HERBERT LEIGH was the longest serving lifeboat at the Barrow station from 1951 up to the time of her replacement in 1982. In 30 years of service she was launched 136 times and saved 71 lives. She was donated to the RNLI by the Chairman of Leigh’s Paints, Herbert Leigh. Her decks are built from mahogany and she was one of the most modern lifeboats in the RNLI on completion, needing a crew of 8 to man her.
In 1990, she was moved to the Dock Museum and has never seen seawater since. She was donated to the museum by Brian Leigh-Bramwell, of Leigh’s paints (and Herbert Leigh’s great-nephew. Mr Leigh-Bramwell’s mother (Helen Leigh-Bramwell) named the boat in a ceremony in Buccleuch Dock in 1952.
In 2005, funding was secured from the Furness Maritime Trust and from Barrow Borough Council in order to carry out essential conservation work. Patterson Boatworks restored this lifeboat and in 2006 Herbert Leigh’s restoration was completed and she was moved to the front of the museum site.