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Glitz, Glam and Huge Knickers by Xanthe Doe

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The festive party season is in full swing and many of us are desperately searching for that perfect dress, shimmering shoes, and beguiling bags. All so we can look absolutely fabulous at the works Christmas party. Plus making sure we don’t eat too many mince pies so we can still fit into our perfect dress…thank god for shapewear underpants!

But no party look would be complete without the perfect eye make-up. This is easier said than done for spectacle wearers, who often find this tricky to get right. Cue me spending an hour going for the smoky eye look and the end result looking more like Tai Shan the panda…but that’s a whole other story.

Whilst many of us will opt for contact lenses on a big night out, others may not be able to wear them or some just prefer to keep their frames on. But there’s absolutely no reason why we should have to sacrifice those glammed up eyes because of your specs!

Here’s some quick and easy party season make-up tricks for gorgeous spectacle wearers:

Here’s some quick and easy party season make-up tricks for gorgeous spectacle wearers:

Going Bronze

Bronze, metallic eyeshadow (my favourite!) is big in the beauty world, and for spec wearers it’s an excellent colour of choice to make your eyes really stand out. Warm metallic and shimmery shades are soft and help to lighten your eye area. The Revlon Nudes palette is a great product for mixing bronze hues, allowing you to create a more intense look that contrasts with your frames.  

Load up on Liner

Eyeliner is a spec wearers’ best friend, creating that wow, stand-out party season eye make-up look. Choose a soft black kohl such as Revlon’s Colorstay Eyeliner to line your eyes along the top and bottom lashes. Keep the line thin on the inner corners. Then  thicken it up as you sweep it across and gently smudge to create that smokey-eyed look. For more intensity, use a thin black liquid liner to outline your lashes on your top lid. Always apply a couple of coats of mascara to your top lashes.

Xanthe winter fashion

 Glamorous Glitter

If you really want real impact, glitter eyeshadow is always guaranteed to make your eyes stand out in your frames. It’s also the perfect festive party season make-up look, and is really easy to create. Whatever shade of shimmer you choose to enhance your eyes, make sure you apply a cream eyeshadow base first before adding the glitter. This helps to keep it in place.

Use a slightly damp brush to apply the glitter, dabbing on bit by bit and using gentle pressure to help it set. Use a touch of Vaseline on a piece of tissue to wipe away any excess glitter.

Xanthe goes glitter

Boost your Brows

Spectacles naturally draw attention to your brows, so make sure yours are well groomed and enhanced to make the right impact. Pluck or trim any stray hairs and use a brow defining product such as Benefit’s Browzings Eyebrow Shaping Kit to fill in any sparse spots. Sweep a light dusting of shimmer powder underneath to define your brow bone and lift your eye area.

Xanthe's brows

 And don’t forget…

  • Since you can’t apply make-up wearing your glasses, use a magnifying mirror to help you see better.
  • Curl your top lashes so they flick upwards and don’t hit your lenses.
  • The thicker your frames, the thicker your eyeliner needs to be to make your eyes stand out.
  • The colour of your eyeshadow shouldn’t compete with the colour of your frames.
  • A good rule of thumb I use when picking eyeshadow colours is to avoid picking colours, you’d find opposite on a colour wheel and swabbing them together on the back of your hand to see if they blend nicely together.

When did you last have an eye examination? If you’re overdue an eye examination why not book one today! Call Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham call 01484 907090

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About Allegro Music News

A spectacular Clarinet and Baritone Duo thanks to Specialist Musicians Glasses

Specialist musicians glasses help a very musical couple

In this blog we look at how Specialist musicians glasses have helped a very talented musical couple. It’s no secret that at Allegro Optical we love music. Music and Optics are our two great passions, and we love meeting people who share our passion. Especially when we get to see them year on year. We take such pleasure in helping fellow musicians, from all walks of life, to continue doing what they love. Making music!  Making music is a wonderful thing and something that many couples love to share. Vivienne and Brian Murphy are no exception to this. Vivienne plays the clarinet and saxophone, while Brian’s instruments are the baritone horn, valved trombone and piano. While Brian has played the piano and baritone horn for some time, he had only recently taken up the valved trombone. The couple began making music together after they had retired and it’s a pastime they thoroughly enjoy. Mastering a new instrument is one thing. However, it is even more difficult when seeing the music on the stand is problematic. 

Understanding the problem

Vivienne and Brian first visited Allegro Optical opticians last year, having heard about our specialism with musicians. Vivienne is an experienced varifocal wearer.  While they were fine for everyday visual tasks, they didn’t provide a good enough field of view when she was playing. Following a comprehensive eye examination, our Optometrist, who has some experience of playing the Saxophone herself, completely understood Vivienne’s predicament and was able to find a prescription to solve her focusing problems. Vivienne then consulted Dispensing Optician Sheryl. Sheryl suggested a pair of varifocal lenses and a pair of specialist musicians glasses for music making. In some cases such as this many optical retailers will try dispensing an occupational lens for musicians. That still wouldn’t address the distances and field width Vivienne needed. Specialist musicians glasses a Godsend for musicians Vivian and Brian Murphy thanks to the musicians optician Allegro Optical DIspensing Optician of the year

The solutions

Sheryl created a completely individual lens design to enable Vivienne to see her music clearly, while still seeing the conductor. The lens design took into account the position of Vivienne’s music stand, her seating positing and the position of her conductor. Creating a clear view at all these distances. Without any of the distortion like that experienced in a varifocal or occupational lens.   While Vivienne was with Sheryl Brian also had an eye examination. Brian also wears varifocals, although he never makes music in them. Having had some neck problems in the past Brian prefered to use single vision lenses when playing his baritone horn. However, that meant that he couldn’t see the conductor very well. Just like Vivienne, we found the perfect prescription for Brian’s working distances. Sheryl created a completely individual lens design to enable him to see his music and the conductor. 

Annual Check

Jump forward twelve months and Brian and Vivienne returned to Allegro Optical for an annual check. It was so nice to catch up and hear about what they are playing and how they are getting along. As musicians ourselves we like to hear what pieces people are working on about any concerts which they may have coming up. While we were chatting we asked Brian and Vivienne how they liked their music glasses. Vivienne said: “These glasses have helped me a lot with my music. I now no longer misread the notes as I did when using my varifocal’s. So they have improved my standard of play.  I also was surprised to find that they are really useful when I use my computer.” Brian added; ” I am very pleased with these glasses.  They are particularly effective when I have to share a music stand in band practice.” Specialist musicians glasses a Godsend for musicians Vivian and Brian Murphy thanks to the musicians optician Allegro Optical DIspensing Optician of the year

Why Allegro Optical?

We are an independent family run business and we are gaining an international reputation for professional excellence and an inventive approach to solving our clients vision problems. Now known internationally as the ‘Musicians Opticians’ as we are attracting many clients from across Europe and further a field. Thanks to our groundbreaking work in the field of performers eye care Allegro Optical have become the first and only opticians to gain registration with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM). We treat each and every client as an individual simply because they are. No two performers are the same, so why should their vision correction be? At Allegro Optical we enjoy creating unique lenses to meet performers individual needs. As musicians and performers ourselves we can ask the right questions and interpret the answers accordingly.

Award-winning eye-care

Allegro Optical has been so successful in helping performers that this year alone we have scooped no less than five national and regional awards. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Year‘ at a gala event in London. Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the 2019 ‘Dispensing Optician of the Year‘ and she has been shortlisted for the AOP Dispensing Optician of the year 2020. During March Allegro Optical was awarded the ‘Scale-Up Business of the Year‘ at the regional finals of the Federation of Small Business awards in York and went on to receive the FSB Chairman’s award at the national finals in May. Finally winning the FBU Yorkshire family business of the year. Allegro Optical’s unique optical solution and our cutting edge approach to dispensing has led to the group being named finalists in the Huddersfield Examiners Business Awards in the Innovation and Enterprise category. The company has been featured in many national publications including The Times 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman and Music Teacher Magazine. Are you are a musician who is struggling with their vision? Is making music is no longer the enjoyable experience it once was? If so call us at either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090.
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May to November, by Saddleworth Dispensing Optician Claire Atkinson

My 1 st 6 months as Saddleworth’s resident dispensing optician

I had been working for my previous employer for 7 years when Sheryl approached me with an exciting new proposition of resident dispensing optician in Saddleworth. In fact that very same week I’d had a conversation with my family about how much easier life would be if I worked closer to home. The 20 mile commute over the moors was taking it’s toll and it certainly wasn’t pleasant in the winter months.

Claire Atkinson - Dispensing Optician Musicians Optician Greenfield Uppermill SaddleworthWe had worked together previously (Optics is a very small world) which made our initial chat about the role far less nerve wracking than a formal interview. I soon came to realise that that’s how things are done at Allegro. There is a
familiar, friendly feel in both premises which makes for a relaxed environment for staff and patients alike.
Let’s face it, when considering a new job we have to weigh up the pros and cons and I’m pleased to say that there were far more pros! I already knew 3 members of staff from previous employment, I only had a 5 minute commute, I
liked the ethos of the business and I was excited to be a part of something new.

Working in a new business

In the back of my mind there were thoughts of ‘It’s a new business, will it be successful in this economic climate’ ‘will my job be secure for years to come.’ I needn’t have worried – The Meltham practice was going from strength-to-strength and it’s now clear that the lovely people of Saddleworth and the surrounding areas were keen to see what we’re all about.

Allegro Optical Greenfield Claire James and Sheryl

I have really enjoyed getting to know my new colleagues and patients and it’s been interesting to see the new ranges of spectacle frames ( getting excited about new frame ranges is an occupational hazard!) I am proud to say that I
work for Allegro and I look forward to seeing where Sheryl and Steve will take the business – and of course how many more awards will be won! It makes such a difference to your well-being to go to work with a spring in your step so here’s to another 6 months and beyond!
Claire Atkinson

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A very specific problem for a Trombonist who just wanted to see the music

Graham just wanted to see the music

At Allegro Optical we love helping musicians to see the music and we relish a challenge.  Trombonist Graham Palmer from Wiltshire laid down a very specific challenge for us. Graham told us that he was noticing that the staves on his sheet music were merging into each other. For non musical readers, a stave is a set of five horizontal lines and four spaces used in Western musical notation to represent a different musical pitch. 

Sight reading had become very problematic for Graham as trying to distinguish which line he should be playing was almost impossible. As musicians, we usually enjoy playing a new piece, but this was far from a treat for Graham.

The problem

Graham is presbyopic and mildly astigmatic was wearing the following prescription bifocals;

RE -0.25/-0.75 x 180  Add +2.25

LE 0.00 / -1.25 x 45    Add +2.25  

With single vision glasses for music made up to;

RE +1.00/-0.75 x 180  Add +2.25

LE  +1.25/ -1.25 x 45   

While Graham’s bifocals were fine, unfortunately the music glasses just weren’t working for him. Having found a change in axis in the right eye Optometrist Gemma carried out a fixation disparity test. This was to detect any diplopia, also known as double vision at distance. She also used the Mallett unit to detect any near point convergence issues. None were detected. However when concentrating on the printed music on the stand Graham struggled to maintain the union of the visual axes and fairly quickly used up his fusional reserves. Resulting in the appearance of overlapping staves. To alleviate this problem, Gemma prescribed some vertical prism, helping  Graham to maintain his fixation when reading his music.

The solution

When dispensing lenses for musicians, I always bear in mind that they will be required to look through a central location in the lens to achieve the corrective power required for a particular working distance. This was a challenge for Graham. Because the need for a prismatic element in the lens meant that a conventional lens was out of the question. Graham needs to move his eyes to read his music. He can’t move his head due to the nature of his instrument and the restrictions of his mouthpiece.

The danger of dispensing a conventional lens is that the further off centre the wearer looks, the greater the image displacement. When the wearer looks down from the centre of a “plus” lens, Base Up prismatic effect is induced and the image appears to move downwards. However, when the wearer looks down from the centre of a “minus”, Base Down prismatic effect is induced and the image appears to shift upwards.  This is what was happening when Graham was playing, causing him to experience the focusing problems and partial double vision. 

For this reason I dispensed Graham with a pair of digital freeform lenses. Specifically for music stand distance, incorporating a prismatic element. Graham found the new lenses to be better than the previous pair. He does still have to move his head a little, but his vision is much improved and he can enjoy making music again.  

Trombonist Graham Palmer buys his specialist musicians glasses from Allegro Optical the musicians optician

The verdict

I heard from Graham a few weeks after he had received his new glasses and he said; “Simply put without Optical Allegro I would have had to stop playing. Two pairs of music glasses from a well known high street optician did not help. I was left  feeling as if the end of my playing had arrived I contacted Optical Allegro. The difference was enormous!  Nothing was too much trouble and they went that extra mile for me. Thank you Sheryl and all your staff for being so friendly, supportive and caring to both myself and my wife”. 

Why do musicians come to Allegro Optical?

An independent family run business we are gaining an international reputation for professional excellence and an inventive approach to meeting customer needs.

Now known internationally as the ‘Musicians Opticians’ we are attracting many clients from across Europe and further a field. Our groundbreaking work with performers, players and conductors has resulted in Allegro Optical becoming the first and only opticians to gain registration with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).  

We treat each client as an individual and it is true that no two musicians are the same. So why should their vision correction be? We enjoy creating unique lenses to meet a musician’s particular needs. As musicians ourselves we can ask the right questions and interpret the answers accordingly.

Award-winning eye-care

So successful has Allegro Optical been in helping performers that this year alone we have scooped no less than five national and regional awards. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Year‘ at a gala event in London. Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the 2019 ‘Dispensing Optician of the Year‘. During March Allegro Optical was awarded the  ‘Scale-Up Business of the Year‘ at the regional finals of the Federation of Small Business awards in York and went on to receive the FSB Chairman’s award at the national finals in May. Finally winning the FBU Yorkshire family business of the year.

The company has been featured in many national publications including The Times 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman and Music Teacher Magazine.

Are you are a musician who is struggling with their vision? Is making music is no longer the enjoyable experience it once was? If so call us at either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090.

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Student Digs by James Brooks from Saddleworth – My lens lab tour

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting the lens lab where a lot of the magic happens! 

Did you know that here at Allegro Optical, every single lens is made using state of the art, cutting edge technology? I certainly didn’t realise how high tech this process was until I visited the lab and saw for myself.

In my job, it really is essential that I have a strong understanding of how each type of lens is designed and produced. This is why I had no hesitation whatsoever when asked if I wanted to go and see the lab in person and have a thorough look around. Let me tell you, it was everything I wanted it to be and much, much more! 

Putting faces to names

We started off in the Customer Service centre and I was able to put a face to the voices I talk to on the phone every day. Then we went down to the main lab where the lenses are made. I was really taken aback by not only the sheer quality of the equipment, but the amount of it. It really is incredible the amount of work that goes into making our lenses. I found myself surrounded by millions of pounds worth of machinery. Each machine programmed to do a specific job to the absolute optimum. 

Surely a lens is just a bit of plastic?!

I was able to see for myself how creating such high quality lenses falls into two categories. Lens generation and lens production. Lens generation is carried out using software that calculates the complex curves required for the individual lens designs. Today’s complex lenses are designed not only to the prescription requirements, but also the individual viewing habits of the user.

James Brooks from the musicians optician in the lab

We watched as the lens designer used computer software to create a pair of lenses especially for one of our clients. The design process takes into consideration not only the prescription, but the position-of-wear, frame shape and

 fit, the clients facial features and lifestyle. Once the design stage was completed it was uploaded to drive the lens generator to manufacture the lenses.

A real learning curve

Lens surface curves are generated at thousands of points on the lens surface irrespective of the lens material surfaced. So accurate are today’s lens generators that they can produce a near finished quality lens surface. Although the surface of the lens is still polished prior to glazing. We were able to watch this part of the lens journey and I was amazed at the speed of this process.

Once polished the lenses are cleaned then they are quality checked. This is a rigorous process which checks the lenses for numerous different things. From prescription accuracy right through to light transmission. Once the technicians in quality control are happy the lenses are sent for glazing.

Double glazing

Eventually I was prized away from the expensive toys. We headed back upstairs to where the finished lenses are cut to shape. I watched as the lenses were aligned and blocked, (mounted on a special holder) ready for cutting. 

Once cut the lenses were fitted perfectly into our clients frame. But the process didn’t finish there. Again the lenses are cleaned and the final spectacles are quality checked numerous times before heading off to packaging and dispatch on their journey back to our practice.

Lens quality matters

Like everything else I knew that lenses are available in varying levels of quality. Just like iphones lenses differ in their offering. A basic mobile phone will allow the user to make and receive phone calls and send texts. But a new generation smart phone enables the user to make videos, control their central heating and home security to name but a few functions. Lenses are very similar, a basic stock lens allows clear vision through the centre of the lenses. They are relatively cheap but do present some peripheral distortion, particularly noticeable when overtaking or looking off centre. Today’s digital, freeform lenses provide clear high definition vision at all points of the lenses and in all directions. Many clients comment on the clarity and their new HD vision.

At Allegro Optical absolute perfection is our aim. As I’m sure you can tell, from the second you walk through the door and during your eye examination. From selecting your new glasses through to the individual measurements taken and our excellent aftercare. This is why I am so very proud of our lab and all the staff working alongside us in store. We work as a team to give all our clients a high quality, bespoke pair of spectacles. Ones that will not only work great but look great too!

Experience award winning eyecare for yourself

To book your appointment with the quick and lively team at Allegro Optical call  Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham 01484 907090 and experience award winning eye care for yourself.

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Earwax removal and Microsuction by Ken Pearce

Earwax removal and Microsuction

We work in partnership with Amplifon to provide an extensive hearing care service, which includes earwax removal and microsuction. Everybody has earwax and it is common for it to build up over time, making it difficult to hear properly. Earwax can be easily removed and in some cases it can need to be cleared regularly. A build up of ear wax not only causes a reduction in hearing, it can affect the performance of existing hearing aids.

Don’t just take our word for it

In this blog our longstanding client and great friend Ken Pearce talks about his experience during a microsuction appointment with Kevin in Greenfield. Ken Pearce of The BDC MArketing Group buys his glasses and hearing aids from Allegro Optical opticians in Greenfield and Meltham

I have narrow ear canals so had ear syringing many times over the years.
Previously I was able to go to my GP’s but now it requires a referral to the local hospital.
Intrigued, I have researched the topic of ear drum clearing and it seems the safest procedure is Microsuction. I’ve had Microsuction performed several times but had to travel quite a distance to find a fully qualified reliable practitioner.

I was already a client of Allegro Optical (that’s another blog…) and trusted them. So I  was happy to try out their Microsuction service. That’s when I met Kevin, he was very friendly and professional. He readily put me at ease, which I believe would have been the same had I not had the procedure before.

Kevin introduced me to a new device which is a thin funnel that fits in the ear to protect the ear canal during the procedure, it also seems to limit the noise during the Microsuction. He then ensured that I could hold my head at a comfortable angle during his work. At no time did I feel any discomfort, pain or that there was a time constraint, as he said “It’s only done when it’s properly done and I’m happy your ear drums are completely clear”. Thank you and well done Kevin and Allegro for engaging such a great practitioner!”

Now see hear

Our experienced hearing care practitioners provide a quick, simple and professional microsuction wax removal service for just £50. The team can also test your hearing for free and they have access to a wide range of hearing aids. They will help you choose your perfect hearing aid, taking into consideration your hearing, lifestyle and budget.

The journey to better hearing is easy;

  • FREE expert hearing test
  • 60 day money back guarantee
  • FREE hearing aid trial
  • Flexible payment options
  • FREE lifetime aftercare

For more information or to book your free hearing test, hearing aid trial or microsuction call;

Greenfield, Saddleworth on 01457 353100

Meltham, Holmfirth on 01484 907090

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Now Peter really is Mr Bass Man thanks to his specialist musicians glasses

EEb Bass Player Peter plays in Mono

It’s always nice to catch up with a musical friend and EEb Bass player Peter Minshull from Cheshire has become just that. Having visited Allegro Optical in the past and being one of our early clients purchasing a pair of specialist musicians glasses. It was lovely to see him again when he visited us for his yearly check.

During the eye examination it became apparent that Peter had had a hyperopic shift. Meaning he had become a little more long sighted. Peter had felt that his vision had changed and mentioned that reading music on his stand was becoming more problematic even with his specialist musicians glasses.

Peter is a retired Civil Engineer and since retiring has returned to music making and now plays for several ensembles including;

Winterley Methodist Brass Band

Sandbach U3A Band 

Alsager Light Orchestra

This means that no two working distances are ever the same as the rehearsal rooms and so set up differs. Because of this we had to try to give Peter as good a range of vision as possible.Alsager Light Orchestra Alsager Light Orchestra. Photo courtesy of Geoff Reader

It’s not always better in stereo

Peter who is presbyopic, also has a strong right eye dominance, the tendency to prefer visual input from one eye to the other. This is a bit of a challenge for an EEb Bass player. The large bell of the instrument partially obscures his field of view. This  means he has to read the music with his non dominant eye. This can present as his right eye was dominating his vision and his brain was processing the right image by preference. We resolved this by suppressing Peter’s dominance. Preventing the right eye from disturbing his vision of the music on the stand. 

Ocular dominance issues solved at Allegro Optical Opticians in MelthamWe dispensed a monocular solution which allowed Peter a clear view of the conductor. In his right lens we also gave him a little notation field to the bottom of the lens. While in the left we concentrated on giving the widest field at music stand distance. Both lenses are fully personalised freeform lenses, manufactured using the latest digital ray-path technology, to maximise visual performance.

Seeing the music

Peter collected his new glasses a couple of weeks later, (while his wife Keri was having her eye test). We had experimented with Peter’s problem and had dispensed a mono-vision solution. So, we all held our breaths when Peter tried them on. Would he like the new monocular solution? What if he experienced double vision? Would he lose his depth of field? These were some of the questions we asked ourselves during the dispense and production process. I know we were all thinking that when he first put them on!

Peter Minshull EEb Bass player buys his specialist musicians glasses from ALlegro Optical the musicians optician

Seeing is believing

Thankfully Peter adapted really quickly. After an initial adjustment period to his new prescription, his vision seemed to settle very quickly. All our musicians lenses come with a full guarantee, just like all varifocals. If it isn’t perfect the first time, we will change the design until it is.

Peter was back at the practice a couple of weeks later when his wife came to collect her new glasses. While there he commented on the wide field of view he has of the music on his stand. We asked him how he was getting along with his new glasses and he said; I was becoming increasingly frustrated by High Street opticians who could only offer what they called ‘work’ glasses (intermediate/long distance varifocals) which did not work for reading music and seeing the conductor clearly.  When I met Sheryl at the Blackpool area band contest it was a ‘no-brainer’. To go to an optician who not only understood the problems musicians have, but are very capable of solving these problems. My latest glasses work very well – when I first started using them it was obvious that I was using my left eye to read the music, rather than my right eye which I had previously. However, having used them for a little while now I have become accustomed to them. I now don’t notice which I eye I am using. All I notice is that the music is always in focus no matter what size of the print.

Why Allegro?

Making music requires the ability to read music, often very quickly and at many different distances. This can present a musician with real problems, particularly if their instrument obscures their visual field. As a result of this, some musicians go on to develop postural problems because of their compromised visual clarity.

As musicians ourselves we have an understanding of the playing and seating positions of professional musicians. Thanks to very knowledgeable team of optical professionals, of which many are musical. We are ideally placed to resolve these issues and many more with our unique specialist musicians lenses.  Once we have restored visual clarity and the optical disorders corrected the musicians working and playing life can easily be improved.

A family business

As an independent family run business we are gaining an international reputation for professional excellence. Our inventive approach helps us to meet customer needs. Now known internationally as the ‘Musicians Opticians’ we are attracting many clients from across Europe and further a field. Our groundbreaking work with performers, players and conductors has resulted in Allegro Optical becoming the first and only opticians to gain registration with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).

We treat each client as an individual because they are. It is true that no two musicians are the same, so why should their vision correction be? We enjoy creating unique lenses to meet a musician’s particular needs. As musicians ourselves we can ask the right questions and interpret the answers accordingly. Dispensing specialist musicians glasses means musicians can continue to play and enjoy making the music they love.

Award-winning eye-care

So successful has Allegro Optical been in helping performers that this year alone we have scooped no less than five national and regional awards. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Yearat a gala event in London. Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the 2019Dispensing Optician of the Yearand she has been shortlisted for the AOP Dispensing Optician of the year 2020.

During March Allegro Optical was awarded theScale-Up Business of the Yearat the regional finals of the Federation of Small Business awards in York and went on to receive the FSB Chairman’s award at the national finals in May. Finally winning the FBU Yorkshire family business of the year. Allegro Optical’s unique optical solution and our cutting edge approach to dispensing has led to the group being named finalists in the Huddersfield Examiners Business Awards in the Innovation and Enterprise category.

The company has been featured in many national publications including The Times 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman and Music Teacher Magazine.

Are you are a musician who is struggling with their vision? Is making music is no longer the enjoyable experience it once was? Would you benefit from a pair of Specialist musicians glasses. If so call us at either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090.

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From Capetown to Yorkshire – South African Eyewear designer, David Green comes to Meltham Optician

South African Eyewear designer, David Green comes to Meltham Optician

The weather in Yorkshire in October is best described as a mixed bag. So we were delighted that the rain held off long enough for us to  welcome entrepreneurial eyewear designer, David Green, to our Meltham practice last month.

David Green eyewear at Allegro OpticalDavid, who lives in Capetown, South Africa, is one of the industry’s eyewear designers who is leading the way in his commitment to green technology and environmental sustainability. With a range of unique, bespoke handmade frames featuring natural materials such as leaves, petals, cork, reeds and mother of pearl, the collection is as individual as its wearers.

Bringing nature to a walkers paradise

Walkers come from all over the country to enjoy the surrounding hills and spectacular views. So what better place to stock a completely natural range of eyewear. With inspiration drawn from the from forests to oceans of South Africa, the shapes and colours are both vibrant and natural. One only has to walk around our surrounding countryside to appreciate nature and the natural world. We feel that David Green eyewear echoes this and blends perfectly with our beautiful neighbourhood.

For those who regularly read our blogs, you will know how passionate we are about the environment. We love sustainable eyewear and David Green eyewear just ticks all the boxes. Using natural foliage and vegetable dyes to provide vivid colours, all materials used are encased in natural cotton based acetates. While metal components are certified to contain no harmful substances.

David Green eyewear from Allegro Optical opticians in Saddleworth and Meltham

Meltham may not provide the warm and lush climate David is used to. But the vibrant colours certainly bring a feeling sunshine and fun. David Green eyewear is ideal for ladies and gentlemen who want an update and are passionate about their environment, and the world they live in. Protecting our planet and environment is something which is gaining great importance and this beautiful eyewear collection reflects this.

Guitarist Rod Gooch - David Green eyewear

David Green Awake Matt Black with leaf detail

Gemma’s walk on the wild side

While with us David kept us all entertained. He regaled us with many hints and tips about his fabulous eyewear collection. About life in South Africa, and his travels around the world. He also shared his love of music. In particular his passion for the guitar ash he chatted with Mr Gooch, one of our musical clients. We think you’ll agree that Mr Gooch looks fantastic in his new David Green Awake frame with it’s stunning leaf detailing.

David Green eyewear from Allegro Optical opticians in Saddleworth and Meltham

For more information on the David Green Eyewear collection. To view the collection call either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090 or email us on info@allegrooptical.co.uk

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Meet the Team: Amy Ogden – Resident Optometrist, Meltham

Amy Ogden Optometrist

We’d like to introduce Amy, she’s just joined the team

Thanks to continued growth our team is growing and we would like to introduce Amy Ogden, Meltham’s new resident Optometrist. Our team members are what make us special and we like to help you, our readers, get to know them better.  We sat down with Amy to find out what makes her tick. Over a cuppa we talked about her love of music making, marathon running and the importance of eye-care and optometry.  

What first attracted you to a career in optometry?

For me, where the love for optometry began was; I had a period in my late teens where I was quite poorly, and was in the hospital a lot (I’m fit as a fiddle now). Once recovered, I too wanted to help people. The problem was, the idea of spending more time in the hospital or GP surgery, well, it wasn’t very appealing to my 18 year old self.  Due to my health at the time, I had to attend my local Optometrists quite regularly. I began to pick their brains on the path of study, optometry. Asking about the real world and where my degree (should I study optometry) could take me. Within 4 weeks, I had carried out work experience and gained a part time job as an Optical Assistant; within 8 weeks I had applied to university to study Optometry. I continued this work at the weekends throughout university up until 3 year. By then I needed the extra time for study.

Where did you study?

The University of Manchester 

Why did you decide to apply for a job at Allegro Optical?

I started to play the flute when I was 6 years old. I was told originally my hands were too small. However, I was so determined that I didn’t want to play any other instrument, they let me try anyway. My grandpa gave me my own flute when I was 9. He played the recorder but he discovered that the skill to play the two instruments was not easily transferable.  Then I was given the redundant flute (which I still have). I decided to try my hand at the piano when I started secondary school. Also guitar when I started GCSE music, to give me a wider range of musical understanding.  However, the flute has and always will be my passion. I stopped playing when I was pregnant with my little girl who is now one. But I started to play bits and bats again about 5 months ago. About the same time I saw an advertisement for an Optometrist vacancy at Allegro. My two passions combined, and so close to home, it seemed like a sign (and too good to be true). I did my research, read up everything I could about Allegro. About the amazing, innovative work they do. I thought I just had to be a part of the team, luckily for me, they felt the same!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

As I’ve said already, I enjoy helping people and to me that means ensuring best patient care; that has taken me both into high street practice and more recently into the domiciliary sector. I enjoy the puzzle when a patient comes in with a problem. It’s my job to find a solution, or to see to it that plans are set in motion so that a solution may be found. The solution may be prescribing glasses, exercises or it may be an onward referral to an Orthoptist or to an Ophthalmologist. Whatever the outcome, I have to ensure my care is patient centred and their best interests are looked after. I also enjoy the wide variation my job brings. As the public make up the bulk of my day, no day is the same. I love meeting new people and finding out about their lives. I’ve met some truly fabulous people during my working hours.

What are your career plans for the future?

I am very interested in the clinical side of optometry. My main focus at the moment is to undertake my independent prescribing qualification. Optometry is changing all of the time, something I find extremely exciting. Another reason why I am so passionate about it. My main aim is to keep up with these clinical advancements to ensure I can always give the best care to my patients.

 What do you do in your spare time?

As I’ve mentioned above I have a one year old daughter, who keeps me very busy. When I don’t have my Optometrist hat on, that being said I do like to have some “ me time “. I like to play my flute, I am shocked at how much I seemed to have forgotten in the short time.  Currently I am re-teaching myself, with help from my sister-in-law, who is a grade 8 flute master and puts me on the right track when I need advice. I am a runner and I have a running blog (which I had to make as I was driving family and friends mad with run talk). I completed the Loch Ness marathon in October in memory of my Dad, and raised money for the AMMF cancer charity. I’ve a number of races booked for next year, including Loch Ness again (it was amazing for any runners out there), and try to get out as much as I can. I also try to squeeze a non running activity like swimming or climbing in as I love to be on the go. I love to cook, and spend hours looking through recipe books planning the weekly meals ahead. We are all massive “Foodies” in our household, so family meal time has become a huge thing. We also love eating out (who doesn’t), breakfast, lunch or tea, we aren’t fussy!

Family Values

At Allegro Optical we always put family first and are passionate about our Allegro family. Allegro Optical recently won the Yorkshire and Humber Family Business of the Year Award. If you and your family would like to experience award winning family eye care call Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090 and book your appointment today.
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About Allegro Music News

Double trouble for a musical duo – A couples search for specialist musicians glasses

A tale of a musical couple search for specialist musicians glasses – by Stephen Tighe

It’s not unusual forthe musician’s opticianto book an instrumentalist in for an eye test. It is less frequent that we book those appointments in pairs. However musical couples are quite a thing, our own directors are a musical pairing. So when Conductor and Tuba player Marcus Jones and his partner, Louise Crane rang to book an appointment together, the team weren’t phased.

In time, but one at a time

The couple visited our practice in Greenfield Saddleworth, with Louise being the first in the “big chair.”  Louise complained of some eye strain with her current glasses, she felt it was time to seek a new prescription. As a musician with a moderate hyperopia prescription and a high oblique astigmatism, Louise immediately presented us with a challenge. Louise also has a minor strabismus and was investigated for Brown’s Syndrome as a child. We knew that peripheral distortion was going to be a problem for Louise, so we needed to overcome this. 

Being relatively young, Louise retains a good amount of accommodation, but her near vision is quite unbalanced. For this reason, unusually, we prescribed Louise with uneven add’s. We dispensed Louise with specialist musicians glasses with lenses from our turba range, as she still has relatively low adds. We did however want to balance her vision as best we could to make playing, conducting and life in general as easy as possible. The higher add was given for her left and less accommodative eye. While we have kept the addition to a minimum for the dominant right eye. 

Ashton Riley

Louise chose two beautiful frames from the Ashton Riley range, beautiful frames designed in the UK by Brett Waugh and named after his son. These easy to wear frames feature interesting but wearable shapes, which are complemented by acetate colours with depth and detail. Louise chose the Manchester and York models providing her with two very different styles for different occasions. Both frames dress up or down and are extremely flattering to Louise’s face shape. 

Ashton Riley York from Allegro Optical Opticians Ashton Riley – York 

Ashton Riley Manchester Black Matte from Allegro Optical Opticians Ashton Riley – Manchester

When asked about her new glasses Louise, who conducts the Middleton youth band and plays soprano cornet for the main band, said; “I’m loving my musicians glasses! I was a bit skeptical at first having always had a single vision lens. But the Allegro team took the time to carefully tailor my new prescription and lenses really well. The eye strain and headaches I was experiencing have completely gone and I can now see fine print and music much more clearly, highly recommended.”

Louise Crane and Marcus Jones buy their specialist musicians glasses at Allegro Optical the musicians optician

A second sitting

Next in the chair was Marcus, current Music Director of Dove Holes Brass Band and talented Tuba player. Marcus is mildly short sighted and can see the music on his stand fairly well without his glasses. However taking specs on and off during rehearsals isn’t very practical. Like Louise we dispensed Marcus with two pairs of specialist musicians glasses. Both with Turba lenses to help with transitioning between the two working distances. 

Marcus wanted a frame that fitted well with a wide eye size. Opting for our 2-4-1 offer Marcus chose the Jaguar 33098 in both blue and charcoal.

When he collected his new glasses Marcus commented on how comfortable they were in comparison to his old tight fitting spectacles. In fact Marcus went on to say; I’d recommend Allegro Optical Ltd to all glasses wearers musicians or not, their care and understanding goes above and beyond.”  Thank you Marcus.

Why Allegro?

This case study illustrates how frustrating vision problems can be for the musician. Focusing at the many different distances can be very problematic. As was illustrated in both Louise and Marcus’s case, many musicians find they struggle with the varying focal distances required. Some musicians even suffer from postural problems, which are often caused by their deteriorating vision as they try to compensate for this reduced visual acuity.

With an understanding of the playing and seating positions of professional musicians, this can be overcome and the musicians working and playing life can easily be improved.  Many Musicians who experience vision problems are unaware that there is a solution to their vision problems and soldier on. Thanks to Allegro Optical there is no need to suffer in silence.

A family Business

As an independent family run specialist business, Allegro Optical is gaining an international reputation. Both for professional excellence and an inventive approach to meeting customer needs. Becoming known internationally as the ‘Musicians Opticians’ the team are attracting many clients from across Europe and further a field. It’s our groundbreaking work with performers, players and conductors which has resulted in Allegro Optical becoming the first and only opticians to gain registration with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).  

We firmly believe in treating each client as an individual and it is true that no two musicians are the same. Even if they come in pairs! On that note we ask our usual question.  Why should all musicians vision correction be the same? We enjoy creating unique lenses to meet a musician’s particular needs. As musicians ourselves we can ask the right questions and interpret the answers accordingly. Marcus and Louise have been delighted with their specialist musicians glasses and now recommend us to all their friends.

Award-winning eye-care

So successful has Allegro Optical been in helping performers that this year alone we have scooped no less than five national and regional awards. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Yearat a gala event in London. Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the 2019 ‘Dispensing Optician of the Year‘. During March Allegro Optical was awarded the  Scale-Up Business of the Year at the regional finals of the Federation of Small Business awards in York and went on to receive the FSB Chairman’s award at the national finals in May. Finally winning the FBU Yorkshire family business of the year.

The company has been featured in many national publications including The Times 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman and Music Teacher Magazine.

Are you are a musician who is struggling with their vision? Is making music is no longer the enjoyable experience it once was? If so call us at either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090.