The Heritage Hub

The Heritage Hub is the archive centre of the Scottish Borders Council Heritage Hub

3 September 1914 diary of Dr J S Muir of Selkirk

At last I have accomplished our long desired trip to the Cheviots. Starting with McCall at 6.15 I motored via St Boswells and Nisbet to Hounam Mains where we breakfasted at 8 with Munro. Leaving there a little after 9 we went round by Primside to the Bowmont and up to Lairhope – about 10½ or 11 miles. We got out at the ford above Mowhaugh & crossed by stepping stones and Baptie took the Swift through. It was a delightful day for walking but hazy in the distance. It is such an easy walk except the last bit to Auchope Cairn. We reached the top about 1 and saw what view there was. The Eildons were just visible. Baptie went with us and we lunched in Hens Hole which is quite a picturesque ravine with some quite formidable rocks and a waterfall on the infant Colledge*. We dropped Munro at Howgate but did not go in for tea as McCall was anxious to get back for service at 7. We got home about 6.40. I had to go down to Buccleuch Road and missed a meeting which was addressed by Barrie, Buchan and Grieve. Altogether an enjoyable day.

* The College Burn rises through the Hen Hole, just north of Auchope Cairn on The Cheviot, approximate grid reference NT889202

2 September 1914 diary of Dr J S Muir of Selkirk

Beautifully warm calm day. Rather hazy. Motored down Forest Road to Muthag Street, Mills Street and Ettrick Road & then on to Broadmeadows, Yarrowford: over Paddy Slack* to Asheistiel where I found Miss Russell very well.

* Paddock Slack, locally known as Paddy Slack, approximate Grid Reference NT314287

1 September 1914 diary of Dr J S Muir of Selkirk

Scott from Marion Crescent called me up at 3 about Colin (who had seemed a little better last night) who was suffering severe back ache. I gave him a small piece of Morphia Suppos[itory]. Rose at 5 and found there was a dense mist & gave up the idea of Cheviot & wired Munro. Saw Colin Scott again after before breakfast and again after & thought him much worse & he died at 2. The child Inglis* also died at Linglie this morning at 6. I cycled in town and to Boleside and Philiphaugh Garden. Sarah Twentyman left today.

* John Inglis, aged 5, died 1 September 1914, “head injury, 15 days” [see 15 August above]

Hawick Missal Fragment’s triumphant day out at Glasgow Cathedral with musician and composer Goldie. Brilliant!

31 August 1914 diary of Dr J S Muir of Selkirk

Beautiful day with slight E wind. Cycled in town and to Mavisbank, Ashybank, Gas Works, Heatherly Hill, Harewoodglen (where I took a specimen of Mrs Turnbull’s blood) and the Planting. On my way back I picked up at the upper Hainingshaw Lodge a disabled bird of a species I did not know. I thought it might be a [?] or snow bunting in summer plumage but Pat Smith, for whom I called at the Firs, thought it a young Hawfinch. He put it in a cage beside a canary. I went along to Linglie and found the boy Inglis very ill, he is Scott the postmaster’s boy. I had a crowd of people at night. Jean and Sarah spent the day on Cauldshiels Hill. Wired Munro that I would do Cheviot tomorrow.

30 August 2014 diary of Dr J S Muir of Selkirk

Called to Lizzie Goodfellow at 8. Motored up & found that I could leave so came back to Broadmeadow, Harewoodglen, Linglie & saw a number of town cases returning to Yarrow Feus between 1 & 2 got the case over between 5 & 6. Went to Wellwood for supper. Mr Watson (Steedmans Pasture) there. Severe fighting from Sunday 23 & Wed 26 in which our troops repulsed enormous numbers of Germans but had ultimately to retire.

Diaries of Dr John Stuart Muir of Selkirk

Through a generous gesture the Heritage Hub has recently been given 40 annual diaries, kept daily by Dr J S Muir. Heritage Hub has been blogging them for a few weeks now and plans to continue long-term.

The diaries span 1891-1938. They record detailed weather observations, Muir’s travel on foot, by car and bicycle, his medical and social activities, his churchgoing, and his family life. The refer also to current events including the events of the First World War.

Please note that we have decided not to remove or edit any ‘difficult’ references or language.

29 August 1914 diary of Dr J S Muir of Selkirk

Message to see Willie Lang. Motored there and Linglie and went to Oakwood where I [started] to fish about 2. The water was in fine condition but I didn’t [raise] a good trout at first. Jean and Sarah came up to Colin’s [house] and made tea and then I had 10 small ones but after they left I fished on till near 7 & put other 10 of which 3 were nice ones. Sent part of the take down to Wellwood. Fine day but raining all night.

Muir; Dr John Stewart (1845-1938), medical practitioner and Medical Officer of Selkirk Burgh

Born 7th February and baptised 16th March 1845. He died at his home, Thorncroft, Selkirk, on 18 November 1938 aged 94.

Son of The Reverend Francis Muir, minister of the Relief Church, Leith, and Jane Logan. He began his medical career in Melrose as an assistant to Dr William Brown. His career in Selkirk began in 1867 as assistant to Dr Henry Anderson, nephew of Mungo Park. In 1874 Dr Muir became Medical Officer for Selkirk Burgh and Prison and also for the Parishes of Selkirk, Ettrick, Yarrow, Kirkhope and Lilliesleaf. An active man; his obituary noted that he cycled 100 miles aged 80. Long-term association with the Border Rifles; retired in 1905 as Lieutenant-Colonel and Honorary Colonel. Served with the Red Cross. Honorary member of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. In his years as a GP Dr Muir delivered 3,344 babies. Freedom of Burgh of Selkirk at the Common Riding 1937. Served as a Justice of the Peace and Sheriff Substitute for Selkirk and was an elder in the Lawson Memorial Church. Member of the Berwickshire Naturalists Club, he was still leading members outings on foot aged 90.

Dr Muir married 18 June 1874 Andrina Rodger, died 4 December 1902, one son, Patrick and four daughters, Jane, Agnes, Helen and Andrina. 

'A Beloved Doctor: Grand Old Burgess Passes, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk', Southern Reporter, Thursday 24 November 1938

More information will be posted over next few days.

More information will be posted over next few days.