The Life And Times Of Author Alastair Borthwick

Alastair Borthwick was a well-known journalist in Glasgow, Scotland. Additionally, he was a broadcaster on both radio and television. He also wrote two books that had nothing in common and still remain classics that are still in print. He was born on February 17, 1913.

He started out as a journalist. When he was just 16 years old he found a job at the Glasgow Evening Herald where he wrote various features and columns. His most popular one by far was Open Air where he shared tales of his adventures in the hills and mountains of Scotland. At the time hiking and climbing were just becoming popular among the masses and his stories encouraged others to take up these hobbies.

Most of his stories were hilarious. He collected them in his first book, “Always a Little Closer”. In the book, Alastair Borthwick wrote about sharing hitchhiking rides with tramps, including one spent with dead sheep in the back of a Lorrie, and watching beginners at climbing end up doing very naive things.

The author served in both Europe and North Africa during the second world war. He was a junior officer in the Seaforths battalion including in Sicily, Holland, Italy, and Germany. After the war was over he wrote a book about this and his battalions history called, “Sans Peur” which was published in 1946. He had written this book at the behest of his battalion’s Colonel John Sym.

Before the war, Alastair Borthwick had been a radio broadcaster for a few years. He transitioned to television after the war. Alastair Borthwick said that he was a script man who lived in an era where live TV ruled. He found a career working on documentary features, though, and ended up doing around 150 half-hours shows that covered many issues of the day.

He spent the last 30 years of his life on a farm near the village of Barr, Scotland. He was married and his son lived with them before moving out. His wife passed away before him and he spent his last five years living in a Beith nursing home. Go to to get your copy of Borthwick’s book.


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