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Decade after decade, readers in Scotland have been pulling Always a Little Further off the shelves and finding it a fascinating and delightful narrative. There’s an inspirational quality to this classic of literature penned in 1939 by famed BBC broadcast journalist Alastair Borthwick. 

Always a Little Further is about adventures in nature. It tells of the experiences Alastair Borthwick accumulated during his many treks into the rugged Scottish Highlands and hiking remote regions of the British Isles. Borthwick’s uncanny ability to put readers in the scene and his engaging sense of humor makes the book still seem fresh 80 years after it was first published.

Alastair Borthwick is a native Scot, born in Rutherglen in 1913. He was raised in Troon and later Glasgow. There he attended Glasgow High School. At age 16 he made a move that would shape the rest of his life. He took a job as a copyboy with the Evening Times. Doing no writing at first, Borthwick soon talked his way into real reporting work. It became quickly apparent that young Mr. Borthwick had a knack for turning a fine phrase.

He moved on to the Glasgow Weekly Herald, working as a general assignment reporter. He began to contribute to a section of the paper called “Open Air.” This column featured stories of outdoor adventure, especially rock climbing and hiking the vast realms of the Highlands. Alastair Borthwick’s Open Air pieces were gobbled up eagerly by local readers. It would lead to his now-famous book, Always a Little Further.

Alastair Borthwick was destined to write another classic of Scottish literature, a book titled Sans Peur. This was the true account of Borthwick’s incredible experiences serving as a soldier during World War II. It was the story of Borthwick’s regiment as it fought across the battlefields of Europe. Sans Peur was unique in that it was written from the viewpoint of a junior officer. Once again, Borthwick’s command of the language and ability to enthrall readers made Sans Peur a national bestseller.

Alastair Borthwick died at the age of 90 after a long and successful career as a BBC journalist.

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm7360669/

In October 2003, a tribute was written about Alastair Borthwick. Known for the use of his elaborate writing talents for approximately 150 programs on Grampian TV in the 1960s, Alastair Borthwick was born in 1913 in Rutherglen, Lanarkshire and he died in 2003 at the age of 90.

His style of writing included a classic genre that may be deemed fortuitous to some. His first successful publication occurred in 1939 which is called “Always a Little Further”. This publication included a memoir throughout the Scottish highlands for a decade. Other literary works are as follows:

  • 1946- San Peur- memoir concerning the last years of the second world war
  • 1960s- scripted programs for Grampian TV
  • 1980s and 1990s- the reissuing of Sans Peur as Battalion

His Early Years

Alastair Borthwick wasn’t raised where he was born. He was raised in Troon, Aryshire. At the age of 11, he moved to Glasgow. He also went to high school there. At the age of 16, he left high school to be work at the Evening Times as a copy taker. Afterward, he progressed to the Glasgow Weekly Herald. In 1935, Alastair Borthwick went to London to work for an organization called Daily Mirror. He left a year later and briefly supervised the Empire Exhibition’s press club. Then, he worked in radio broadcasting at the BBC. He then served the Second World War and then worked as a TV and radio producer.

Settling Down after the War & More

After the war was over, he and his wife moved into a small cottage on the coast of Jura. They resided there for seven years until his wife, Anne, bore a son who is named Patrick.

Throughout the years afterward, Alastair Borthwick achieved other accolades, including BBC giving him a contract that lasted for three years which was a post-war Scotland, and earning an OBE recognition for his work involving a presentation of the Glasgow’s massive engineering festival.

He and his family then relocated in 1952 to Islay. In 1960, they transferred to South Ayrshire where he resided with his wife for the rest of their lives.