The Life and Legacy of Alastair Borthwick

The Life and Legacy of Alastair Borthwick

Alastair Borthwick, author, broadcaster, and journalist, was born in Rutherglen, living in Troon for a time, and then Glasgow, where he went to high school. Borthwick decided to leave school at 16 years old and went to work at the Glasgow Herald, working his way up to editor. Alastair Borthwick contributed to a segment called “Open Air” which offered him the opportunity to become immersed in the burgeoning scene of climbing and hillwalking. This proved to be invaluable, it allowed him to meet people and share their stories, thoughts, and feelings. After working for the Glasgow Herald, Borthwick found work at the Daily Mirror. Although he enjoyed the promotion, he found London didn’t suit him. Borthwick decided to return to Glasgow, where he would work for the BBC as a radio correspondent.

In 1939, Alastair Borthwick published “Always a Little Further” the assemblage of his writings. The publishers were uncertain of any success, thinking it was atypical to produce such content. Their opinion was the activities Borthwick wrote about were only for those that were well to do, so it wouldn’t be relatable, and therefore unmarketable. It was none other than T.S. Eliot that insisted otherwise, and convinced them to proceed. It proved to be quite successful, and still is. Following World War ll, Borthwick served in the 5th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders, working as an Intelligence Officer. His service in the military saw him traveling through North Africa as well as Europe. When the combat was over, he was asked to document his experiences.

After the war, Borthwick and his wife Anne moved to Jura, where he worked as a broadcaster, crofter, and fisherman. They moved to Islay in 1952, only to return to Glasgow. Borthwick also took part in planning Scotland’s contribution to the Festival of Britain. In the 60’s, Borthwick produced 150 episodes for Grampian TV on many different topics. Then in the 70’s, the Borthwicks moved to Ayrshire, where they lived until Alastair relocated to a nursing home in Beith. It was there Borthwick lived his last years before passing in 2003. He was 90 years old.

Check out Alastair’s book on Amazon!

Comments are closed.