Alastair Borthwick – Chronicle of the Week

Alastair Borthwick is a highly praised author who’s talent as a writer was not constricted to one genre. Borthwick was famous for his works as an author, broadcaster, journalist, war historian, and organizer of national exhibits.

In 1913 Alastair Brothwick was born in Rutherglen, Lanarkshire. After being raised in Troon, Ayrshire, he had moved to Glasgow to attend high school at age 11. Brothwick because a copytaker on the Evening Times at age 16 which led him graduating to the Glasgow Weekly Herald. He had written and edited film pages, letters to the editor, and answers to follower’s inquiries all as a teenager.

Brothwick had gotten a job at the Daily Mirror as a reporter. He had gotten fired a year into the job which led his career into a different field: radio broadcasting. Borthwick’s distinct radio broadcasting voice had led him to success. While formal radio voices were the norm, Borthwick spoke naturally in order to sound friendly and relaxed. Alastair Borthwick’s first broadcast was in 1934 and last was in 1995.

Brothwick’s classic, “Always A Little Further,” is a classic with a cult following. The book captures the beginning of the “Wandervogel” movement into the Scottish Hills. It was inspired by the “Wandervogel” movement during Germany’s Weimar Republic. The movement was the mass fascination and love for hiking and was caused by the mass unemployment within the Clydebank shipyards. Hiking relieved stress and became a favorite pastime that was free, thus affordable. By the early 1930s, the movement spanned across northern Europe, resulting in the creation of national youth hostels associations.

Borthwick served in the Second World War initially as a battalion intelligence officer. After the war, he and his wife lived in a cottage off the coast of Jura. After the birth of their son, the family had moved to South Ayrshire where they lived the rest of their lives.

When questioned on how he would want to to be remembered, Alistair Borthwick responded as a journeyman writer who made decent jobs out of required subjects. He said he’d be happy if people thought that “he never broke a deadline and was always printable.”