He was created in Rutherglen and while a kid also lived in Troon and in Glasgow, where he attended Glasgow SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL. He left college at age 16 in 1929 to focus on the Glasgow Herald: 1st taking down duplicate from correspondents phoning in, and afterwards as editor of a few of the feature pages. It had been through his involvement in the paper’s “Open up Surroundings” page that Alastair initial became involved with Glasgow’s blossoming hillwalking and climbing picture, which he helped foster along with his content articles about operating class folks from Glasgow and Clydebank venturing in to the Highlands at weekends.
1939 saw the publication of “Always just a little Further”, a collection of many of the pieces he had at first written for the Glasgow Herald. The publisher, Fabers, had been initially unsure about the unconventional approach the publication took from what was generally regarded at that time as a wealthy man’s sport, and it had been just on the insistence of 1 of their directors, T.S. Eliot, that they produced a book that has been in print more or less consistently ever since. It remains among the best books ever discussed any facet of outdoor activity in Scotland.
At war’s end, Alastair and his wife Anne, who he previously wedded in 1940, moved from Glasgow to Jura, where he mixed crofting and angling with broadcasting for the BBC. In 1952 they transferred to Islay, before time for Glasgow so Alastair may help with the organisation of Scotland’s contribution to the 1951 Event of Britain. In the 1960s he relocated into television, producing 150 half hour programmes for Grampian TV on a wide selection of subjects. In the 1970s the Borthwicks shifted to Ayrshire, where they resided on a hill farm before Alastair transferred to a nursing house in Beith five years before his loss of life in 2003.