Eleanor, the youngest of five children, recalled for me her celebrated father when he was about 50 years of age. The family home was on Beech Hill at Carleton, a village at the edge of the Aire Gap. It had its back to the moors.

A photograph taken in the grounds at Beech Hill shows Cecil standing beside a tent and a cousin, Algy Dewhurst, reclining nearby. Both were lively young men who sported black beards.

The two families were closely connected. Cecil’s father, William (1819-1897), had married Mary Ann Dewhurst, daughter of Isaac Dewhurst who founded Belle Vue Mill at Skipton. It became generally known as Dewhurst’s Mill and sported a red-brick chimney over 200ft high that dominated the Skipton scene with the force of an exclamation mark.

The Slingsbys opened a cotton mill at Carleton in 1863, moving their home from Bell Busk to Carleton via pony and trap. Their household goods were conveyed by train.

Cecil kept all his five children acquainted with crags and hills. An especially handy viewpoint was on Carleton Moor. From here, he would point out the gaunt fells of Lakeland and flat-topped Ingleborough, which he loved. Flasby Fell, another favourite, was visible from his home village. With his family he frequently explored Carleton Gill.

Slingsby was active in the life of the family’s large mill. He was a buyer at a time when the mill was owned by his mother. He nonetheless contrived to spend several months a year on climbing jaunts to (and on) the high peaks of Switzerland and Norway. Especially Norway, which he had first visited at the age of 23.

His fascination with Norway led him to become familiar with Norwegian history, heritage and speech. Walt Unsworth, a writer about climbers, observed: “Time and again he made the journey across the North Sea, pushing his way over remote glaciers and wild valleys to forgotten hamlets and farms; exploring, climbing, making friends wherever he went. On these journeys his guide would be a local farmer.”

Here, among many achievements, he made the first ascent of Skagastolstind, a ragged tooth of rock with a height of almost 8,000ft. He had two Norwegian companions, who jibbed when there was still 500 feet to climb. Slingsby persevered, finding the experience both strenuous and exciting. With such achievements, he became a legend in his own lifetime.

Back at home, the Slingsby mill had a profit and loss experience during the 1914-18 war, the prospering associated with turning out miles of cloth for service uniforms. Alas, it suffered badly when the war claimed three of the family’s young men.

Money was subsequently lost in the Great Slump and led to the closure of the mill in 1921.

Cecil continued to go to Norway in alternate years. He was becoming well-known among outdoor folk. Eleanor, the aforementioned daughter – known to her friends as Len – had an entrancing time spent in that rocky northern land during the summer of 1921. The most charming thing she remembered was walking up the Turtagro – “that home of mountaineers in Norway”. A rough-looking shepherd had approached them, seized her father’s arm and said, in Landsmal dialect, which father spoke well, ‘Are you Slingsby?’”

Eleanor married Geoffrey Winthrop Young, who blended mountaineering with composing poems. He was much older than his wife. After visiting the Slingsby home at Carleton for the first time, he displayed his flare for composition by recalling “a sundrift of wide-blue-eyed children with soft mischievous voices”.

Hodder and Stoughton published a biography of Winthrop Young by Alan Hankinson in l995. Alan and I were, for a time, fellow judges for the annual awards of the Outdoor Writers’ Guild.

Meanwhile, Slingsby had successes in the Alps and in Britain. Aged over 70, he tackled Pillar Rock and Gimmer Crag in the Lake District. His greatest triumphs were undoubtedly in Norway, a country which, in his day, was little-known to British visitors. With lectures and talks about his near-vertical experiences, he opened our eyes to the beauty of a northern land where high mountains raked the sky.

William Cecil Slingsby – to use his full name – is still referred to as “the father of Norwegian mountaineering”. He had more than 50 ascents to his credit.

Cecil died in a nursing home at Hurstpierpoint, in East Sussex, in 1929. His memory had almost gone, though he seemed to comprehend some words uttered one morning in late July as daughter Eleanor sat with him in the sunlight. Eleanor recalled that an old gentleman sitting at a nearby table and reading his morning paper yelled: “Slingsby, there’s something in the Telegraph just up your street”.

He noted that a fellow with one good leg and one artificial leg had just been up the Matterhorn. It was undoubtedly Geoffrey Winthrop Young. There was a long pause. Eleanor was not sure her father had taken it in. He gazed straight ahead and then uttered the last words she was to hear from him. They were: “Magnificent! Magnificent!” Adding: “Of course, he shouldn’t have done it, you know.”

In an obituary of Cecil Slingsby, dated 1929, The Times wrote: “For a mountaineer and explorer, he had the ideal equipment – a magnificent physique, exceptional hardihood, grace and agility, an unerring judgement…coolness and courage.”

When I visited the village of Carleton with David Johnstone, we lingered at the spot where Slingsby and his wife were interred. He died on August 23, 1929. His daughter, Eleanor, youngest of their five children, died in January, 1994. She was in her 99th year. They are dead – but the memories of outstanding achievements in the wilds linger on…