Alastair Borthwick graced the earth with his existence in February of 1913. Born and raised in Scotland, he spent his high school years in Glasgow during which time he also participated as a member of the Officer Training Corps. He launched his career in media at the tender age of 16 obtaining a position at the local office of a regional rag that he helped put on the relatively global map. At the Glasgow Evening Herald, he was found to exhibit personable, insightful, and dependable personality traits. He soon took on several responsibilities beyond his initial assumption as the communications directionalist. These roles included but were not limited to covering and contributing to various sections of this relatively thick news journal. Alastair Borthwick saw to the engaging development and interactive read of the Children’s Page, Crossword Compilations, Film Reviews, Readers’ Letters, Readers’ Queries, and the Women’s Page as both editor and writer. He also performed as a reliable contributing writer for the Herald’s cover story page. He would later work with the paper’s Open Air Page detailing his adventures in mountain climbing. His mostly meteoric media career would later involve a short stint at The Daily Mirror but would again take off positively per his unique manner and voice in radio broadcasting.
Though he would also embark upon successful tours of duty on challenges on the frontline and in intelligence roles during WW2, Alastair Borthwick and his wife and son welcomed the benefits of his radio broadcasting career realized from the mid-1930s through the mid-1990s. Despite the surge of television in the early 1950s, he was able to retain lucrative positions because of his flexibility, engaging manner of sharing his life experiences, popular radio personality, and by using his writing skills in the advent of teleprompter technology.
Alastair Borthwick published his historically decisive avant-garde oeuvre, the book “Always a Little Further,” in 1939. In it he shared the ins and outs of daily concerns of the less financially affluent in places such as Clydebank and Glasgow. Through his personal observances and participation with locals in everday activities, he eloquently detailed the people’s personalities, angsts, joys, and hopes as expressed through their styles of extracurricular engagements such as camping and mountain climbing. Rich in character and relatable human dilemmas, “Always a Little Further” enjoys a steady printing since its very first, encouraged by boardmember T.S. Eliot himself, by Faber and Faber, Ltd. based in the U.K.
Some of Alastair Borthwick’s famous quotes constitute words that many can live by, especially those of us depending on our liberal arts talents for income and stability. Two of the more famous include the following:
“One cannot sweat and worry simultaneously.” ; and
“I always believed the ideal life was to write a thousand words
in the morning and catch a salmon in the afternoon.”
Another of Alastair’s world renowned works, “Sans Peur,” originally published in 1946 presents a facund account of WW2 from the perspective of an infantryman. Its relevance and impact remains profound enough today that it warranted republishing in 1994 under the title “Battalion.”