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

The gale lessened this morning + subsided by the afternoon when the rain also ceased. The curious feature of the weather has been a WSW gale + rain with a high barometer. David being home I had less to do + saw 5 town cases. Wrote Stewart1 whose 12th birthday is tomorrow. Called at Elmpark for Agnes2 who goes to Edinburgh tomorrow for her confinement. Durnford3 is with her. Helen4 was down at Lauriston for tea. Yesterday I had letters from Sandy McClure5, Dora6 + Patrick7 the letters dated Nov. 23.

1 Stewart Muir Roberts (1908-2003), Dr Muir’s grandson

2 Agnes Watson Durnford née Harper (1888-1976), daughter of Ebenezer Erskine Harper, Sheriff Substitute of Selkirkshire, and Agnes Harper née Watson (Mrs Mackintosh); later a Red Cross VAD holder of Red or White Stripe [‘Selkirkshire V.A.D.s.’, the Southern Reporter, 6 April 1922], she married, 2 July 1918, at Mayfield United Free Church, Newington, Edinburgh, Major Norman Stanley M Durnford (1889-1965), Army Service Corps, of Stoke Bishop, Bristol

3 Norman Stanley M Durnford (1889-1965), Army Officer, later businessman, of Stoke Bishop, Bristol

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

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

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

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

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

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

The gale continued all night + all day but without rain till after dark when there was some drizzle. Consequently the roads dried a bit. I saw 4 town cases (including John Brydon1 whose arm needs dressing) + then motored to Ashybank, Sunderland Hall, … Called for Nancy2: passed by at Forest Mill + attended meeting of Panel Committee at Railway Hotel. Called for David3 who came home this afternoon + had a crowd at night. Mrs Mack + Lady B.4 motored me up from Mauldsheugh + the former with her usual generosity gave me a cream cheese + a pot of Patum Peperium5. Helen [Muir] had Cath + Helen Smith6 for supper + then they all went to ‘Peg O’ My Heart’7.

1 There was a John Brydon, joiner, aged 44 at Elm Row, Selkirk in the 1911 Census

2 Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s second daughter

3 Dr David Graham, Dr Muir’s co-partner, had been at the Lashow Motor Show

4 Agnes Mackintosh, née Watson, formerly Harper (1859-1946), of Elm Park, Selkirk and, presumably, the Hon. Georgina Hamilton née Watson (1856-1940), Lady Belhaven and Stenton

5 Patum Peperium or the Gentleman’s Relish is an anchovy paste in a distinctive small lidded pot

6 Catherine Adam ‘Katie’ Smith (1874-1929) and Helen Mary Locke Smith (1878-1958), daughters of Thomas Smith, tweed manufacturer, and Katie Smith née Locke (about 1854-1934)

7 ‘Peg o’ My Heart’ (1912), a comedy play written by J Hartley Manners aka John Hartley Manners (1870-1928), London-born playwright; it had three film adaptations, one (1919) directed by William Churchill DeMille never released, the others by King Vidor (1922) and Robert Zigler Leonard (1931), the latter starring Marion Cecilia Davies (1897-1961), American film actress, producer, screenwriter, philanthropist and mistress of William Randolph Hearst

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

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

A terrific gale raged all night + all day from W.S.W. with some blasts of rain. It was quite fresh however + no snow was visible on the hills. I got to morning service at which a young clergyman, a Mr Ross officiated. I expected a quiet afternoon but at 1.30 got a message to Mrs Barton1, Oakwoodmill. Motored up. Finished the day book for Feb. + got all paid accounts marked out. Norah G2. had tea with Helen [Muir]. Jack3 called. Nancy4 in bed. Wind howling at 11 when I went to bed.

1 Rebecca or Rebekah Monti Garden Barton née Grant (1867-1932), wife of Andrew Barton, farmer, was at Oakwoodmill Farmhouse [1901 Census], she was born at Moulin, Perthshire, they had married at Stirling and their older children has been born in Stirlingshire and Perthshire

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

3 John Roberts junior ‘Jack’ (1876-1966), mill owner and Provost of Selkirk, later knighted “for political and public services in Selkirk”

4 Agnes Amelia ‘Nancy’ Roberts née Muir (1878-1948), Dr Muir’s daughter and wife of John ‘Jack’ Roberts junior (above)

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

31 January 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Blustery cold day with some heavy rain + sleet showers. Snow gone in town but lying in patches outside + on hills. I had a busy day from 9.30 a.m. till 7.30 p.m. with 40 minutes for lunch. Motored in forenoon in town (James Pollok1 took about 3/4 of an hour) + to Ravensheugh + Sunderland Hall: there to Midlem + Lilliesleaf + finally to some more town cases, Hospital, Bowhill, Carterhaugh + Ettrickhaugh + a crowd of people [at surgery] from 6 to 7.15.

1 Not identified

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

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

Snow lying but roads slushy except in shade where it froze. Pretty hard at night. Fine sunny day but bitterly cold W [wind]. Motored to Goslaw Green / Hillside, Nursing Home &c. + called for Lady N. [Napier1] at Mauldsheugh. Went on to Carterhaugh to see Elder the gardener2 (who used to beat Thirladean) + met Mrs Scott, widow of Lord Charles3. Went to Newark Mill + back by Dunsdale. Banked some money + then was busy marking out paid accounts which are coming in pretty well. Up to date 1919-20 is £1268.

1 Clarice Jessie Evelyn Napier née Hamilton (1881-1951), the Hon., Lady Napier

2 Thomas Elder (1855-1941), domestic gardener, was an ‘Inhabitant Occupier not rated’ at Carterhaugh [Valuation Roll 1920]

3 Assume Ada Mary Montagu Douglas Scott née Ryan (d.1943), wife of Admiral Lord Sir Charles Thomas Montagu Douglas Scott (1839-1911)

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

29 January 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Some snow lying this morning but it was rather a nice sunny day though cold. S.W. [wind]. When I looked out at 10 p.m. however there was a thick covering of snow. David left early + motored to Edinburgh meaning to go to the Glasgow Motor Show1. He won’t be back till Monday. I motored to Bowhill + Sunderland Hall + saw 9 town cases. Was called out before dinner to Mrs D Thomas, Goslaw Green. Nancy + H [Helen] had tea with Bell Harkness2.

1 Presumably the motor show put on at the Kelvin Hall in January 1920 by the Scottish Motor Traders Association

2 The Editor assumes this is Isabella Harkness (1859-1929); the friendship if that is what it is, may stem from support given to Mrs Harkness when her daughter died in awful circumstances in 1915 – there are references to Helen (or Helen and Nancy or Barbara) visiting Bell Harkness on dates in 1916, 1917 and 1918

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

28 January 1920 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

A better day, slight frost + some snow lying on hills. Was able to cycle. Was called out at 1 a.m. from the smoke room to attend Mrs John Bateman who had a son1. Got back to bed at 4 + was late rising. Cycled to Bridge Street + Yair + afterwards to Dandswall etc, altogether 10.3 [miles] + found it enough. David was at Sunderland Hall + Bridgeheugh. Drew £200 from the Firm [i.e. the Co-partnery].

1 John Stewart Bateman, born 28 January 1920 at 49 Curror Street, Selkirk, son of John Kirk Bateman, woollen millworker, and Margaret Bridget Bateman née Crozier; his parents had married, 26 September 1913 at Selkirk

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