Frank Herbert

Waterbird alighting after the second flight

Frank Herbert (1890 – 1976)

Frank Herbert

Described in his obituary in the Westmorland Gazette as a ‘pioneer in aerial photography’, it all originated with the second flight of Waterbird (see the above photo) on 25 November 1911 at Windermere.

‘But perhaps the best example that typifies the enthusiasm and enterprise of the Herbert family, are the pictures in the air sequence taken by Frank Herbert.’ – Fenty’s Album by Irvine Hunt.

The photographic business was started in Durham by Frank’s grandfather, Robert. Before becoming a photographer, Robert had been a taxidermist, a barber, a bit of a poacher and had even practised a little bloodletting!

Frank’s father Henry moved to Bowness-on-Windermere in 1886 and started a business at St. Martin’s Studio on Lake Road, ultimately trading as Herbert & Sons. (Note Frank standing outside in this photo and the glass roof which is still there.)

Frank ran the business with his brother Louis.

 In World War One, Frank served as a motorcycle despatch rider with the Border Regiment in India and Mesopotamia, whilst Louis was a photographer in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, Royal Naval Air Service and Royal Air Force.

The business was sold in 1960 upon Frank’s retirement.

We are very grateful to Joan Ledger for permission to reproduce her father’s photos.


Wings Over Windermere

Edward Wakefield described flight from water as ‘Something that beckoned …’