ALASTAIR BORTHWICK – ADMIRABLE MAN
Alastair Borthwick lived a full and colorful life. As a writer and broadcaster, he was passionate about life and climbing the Highlands in Scotland. Throughout his life he wrote 2 memorable memoirs. The first one came out in 1939 which was initially published by Faber and Faber. Always A Little Further was written from his knowledge and experience from decades of climbing through the Scottish Highlands and was instantly recognized as a joyful classic of outdoor literature. In that particular memoir, Alastair stated that “One cannot sweat and worry simultaneously”. He addresses the stress of living in the city. The second one came out in 1946 which was initially published by Sterling publishing. Sans Peur focused on the last 3 years of WWII with permission from his Colonel to resume writing after serving most of his time in the Western Desert and Sicily as a battalion intelligence officer. Both memoirs were reissued in the 1980’s and 1990’s which brought his writing back up to the surface and gave him a second claim to fame.
Alastair was born in Rutherglen, Lanarkshire and raised in Troon. At age 11, Alastair relocated with his family to Glasgow and attended high school. He later accepted a position as a copytaker with the Evening Times and moved on to the Glasgow Weekly Herald. In 1935 he moved on to London to work for the Daily Mirror and went into radio broadcasting, specializing on topics associated with outdoors and Scotland. He remained with them for a year.
In 1940, Alastair married Anne. On Christmas Day 1945 they moved to a small cottage hidden among the deer, eagles, sparkling waters and solitude. It was a quiet area with little distractions. They remained there for 7 years. Alastair moved on once again and wrote a series on post-war Scotland for BBC which ran for 3 years.
Alastair, Anne and their son Patrick finally settled ashore in 1952 where he and his family remained until their passing.