Award winning St Helens estate agency celebrates 165 years

08 Dec 2021


Award winning St Helens estate agency JB&B Leach is celebrating its 165th anniversary this year.

The JB&B Leach business has been serving the people of St Helens since Victorian times and has enjoyed a rich history within the St Helens community for 165 years.

Founded in 1856 by brothers Joseph Bithell Leach and Benjamin Leach, the business remained in the Leach family until 1939, with Wilfred H Leach taking over the business in 1917 when Joseph passed away.

It has always been core to the JB&B Leach values that the local community stays at the heart of the business, – a value that continues to be just as important to this day.

Wilfred H Leach died in 1939 with no heirs, however the business was taken over by one of the business partners – Philip Johnson who himself was from a highly regarded family of chartered surveyors and estate agents – Herbert Johnson and Sons from Warrington.

Philip Johnson was partner of the firm until he retired in 1985 and was also a very prominent local figure who held the positions of High Sheriff and Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside and served in the Royal Armoured Corps and was a Major in the Royal Engineers in the Far East in WWII.

Following the retirement of Philip Johnson, the business was operated in a partnership arrangement with employees coming through the ranks, with current owner of the premises on Hardshaw Street Louis Rigby becoming one of the main partners. Louis retired in 2005 and Andrew Duncan and Gary Brash took over the reins.

In 2020, St Helens born businessman and property specialist Dave Roberts purchased the business as part of his independently owned Belvoir St Helens property franchise and has sought to modernize the service that it provides whilst retaining much of its traditions.

JB&B Leach cover all aspects of the residential property market and with its team of extremely talented and knowledgeable property professionals backed by an in-house financial services team from the Mortgage Advice Bureau, the business continues its tradition of consistently delivering exceptional service to generations of St Helens residents.

Continuing with the philanthropic culture and values initiated by the founding partners, Dave Roberts has vowed to continue supporting the local community. The team at JB&B Leach are well known as ‘local legends’ and enjoy sponsoring the fan site and forum for St Helens rugby fans, Redvee.Net, whilst also recently announcing their sponsorship for the next generation of footballers for this season for Pilkington Juniors FC.

Not only do the team give back in the form of sponsorship, but they regularly support local charities in the town through performing outreach activity to give back to the community. This was particularly important to the team during and following the pandemic.

The small team at JB&B Leach are often referred to as ‘A St Helens Institution’ not only by the generations of local customers but also by their neighboring businesses and sit alongside some of the larger organizations’ that are synonymous with the town such as Pilkington Glass and Beechams.

Passionate, and with a wealth of local knowledge, this St Helens team pride themselves as being more than just an estate agent – whether a customer is buying or renting, the team go above and beyond by connecting all the dots, ensuring that each customer gets the best out of their new home – and the region. Their ‘little blue book’ of contacts is locked within the minds of each team member, a wealth of local and regional knowledge of experience, ensuring that existing and new customers absolutely get the most out of the town and the region.

The business has in the hands of six generations and over a period of 165 years serviced the needs of local homeowners and investors for experienced, knowledgeable and professional advice on all property matters.

With its legacy as an institution within the town, JB&B Leach can proudly and confidently declare that it will continue to be St Helens Premier Estate Agents for many years to come.