Alastair Borthwick: Telling The Scotland Story through Writing And Broadcasting


Alastair Borthwick is known for having a fruitful career in writing and broadcasting. He was born in Rutherglen in 1913 and brought up in Ayrshire as a child and Glasgow as a teen. Alastair is famous for being an author of Always A little Further a book that domineered the art of climbing mountains. Alastair published the book in 1939. During this period, Scotland was going through a rough period with enormous unemployment. The mountaineering narrative brought up in the book prompted the unemployed generation to use their time to engage in climbing. It reminded them on the beauty of their own country and made them appreciate nature.

Before publishing the book, Alastair Borthwick worked with Evening Times as a copytaker while in high school. He later moved to Glasgow Weekly Herald where he wrote on women and children, crosswords as well as the front-page stories. It was while writing for Herald that he discovered the art of rock climbing. This art was initially preserved for the Glasgow residents perceived to be rich and during this time becoming popular among the employed and young people.  See Related Link for additional information.

The mountain climbing activity continued to become popular in the country that climbing clubs started to come up. One of the clubs is Creagh Dhu that led people to climbing and sleeping in caves while at it. According to Alastair Borthwick, mountain climbing had more meaning than the art itself. It was more about the people and their emotions while climbing. It is this understanding that makes people, appreciate his work despite his death in 2003.

Alastair also, besides writing, had a successful broadcasting career. He served as a broadcaster in Scotland during the period of World War II. He also fought during the war in various countries against the Nazis. It was after this war that he published his second book called Battalion. It documented the war and the battalion and also became famous among the people. After the war, Alastair Borthwick continued to broadcasting and writing until his death. He lived a life of integrity and courage peacefully with his family.


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