Focusing on Drivers Vision

Can you see the road?

It’s common sense that good eyesight is a basic requirement for safe driving? But are you sure that your that your eyesight is as good as it can be?

Did you know that Poor vision will increase the risk of a collision due to the driver’s inability to recognise and react in time to hazards? The DVLAThe Telegraph, and the BBC are suggesting that we all undergo a sight test every five years. This is also a sentiment recommended by the road safety charity Brake.

Reduced visual clarity

Poor vision is believed to be massively under-reported and crash causation data indicates that it is difficult to determine if eyesight was to blame. Some accidents probably occur because drivers are unaware they have deteriorating vision and have not corrected it nor reported it to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Untreated eye conditions tend to occur gradually over time. In some cases, someone could lose up to 40% of their vision yet be unaware that they have a problem. 

Philip Gomm of the RAC Foundation said: “We subject our cars to yearly MoT checks, so why take less care about our own bodies given that human factors account for most accidents? The best evidence is that drivers should have a vision check at least every five years, increasing to every two years after the age of 60.”

Brake for change

Road safety charity Brake agrees, describing the current test as “a throwback to the Sixties” and not fit for purpose. It believes 2,900 casualties each year are caused by drivers with poor vision. A Brake spokesman said: “It fails to measure for visual acuity and visual field, and allows people to drive with eyesight that makes them unsafe.

The Royal College of Optometrists estimates that between 2-3% of drivers have vision which falls below the minimum standard required for driving.

If you wish to check that your vision meets the current standard call 01484 907090 to book an appointment


About Allegro News

Eyecare Hits The Right Note, by Abigayle Doe

Eyecare is tuned into the customer’s needs

It’s been a big year so far for Allegro Optical, the musician’s optician. Not only did our Sheryl manage to get through to the final three for the Dispensing Optician of the Year Award at the National Opticians Awards back in April. She also won the National Best New Business, Entrepreneur of the Year Award in June, for her work in the field of musicians eye care.

July proved to be just as notable with the business celebrating its one-thousandth customer. Customer one thousand was none other than the Trombonist Jeremy Lewis from the Uppermill Band. Jeremy visited us at Allegro Optical on the recommendation of his wife Lesley Lewis, Uppermill Band’s Assistant Principal Cornet. This is quite apt as Allegro Optical are also known as “The Musicians’ Optician” because of our specialism in this field.

When asked how Allegro Optical has managed to acquire so many customers so quickly. Sheryl Doe co-founder and Joint managing director said: “It’s the personal touch, we take more time with our customers and they enjoy spending time with us.”  

Sheryl believes it’s all down to the outstanding personal service. Many clients who visit comment that Allegro Optical has a real family feel. Sheryl’s two daughters, me included, her daughter in law, her son and Steve’s son all work for the company. Sheryl said; “We aim to make every customer’s experience a positive one and treat everyone like family.”

The Musician’s Optician

Jeremy collected his new glasses last week and commented how clear his vision is. Jeremy chose two pairs of glasses, one pair having Allegro Optical’s bespoke musician’s lenses, adapted to include his distance prescription.  The second pair were fitted with Allegro’s unique Incessu lenses. developed especially for marching and playing from a lyre. He is now recommending Allegro Optical’s services to his fellow bands-people.


But it’s not just our fantastic choice of frames and brilliant service that makes Allegro Optical stand out. “We offer a lot of services other opticians don’t,” adds Sheryl. “We not only specialise in helping musicians, we also we have a wide range of contact lenses. Many dancers and performers use our specialist contact lenses.  We can even help those who have been previously told that they can’t wear lenses. We also offer hearing care with free hearing tests and visual dyslexia testing for children and adults.”

Meet the team

The Meltham team includes three Optometrists;  Claire Wightman from Barnsley, Sara Ackroyd from Uppermill and Stephen Haigh from Almondbury. Dispensing Opticians Sheryl and Abigayle Doe and Hearing Care professional Jenny Beever. They are supported by experienced receptionists Josie Dawson, Jill Barrowclough and Niamh Curran. Xanthe Doe looks after the administration and e-commerce. Although she can sometimes be found in store and is a source of fantastic fashion advice. This amazing team is well placed to give customers the best service in Meltham and beyond.

A trip to the opticians is uneventful for most, but for some, it’s life-changing. “What we all love about our job is making people happy,” says co-founder and Managing Director Stephen Tighe. Himself a former professional musician and well know Brass Band conductor. “The other day we fitted some glasses for an elderly concert organist. He’d never been really happy with glasses before, but when he put them on, his face was a picture. He then turned and said: ‘Wow I can see!’.”

What a year!

Over the last fifteen months, Allegro Optical has become well known for helping musicians. But there has been a quiet revolution happening in Meltham, as hundreds of new clients have beaten a path to our door. In fact, over 1000 new customers and counting.

Furthermore, our range of frames are not just the usual high street brands. We try to stock as many British brands as possible. Including the low impact sustainable eyewear brand, Hemp Eyewear which is handmade in Edinburgh.

If you are looking for well-known brands, there’s Silhouette, Coco Song and Jaguar, which is proving particularly popular, with our gentlemen. 

Allegro Optical is designed to be a user-friendly experience that allows anyone to have their eyes tested and buy spectacles in comfort. While still offering fantastic value for money and of course that free second pair.  So what are you waiting for? For eyecare you can trust, Allegro Optical is a must. Call 01484 907090 to book your individual consultation.

About Allegro News

Talented Soprano Now Sings Allegro’s Praises

Sally is singing Meltham Opticians Praises

Opera singer, Sally Mitchell is both mesmerizing and very talented. An accomplished soprano, Sally is also a Director at The Maintenance Group, providing commercial and domestic building and maintenance services. Despite all her talent, amazing voice and business acumen, Sally was really struggling. She had been suffering from frequent migraines. Sally felt that her vision wasn’t all it should be for some time. On top of this, driving at night was a real issue and Sally began to avoid it as she didn’t feel confident or safe.

Opera Singer Sally Mitchell buys her glasses from Allegro Optical the musicians optician in Meltham

Darren, Sally’s partner, recommended that she should give Allegro Optical a try, as he had heard good things about us. Sally came in to see us and had a full sight test. At the beginning of the test, our team measured the prescription in her current glasses and compared them to the prescription her previous opticians had given her.  Sally didn’t buy her glasses from her optician, she ordered them over the internet from a well know online opticians. We were surprised, as not only was the lens prescription wrong. The optical centres were so far off they we inducing prism. No wonder Sally had been feeling so unwell and felt that her vision was so poor.

Spectacles purchased online with vastly ofset centres which caused headaches

Now for the Geeky technical bit

Sally has an amblyopic prescription with unaided vision of RE 6/24 and LE 6/12 in her glasses. We measured her visual acuity as RE 6/24 LE 6/8. Following her sight test we gave sally with the following prescription, RE +3.50/-0.75X90  and LE -0.50/-0.50X85. Sally’s visual acuity was recorded as RE 6/19 LE 6/6+. We even measured her in the dark with the new prescription and recorded a binocular acuity of 6/8, well within the driving standard.

As Sally is amblyopic, we wanted to minimise the differential lens thickness so we recommended a full frame. We then dispensed a pair of high index digital single vision atoroidal inner surfaced lenses. This provides enhanced cosmetics, combining ergonomics and aesthetics for the very best optical correction.  Each lens is completely unique: Calculated for each wearer taking into account the prescription, the client’s pupil position and the 3D shape of the selected frame.

The new digital lenses are poles apart from the traditional convex aspheric lenses, which only correct in the major meridians. The surface of a digital atoroidal lens incorporates oblique aberration correction on a generic surface. As complex as that of a progressive lens. The result is a lens which will fit the user perfectly from the moment they put them on.

Now Sally can see the music in HD

Sally has been wearing her new glasses now for three months now when asked about her new glasses she said “Allegro Optical has been fantastic. They explained my vision problems in layman’s terms so that I could understand and my migraines have vastly reduced in frequency. I can’t thank you all enough.”


Digitally surfaced lenses are created by state-of-the-art machinery that allows greater flexibility in terms of producing customised lenses. The traditional method of lens curve generation creates a lens by first utilising a blank that is formed using a glass mold. An optical laboratory technician then uses a machine called a curve generator to produce a  prescription on the back of the blank lens. Once this is done the lens is polished and finished to produce the final lens.

Digital lenses, however, begin life with a computer program, into which the technician inputs a wearer’s exact prescription and various size and fitting requirements. The computer then sends this information to a digital form-free generator, which then custom-cuts the prescription. A digitally surfaced lens is not limited to one side, as it is with the conventional lens form method; digitally-surfaced lenses can be cut on both sides of the lens for greater accuracy.

If you need a surfaced single vision lens due to higher powers in sphere or cylinder our digital atoroidal lens should be your first choice. Contact Allegro Optical on 01484 907090 to book your appointment.

For the Maintenance Group, providing commercial and domestic building and maintenance services  call 0333 577 8755 or visit

sally mitchell soprano

About Allegro News

Allegro Optical Opticians Scoops National New Business, Entrepreneur Of The Year Award

National New Business, Entrepreneur Of The Year Award Winners

It was a big night for us at Allegro Optical when our joint Managing Director Sheryl Doe won the National New Business, Entrepreneur Of The Year Award. The awards were presented at a gala dinner in the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in Kensington, London on Friday 29th June. The awards winners were chosen by a distinguished panel of judges including entrepreneurs and prominent leaders from business, finance, and media. These awards were developed to raise the profile of industrious, hardworking and enterprising SME’s Nationally.

Allegro Optical Opticians win Entrepreneur Of The Year win 2018

Allegro Optical are opticians with a difference, while we cater for all optical clients, both private and NHS. We also specialise in eye care for musicians and it is this which helped win the award. Sheryl said “I’m thrilled to win the award, and it is as much for Steve and the team as myself. Everyone in the business is very dedicated and it is thanks to their hard work that Allegro Optical has been so successful. We wanted to bring a change to musicians eyecare and with Allegro Optical we’re doing just that. Helping to extend a performers career.”

A Clef-er solution

They have been so successful in their specialism that they are now working with musicians from some of the major international orchestras.  Including The Dublin RTE Concert Orchestra, The Halle Orchestra, English National Ballet Philharmonic and English National Opera.  Thanks to word of mouth recommendations the team at Allegro Optical has already welcomed its 1,000th customer, just 15 months after opening in Station Street, Meltham.

Stephen Tighe is the Co-Founder and Financial Director of Allegro Optical, the leading musicians’ opticians globally. In addition to Allegro Optical, Stephen has founded three prior companies of which all have been very successful. Stephen said “ We knew there was a market for musician’s eye care but we had no idea of the demand. We really have been very lucky and the number of musicians coming to us on referral from colleagues is very encouraging.”


Service Excellence  Award

We were also runners-up for the “National New Business, Service Excellence  Award”.  Sheryl said “ Customer service is very important to us and we pride ourselves on providing everyone with first-class individual attention. These accolades come thanks to a team effort.  From Optometrists, Claire Wightman, Sara Ackroyd and Stephen Haigh. To fellow dispensing optician and Sheryl’s daughter Abigayle.  Along with support staff, Managing Director Stephen Tighe, Josie Dawson, Xanthe Doe, Jill Barrowclough, Sean Tighe and Niamh Curran. The award is a real team effort and we always acknowledge the team and we like to acknowledge all their hard work.”

Allegro Optical in Meltham is currently offering a free sight test for all during July. CALL 01484 907090 TO BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT TODAY.

About Allegro News

A clef-er solution is instrumental in helping a true craftsman

Musical Instrument Makers Hanson Instruments was founded in 1989 by Alastair Hanson with support from The Prince’s Trust.  More than twenty-five years on and still based in Marsden, Hanson Musical Instruments are recognised amongst the finest in the world with considerable international acclaim. On visiting the workshop you can often hear Alastair playing a clarinet or sax,  however, his ‘first study’ is actually in brass instruments. He has played with some of the best brass bands, in professional orchestras and as a soloist. So you can imagine how delighted we were when Alastair paid a visit to Allegro Optical Opticians, just over the hill in Meltham. Alastair had recently repaired Sheryl’s cornet and following a conversation with Steve, he felt it would be a good idea to get an eye test and some new spectacles.

In Detail

Alastair doesn’t have a particularly high prescription, but working with small instrument parts and screws can be problematic. In fact, the conversation about small screws digressed quite a bit, as Alastair and Sheryl got into quite a conversation about sourcing such small screws. It seems these two “Screw Geeks” have a shared interest. Small screws, who’d have thought, it’s just another overlap of Music and Optics! Alistair Hanson buys his glasses from Allegro Optical the musician's Optician in Meltham Being someone who is always on the go Alastair needs to be able to focus on many different distances during his working day. From crafting his beautiful instruments to looking at the computer and moving around the workshop, he needs to be able to focus clearly. For this reason, we dispensed him with our performers’ lenses as his working distances are very similar to a French Horn players. In addition to the performers’ spectacles, we dispensed a pair of single vision glasses for very close work, when inserting those all important small screws. By doing this we have given Alastair the magnification he needs for those very intricate tasks.  Allowing him to work in comfort and with confidence.

Clear vision ahead

Hansons are a small company with a big reputation for high quality, value and ethical and sustainable working practices.  In fact, they won a special award from the Forest Stewardship Council FSC. They went on to become the world’s first FSC Certified maker of woodwind instruments in 2011,  a landmark in sustainable musical instrument manufacturing. At Allegro Optical Opticians we love to work with other organisations who are as passionate as we are and share the same values. We can also vouch for the quality of their workmanship and the service is second to none. Hansons musical instruments workshop in collaboration with Allegro Optical Opticians in Meltham We contacted Alastair a few weeks after he collected his glasses and asked him about his vision now.  He said, “It’s very nice to be able to see what I’m doing when setting the smallest of screws in our flutes and our customers appreciate it too!”


Focusing at many different distances can pose a real problem for craftsmen like Alastair. Many struggle to focus clearly at varying distances they work with and with the very intricate work. In fact, many craftsmen also suffer from postural problems as a result. Dispensing the right solution for the job is important as the last thing Alastair needs is to be worrying about seeing things when he is creating a beautiful instrument.