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The Legendary Life of Alastair Borthwick

Posted by TroPe on

Alastair Borthwick is best known for the classic Always A Little Further a book about his experiences in the Scottish Islands. He was not only an author but he also served as a newspaper editor, radio broadcaster as well as a soldier. He was born in Rutherglen in the year 1913 but his family moved over to Glasgow where he attended high school. He left school when he was 16 to go work at the Evening Times as the copywriter. He then moved on to Glasgow Weekly Herald where he not only was a copywriter but edited a number of the newspaper’s feature pages.

He even compiled the crossword and answered letters from readers that were making inquiries about various things. His varied roles at the paper were due to the fact that Glasgow Weekly Herald had very feel employee but they also meant that he was soon writing his column. While editing the paper’s open-air page he discovered the practice of mountain climbing for leisure and in his words, it became an addiction. He would go mountain climbing and afterward write about the experiences in the paper.

These experiences were key in his building up Always A Little Further. It should be noted that this leisure activity was very popular as a lot of people in the Scottish highlands were unemployed. After leaving the Glasgow Weekly Herald he moved on to the Daily Mirror but was not there for long before going to work for the BBC as a broadcaster.

During his interview for the BBC job he mentioned his mountain climbing and James Fergusson asked him to do a show on the practice and his successful time on radio began. When the second world war started he enlisted and rose from private to captain in the 51st Highland Division’s 5th Seaforth Highlanders and served as an intelligence officer. It is during the war that he wrote his second classic.

His birthday was in 1913 and passed in 2003. He was married to Anne Borthwick with whom he had one child, Patrick Borthwick.