Alastair Borthwick was a journalist, author, junior officer, radio broadcaster, and television broadcaster who lived from February 17, 1913, to September 25, 2003. Leaving school when he was 16, he was hired by a local newspaper, the Glasgow Herald. Before long he was writing regular columns for this newspaper and one of them, Open Air, became very popular in that city. This column was popular because he used humor to share the new outdoor rages of the time which were rock climbing and hillwalking. First popular with upper class people, his writing introduced these activities to the working class who also then decided to join in.
In 1935 he briefly lived in London. He was hired by the Daily Mirror as a journalist and this was a really big step up from the Glasgow Herald. However, Alastair Borthwick really didn’t like living in London and longed to return home. After a year he was able to return to Glasgow as he had picked up a job there as a BBC radio correspondent.
His first book, “Always a Little Further“, was published in 1939. Most of the chapters were from his older Open Air columns but he had new ones as well. The publishers of this book, Fabers, didn’t know if they wanted to publish it as it was about a wealthy man’s sport which wasn’t really their thing. A director of this publisher, T.S. Eliot, insisted the book be released, though. As it turns out he was right and the book has never been out of print since it was released, It is regarded as one of Scotland’s best books about the outdoors.
After serving in World War II he returned home to Scotland. His family lived in Jura for twelve years, a brief period of time in Islay, and then moved back to Glasgow in 1951. He had been asked to contribute to the 1951 Festival of Britain was the reason for this. Alastair Borthwick spent his remaining working years as a television correspondent for Grampian TV. During this period, he recorded 150 half-hour long episodes which covered many topics he was interested in.
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