

1 Not identified

2 Alexander Mitchell, chauffeur, “Inhabitant Occupier, not rated” at Wellwood, Ettrick Terrace, Selkirk, John Roberts junior, manufacturer, Proprietor [1920 Valuation Roll]

3 John ‘Jock’ Roberts (1904-1950) and George Edward ‘Tim’ Roberts (1911-2005), two of Dr Muir’s grandson

4 Headshaw is the area north of Ashkirk and the Woll

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

6 Isabella ‘Bell’ Harkness née Lockie (1859-1929), daughter of Hugh Lockie, woollen millworker, and Helen Lockie née Fairbairn, married John Harkness baker; their daughter Ella Fairbairn Harkness (1893-1915), woollen millworker, died 1915 aged 22 at Curror Street, Selkirk of phthisis pulmonalis 18 months, certified by Dr John S Muir

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

1 October 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Rained nearly all day, not heavily: dull: calm [wind S.E. to E. When it faired about 4.30 I cycled to Faldonside but got rain coming back. Miss D’s1 Temp. normal but had a bad night. Saw a few town cases in forenoon + then sat at ledger. Dyspepsia persistent + appetite poor. Helen [Muir] had Norah2 at tea. Letter from Margaret Gillan3 to say their trip North was off.

1 Phyllis Mary ‘Fiff’ Dees (1899-1920), daughter of Robert Irwin Dees (1872-1923) and Edith Mary Boileau Dees née Henderson, the new (1920) tenants at Faldonside

2 Norah Campion Graham née West (1887-1971), wife of Dr David Charteris Graham (1889-1963), medical practitioner

3 See also diary entry for 30 September 1920, this is conceivably Margaret Gillan née Robertson who lived at Ryhope, Durham with her husband John Gillan, her two daughters Margaret and Christina and her brother John Higgin Robertson; she and her brother were born at Leith (c.1876 and 1868 respectively) and both the men were medical practitioners

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]

30 September 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Not quite as dull as yesterday [and] some sunshine after midday. [Wind] S.E. Cycled to Mavisbank, Faldonside, Ettrickbank Mill. Arranged some accounts + paid several + finished up quarter’s day book. Paid 9 Guineas for Bella’s1 stay at Viewfield. Helen was at Shawpark helping to entertain the McCall kids2 who were there to tea. P.C. from Girty3 saying they were coming via Darlington + Corbridge. Sent them a P.C. [postcard] about route from Corbridge to Selkirk.

1 Isabella ‘Bella’ Paulin (1873-?1952), Dr Muir’s housekeeper

2 Assume Mabel Mona McCall (1911-), John Grice Armstrong McCall (1913-), Alan George McCall (1914-) and Arthur James McCall (1916-), the children of the Reverend James George McCall and Mabel Lovat McCall née Armstrong (c.1878-1917) who had died after a stillbirth (they had married at Southsea, 1908)

3 See also diary entry for 1 October 1920, this is conceivably Margaret Gillan née Robertson (c.1876-), born South Leith and married, 1904, Sunderland, John Gillan; in 1911 John Gillan and Margaret’s brother John Higgin Robertson, both born in Scotland, were medical practitioners at Ryhope, Durham

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/23, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1920]