Alastair Borthwick: Scotland’s Authority On Hiking The Hilltops

When climbing and hiking became a popular activity for the working class in Scotland, Alastair Borthwick was there to chronicle it. The author and broadcaster was born in Rutherglen on February 17, 1913, but was raised in Troon before moving to Glasgow. Though Alastair Borthwick attended Glasgow High School, he left at 16 in order to take a position at the Glasgow Herald. He quickly rose through the rank from copying what correspondents said over the phone to editing features.

Alastair Borthwick began writing about his interest in hill climbing and hiking in Scotland after becoming involved with the Glasgow Herald‘s “Open Air” articles. The articles that he wrote for the paper helped garner interest in the sport throughout Scotland. It offered an activity for the working class of the area to participate in during their weekends off.

While Alastair Borthwick may have left Glasgow in 1935 to pursue an opportunity at the Daily Mirror, he quickly found that the city life in London wasn’t where he wanted to be and returned to Glasgow. It was at this point that he received a position with the BBC as a radio correspondent.

Always a Little Further was published in 1939 by Fabers. While they were not sure if the work by Alastair Borthwick would gain much of a following, they were encouraged to go ahead with the publication by their director T.S. Eliot. Always a Little Further featured a collection of Alastair Borthwick’s pieces from his time with the Glasgow Herald and is still widely regarded in the hiking community of Scotland.

During the 2nd World War, Alastair Borthwick served his country as an intelligence officer. He was active in many different areas and eventually went on to write a book about his experiences in the war. This book received critical acclaim and still is often printed.

After the end of the war, Alastair Borthwick and his wife moved to Jura. He continued to broadcast for the BBC and eventually moved back to Glasgow. He passed away in the year 2003.

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