John Nichol plays Dr John Stewart Muir who served as medical practitioner for Selkirk Burgh from 1867 – 1928, during which time he delivered 3,344 babies. In 2014 the Heritage Hub in Hawick received a collection of Dr Muir’s diaries from his descendants, the Roberts family. The 40 diaries are an almost complete set from 1899 to 1938, when Dr Muir died, and includes an earlier one from 1891. Once transcribed, the diaries provided a fascinating insight into Selkirk society with descriptions of social events, church services and news Dr Muir had received from family letters. They also gave an examination of the local response to World War I. Each entry begins with a comment on the weather, usually followed by a roundup of the cases that he has seen on that particular day, and the people and places he visited in the course of his rounds.
In 2016, John Nichol was commissioned by LIVE Borders to write a play based on the diary entries from 1891-1918. This is his response.
“His kindness, courtesy and humour, the ability to manufacture sunshine in his own soul, made him a favourite with all – from cottage to castle” The Southern Reporter 24 November 1938