Our James talks about life at Brighouse & Rastrick

Q: Hi James, What is your current role here at Allegro Optical?

A: My current role with Allegro Optical is as an Assistant Optical Manager. As we are a business that is growing rapidly, I find myself turning my hand to many different aspects of the business. I am really enjoying learning the ins and outs of our new optical laboratory and being more hands-on with all the different lenses we use. I am also taking on the role of social media manager, which means I will be involved in a few different projects. It won’t be boring, that’s for sure!

Q: It was recently announced that you have joined the world-famous Brighouse & Rastrick Band. How long have you been there now and how are you finding it?

A: I’ve been playing with the band now since April this year and was offered the seat permanently in May. I joined the band at a really busy time; we’ve had two CD recordings, shows every weekend all over the UK, and not to mention “The Greatest Free Show on Earth,” Whit Friday, but I’ve loved it so far!

Q: You mentioned Whit Friday. That must have been some experience donning the famous purple tunic?

A: It really was. I used to really enjoy Whit Friday with the Oldham (Lees) Band. We always did well and got some great results, but doing it with B&R was just on another level. People stopping in the street to take pictures of us and treating us like celebrities was a bit surreal, but it also kind of gives you a mental boost to play well. The March up to the Greenfield contest was something special and one I won’t forget. Particularly as my Allegro Optical family were all there to watch!

Q: How have you found balancing working at Allegro Optical with banding and also your home life?

A: I’ll be completely honest, so far it’s been absolutely fine. I expected it to be a nightmare, but thankfully, working for Allegro Optical, I have the most understanding and accommodating employers you could get as a bandsman. I must also mention Kayleigh, my partner, who has been amazing and equally understanding. I do feel guilty leaving her at home with the kids and the dog, while I toddle off for the day to do a gig in the back end of nowhere, but she is amazing and hasn’t moaned once!

Q: So what is coming up for you and the band?

A: As we continue to tour the UK and Europe, there are many things in store. We have a concert coming up in Snape Maltings which is going to be a cracker, as well as trips to the Isle of Man, Switzerland and Italy. We also have the British Open coming up. I’ll be working with Professor David King for the first time which I’m excited about. Next year the band will be doing a tour in the USA which should be great.

People often ask, “What’s the connection with music and glasses at Allegro Optical?” How would you explain it?

We are an independent family-run company with an international reputation for professional excellence and an inventive approach to meeting customer needs. Allegro Optical is known internationally as the ‘Musicians Opticians’ and we are attracting clients from across Europe and beyond. With our groundbreaking work in performing arts visual health care, Allegro Optical became the first and only opticians to gain registration with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).

No two musicians are alike, so why should their vision correction be the same? The lenses we create for musicians are designed to meet their unique needs. As musicians ourselves, we are ideally placed to understand a performer’s situation because we all play.

Allegro Optical has been so successful in helping performers that we have won many national and regional awards. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Year‘ 2019. In the same year Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the ‘Dispensing Optician of the Year‘ an achievement repeated in 2021 by another Allegro Optical Dispensing Optician Kim Walker.

Q: That all sounds great! We look forward to hearing all about it and thank you for taking the time to talk to us!

A: Thank you! It’s my pleasure. 

Many musicians and performers are struggling with their vision. Often,   making music no longer the enjoyable experience it once was? If this is you  call us at Greenfield on 01457 353100, Marsden 01484 768888 or Meltham on 01484 907090.