Xanthe is looking back on an Opticians year in Meltham

. . .What a year 2017 was for Allegro Optical Opticians in Meltham. We’re looking back

2018 is here! We’ve said goodbye to 2017 and welcomed in 2018, so it only seems fitting to look over the last year at Allegro opticians.


The start of the year saw us wind down from the festive season and beginning helping musicians’ and conductor’s again, now that they all had some time to themselves. They get very busy over the festive period. Musicians spend years developing their skills and have a real love and passion for music, which is why it is so sad when their vision starts to deteriorate. A natural process of getting older, but devastating for musicians. This is why at Allegro Optical Opticians, we focus on making sure that all musicians’ and conductors are being given the opportunity to see the music and receive the right care for their eyes just like all our other customers.


Everyone at Allegro Optical Opticians were getting ready to open our gorgeous new practice in Meltham, Holmfirth.  Steve Tigh was especially busy doing the shop fitting (so make sure you give him a thought when browsing our stock). He was happy a Larry, reverting back to his military days and making sure everything was in tip-top shape and moving forward like clockwork.

Opening day at Allegro Optical Meltham the musicians opticians


Meltham welcomed Allegro Optical with open arms, turning out for the Grand Opening on the 25th of March.  Diggle Brass Band played and the day’s events included a balloon race raffle, raffle and selfie corner with all contributions going to the Macular Society. All the staff were in attendance including Dispensing Optician, Sheryl Doe and Optometrist Stephen Haigh who has now entered a sort of semi-retirement. Steve is enjoying a period of holidaying and relaxation but still provides a clinic on a monthly basis for his stalwart fans, so get into to see him, before he hangs up his ophthalmoscope for good!


Allegro Optical reached Vienna in April with one of our balloon tags (From our opening event) being found in Greifenstein. It was found by historian Elmar Eggerer Elmar, Elmar is well known for his comprehensive study of Mediaeval English Guilds and Craft Companies as well as being a sought-after trumpet player. Elmar has since extended the hand of friendship even more and invited us to play at the Bitburg beer festival in Germany in July.  So watch this space.

Allegro Optical Musicians Opticians


In May we had a lovely lady called Fiona Mayo come in the see us with a problem we see a lot of, presbyopia. Fiona is a Cellist and she was having problems seeing the music when teaching, as she uses a shared music stand, she was also struggling when playing as sight reading was becoming a real problem due to her deteriorating vision. Now unlike most opticians, here at Allegro Optical, we had the solution and we dispensed a pair of spectacles adapted to take into account Fiona’s various working distances and seating positions. Fiona was absolutely thrilled and couldn’t help but sing our praises. The result of which has lead to many other musicians coming to see us. Thanks to Fiona Allegro Optical has now forged a firm friendship with the Harrogate Philharmonic Orchestra.

Harrogate philharmonic orchestra


Summer had arrived and it was time for the Whit Friday Brass Band competition on the 9th June, which brought new customers for our musicians’ glasses, Some from as far afield as Switzerland. Our innovative new lens designs help them to cope with the different distances required for playing and marching. I for one had never thought what I pain it must be, to only be able to read your music, but not be able to see the world around you when you’re marching. I know my Mum moaned a lot about it when I lived at home, but to be honest I never took much notice, until now. This is why at Allegro Optical we are extremely passionate about, not only making sure that our musical clients can see the music but also enjoy seeing the world around them at the same time.

Whit Friday band competitions procession


We had more change at Allegro Optical, welcoming Jill Barrowclough to our ever-growing team. Bubbly Jill came into our Meltham Practice for an eye test and some new glasses. Well, we liked her so much we gave her a job! Jill is the friendly face and happy voice who will greet you when you call. We have also found out that she has a rather artistic flare. Jill now dresses our windows fabulously and she is also a bit of a whiz with a camera!

Prescription Sunglasses from Allegro Optical with Jill and Steve


Allegro optical got a new bit of kit in the test room, and I for one was extremely excited by this. A swanky piano, now as I have explained in many of my blogs I’m not graced with the talent for instrument playing (unlike my mum, GO MUM!) But just like my Nephew Matthew, I have thoroughly enjoyed making plenty of noise with it. In addition to being great fun, it has a more important role and it’s given our pianists an opportunity to get the very best vision they can by being able to come in and show us what they need and not needing to worry about transporting a piano (which I’m told can be a challenge) into the practice.

Piano in the test room of Allegro Optical


This month Allegro Opticians helped Rhian Evans. A friend had told her that we specialised in helping musicians. Rhian is a professional Harpist and was having problems focusing when playing her Harp. After having a chat with Rhian, and seeing her sitting at her Harp. Yes the Harp came in for the consultation too. We were able to understand her specific vision issues, we dispensed a pair of adapted multifocal lenses with a compensated orientation to take into account Rhian’s working distances and head position. As with all multifocal lenses, there was a period of adaptation, but as with all things, practice makes perfect. After 2 years of wearing badly fitting frames to compensate for the specific issues, her confidence is returning and is extremely happy with her new specs.

Rhian Evans Harpist Musicians glasses Allegro Optical


We were growing again with yet another new member of our burgeoning team, Claire Wightman, Senior Optometrist. Claire has over twenty years experience working as an optometrist. Originally from  Barnsley Claire now heads the clinical team in Meltham. She brings a wealth of expertise and her passion is to deliver a high-quality eye test with a bespoke personal solution to a client’s individual eye care needs.

Claire Wightman Optometrist Allegro Optical Meltham


It was music time and Allegro Optical went off to the Sage in Gateshead for Brass in concert. The competition is held on the third weekend in November, the venue comes alive with the sound of brass. Some of the finest bands in the world compete in this brass entertainment contest. Allegro Optical took the opportunity of introducing our products and services in person.  For the first time we took our trade stand to the hundreds of bandsmen and women. It was a first for us, having invested in displays and printed material to help tell our story. We met lots of really interesting people, caught up with old friends, and made new ones. It also confirmed that our unique service is in demand and needed desperately by older presbyopic musicians. Many of whom are juggling 2 or 3 pairs of glasses unnecessarily. Trying to help themselves operate effectively when playing and performing at all different levels.

Allegro Optical Opticians at Brass in Concert in Gateshead


Now, this is my personal favourite, we had a delivery of some beautiful new stock, Walter & Herbert eyewear,  which is all made in England. They have been making and designing eyewear since  1946.  Like us, they believe in attention to detail and offering beautiful eyewear designed, manufactured and tested in England. They’ve been doing it for over 70 years, creating gorgeous eyewear that I can’t wait to get my hands on.


Looking forward

Now starting the year with a bang Allegro Optical have a cracking offer. Get a free eye test throughout January. A free second pair of glasses AND a free bottle of fizz for any purchase over £99! That is certainly a great way to see in the new year if you ask me. It almost makes me wish I’d waited to get my new specs just for the free bottle of fizz. But hey, I can always make an excuse to get another pair of specs. A girl can never have too many pairs of glasses.

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