27 May 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Rowan Tree in full flower.

Still warm but some rain making the roads muddy. No County work. Saw some town cases. Viewfield getting into good order. Baptie1 has cut the lawn again + tidied up the approach. Examined Jane Bartie2 for the Royal Insurance Co.

1 Thomas Baptie (1860-1929), driver and handyman for Dr Muir – the final preparations for opening Viewfield as a cottage hospital are in hand

2 Not identified

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

26 May 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Made another stupid mistake this morning. I thought the 18.13 Selk – Waverley was to Selkirk. Eva1 kindly gave me breakfast at 7.30 + I went to the station to find the train was 9.15 8.20. This was the slow train + I might as well have waited till the 9.15 as I had to wait for it at Gala. Got home at 12. Misty morning but very pleasant. Got message to Mrs Woodger2, Lilliesleaf. Cycled there + back to a meeting of Subscribers to the St Andrew’s Ambulance at 4. Was in the chair. Executive Committee appointed. Vaccinated 11 insured persons + 14 others.

1 Jessie Evelyn Ramsay ‘Eva’ McClure née Hotson, wife of Alexander Logan ‘Sandy’ McClure (c.1860-1932), advocate and sometime Sheriff of Argyle; they lived at 16 Heriot Row, Edinburgh and Dr Muir had dined with them the day before but missed his train home

2 Mark Sprot Woodger (1838-1922), retired coachman, and his wife Jane Corbett (c.1857-1920) lived at Ashbank, Lilliesleaf, 1920 Valuation Roll; they had married 1894 at Kelvin

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

25 May 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Misty morning + not much sunshine but quite warm although in Edinburgh the E. wind (e.g. in George Street) felt sharp. Saw boy Hogg, Elmrow, Rodger, Tower Street + Mellalieu + took the 11.0 to Edinburgh. Travelled to Gala with the [sic] Pat Smith1 en route to N Berwick + from Gala to Edinburgh with Mrs James Scott Plummer2. Molly Bullough3 + Mrs C Spittal4 met me + I motored to 47 Newington Road where I saw Jean [Muir]. Then to Glenlee where I had lunch. Charlie S.5 there. After lunch motored to Fort Street6 though Leith to Portobello + Joppa + back by Morn Liberton to the N.B. Hotel8 for a meeting of the Branch Committee. This was over by 5.20 but went to the Picture House + dined at 16 Heriot Row9. Left there in time for the train which I thought left at 10.15 to find that it had gone at 9.45. I went back to Sandie’s + stayed the night.

1 Patrick ‘Pat’ Smith (1858-1930), advocate and sheriff-substitute of The Firs, Selkirk

2 Dorothy Elizabeth Pocklington Scott Plummer née Senhouse, widow of Joseph Walter Scott Plummer, Colonel the 3rd Argyle & Sutherland Highlanders; they had married 1904, at Cockermouth Reg. Dist. and lived at Huntlyburn House, Selkirk, but he had died in 1909 after falling into the River Tweed near its confluence with the Ettrick Water, death certified by Dr J S Muir

3 Marian Chambers H ‘Molly’ Bullough née Spittal (1865-1921), daughter of Charles Grey Spittal, Sheriff Substitute for Roxburgh and one of Dr Muir’s friends, is referred to as being under some sort of mental health care in Edinburgh a number of times previously, perhaps since her husband William had died in 1913

4 Assume Frances Hay Spittal née Wilson, wife of Charles James ‘Charlie’ Spittal, Molly’s brother

5 The identity of Glenlee is unclear but this was obviously a bit of a routine because Dr Muir’s diary for Monday 9 June 1919 reads “Met Molly Bullough at [illegible] at 12.30 + went to Glenlee for lunch. Baptie following. Then Molly, Miss Forsyth + I had a run to Fort Street (where I saw the old home) through Leith to Portobello and Duddingston.” [Source: Scottish Borders Archives SBA/657/22]

6 Charles James ‘Charlie’ Spittal (1877-1947), rancher, accountant and son of Charles Grey Spittal, Sheriff Substitute for Roxburgh and one of Dr Muir’s friends; he had come back to the UK to fight in the First World War

7 Presumably to see Dr Muir’s childhood home at 5 North Port Street, North Leith

8 The North British Hotel, now the Balmoral, above Waverley Station

9 Alexander Logan ‘Sandy’ McClure (c.1860-1932), Advocate and sometime Sheriff of Argyle, and Jessie Evelyn Ramsay ‘Eva’ McClure née Hotson lived at 16 Heriot Row, Edinburgh

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

24 May 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Saw first Hawthorn near Boleside [?] on 25th

Another magnificent day: calm warm + sunny. S.E. + E. it was almost too hot sometimes. Cycled round town + saw a doz. [patients]. Finished soon after 12. Got some more pictures out of lumber room for Viewfield. Did some book work: at 6.30 got message to see a child Jeffrey, Yair. Cycled over. Delicious evening. Took 4 knickers1 to Walt Dobson to get hip pockets [and] ordered 2 pairs of shoes at Dickson’s.

1 The Editor assumes this refers to cycling knickers, presumably shorter plus-two style knickerbockers rather than plus-four style breeches

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

23 May 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Rain through the night + a misty morning but it turned out about the finest day we have had: calm sunny + warm. I cycled early to Sundhope + Black Andro. There was a moderate wind from S.W. From the 5th to the 10th milestones I took 341/2 minutes going + 211/2 coming. Read in the garden with Dora1 in the afternoon. Jack, Nancy2 + Willie Lindsay3 came to supper + Betty Turnbull4 came back when we were at it. I took Jack + Willie over Viewfield5. Went to evening service: a stranger – a missionary I think – preached, Mr Ross6 being at the Assembly7.

1 Andrina Dorothy ‘Dora’ Muir (1882-1978), nurse and Dr Muir’s youngest daughter, latterly working as his housekeeper

2 John Roberts junior ‘Jack’ (1876-1966) and Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s second daughter

3 William Fisher ‘Willie’ Lindsay (1887-1951), of Whitehope, Yarrow

4 Unidentified

5 Viewfield was getting close to being ready to open as the new cottage hospital for Selkirk

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

7 The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland was held at Peebles in May 1920

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

22 May 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Perhaps not quite as cold but certainly not warm. Raining in the morning but faired up in the forenoon. Not much to do. Saw 7 town cases. Banked over £40 for M & G [Muir & Graham co-partnery] (balance over £500). Got letter from Sandy McClure1 telling of Huntly Gordon’s2 having been operated on for appendicitis + suggesting I should write him which I did. Spent a few hours over roads + maps in Cumberland3. Betty Turnbull4 went up to Kirkhope for the night. Expected a crowd for Vacc[ination] but only 3 turned up. Wrote Munro5 + Guy6 about Jean7 + Sandy McClure about Huntly Gordon.

1 Alexander Logan ‘Sandy’ McClure (1860-1932), advocate, whose mother was a Logan as was Dr Muir’s mother

2 Not identified, though there was a reference to Huntly Gordon Cowell in Dr Muir’s 5 May 1920 diary but it is not normally Dr Muir’s habit to refer to acquaintances by their forenames

3 Dr Muir was anticipating his holiday in the Lake District

4 Not identified

5 Not identified, but there has been a familiar reference to Munro a number of times previously in Dr Muir’s diaries and the best hypothesis would be that he was a clergyman

6 Gavin Struthers ‘Guy’ Muir (1846-1927), Dr Muir’s brother

7 Jane Henderson Logan ‘Jean’ Pike née Muir (1877-1941), Dr Muir’s eldest daughter, soon to marry, much to Dr Muir’s chagrin

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

21 May 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Sunny morning like so many this Spring but a very cold S.W. wind + cloudy most of the day. Dust flying: a few drops of rain. Cycled to Fairnilee + vaccinated A F + Mrs R1 + did servants. Came back by Gib. & Lumgair [Gibson & Lumgair]: Heatherlie, Glebe &c. Saw Miss Dunn after lunch. Met Bartie2 at Viewfield about the drains. As I might have foreseen it is going to be a much bigger affair than I anticipated. Free vaccination3 started tonight + I did 10 private + 3 insured [patients].

1 Assume Alexander Fowler Roberts (1844-1929), woollen manufacturer, and Elizabeth ‘Eliza’ William Roberts née Paterson

2 Assume James Bartie, County Surveyor & Sanitary Inspector

3 It is nowhere stated but the most likely vaccination here must be for Smallpox, though it seems a little late for a mass vaccination programme; it cannot be (notwithstanding here) BCG vaccine (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccine) in the UK at this date c.f. Vaccine_Timeline_2019.pdf here nor vaccination for pertussis (Whooping cough)

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