The New Decade Awaits!

Xanthe Doe is looking forward to a new decade with 2020 Vision

Happy 2020 everyone! 2019 is over and 2020, “the year of the optician” has begun. What a year 2019 has been here at Allegro Optical. 2020 has a hard act to follow! So we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane and see what we got up to.


In 2019 we won 5 wonderful awards, but the one we’re most proud of is the dispensing optician of the year, which was awarded to co-founder Sheryl Doe and we’re hoping to pull it off a second year in a row, as she has been shortlisted for the AOP dispensing optician of the year award in 2020. But you’re probably wondering what dispensing optician of the year award is? Well, the award is given to someone who has an advanced Optical knowledge. Particularly of lens design, which they have used to utilise ways of solving solutions for patient’s needs. They also need to be dedicated to learning new techniques and promoting eye health.  Also embracing new innovations in frame design, as well supporting their colleagues. I for one feel this award was made for Sheryl. We all have our fingers and toes crossed for her.

Allegro Optical the musicians optician Sheryl winning Dispensing Optician of the Year 2019 Award for their work with Musicians eye care



We’ve helped many musicians, conductors and composers, to see the music in 2019, but one musician in particular, Scottish composer Muriel Johnstone resonates with us. Having pretty poor eyesight all her life Muriel decided to have laser surgery in 2005. But this surgery may not be suitable for some patients. Unfortunately the surgery had a detrimental effect on Muriel’s vision. 

Muriel Johnstone is arguably one of Scotlands’ most prolific composers of Scottish country dance music ever, and one of the Scottish Country Dance Society’s best-loved musicians. Born in West Hartlepool, England to Scottish parents who were both dancers, Muriel was exposed to music from a young age. Muriel studied music at Edinburgh University and went on to forge an enviable career with a vast catalogue of , compositions and .she buys her glasses at Allegro Optical Opticians

Muriel visited her usual optician in November 2018, in February and a third time in July. But she was still struggling to see the music. When her usual optician was unable to help Muriel started researching the internet. She discovered Allegro Optical. Muriel got in touch and began explaining her problem with her vision and her frustrations.  After much discussion Muriel travelled 311 miles to our location, in the heart of Saddleworth in the small village of Greenfield. 

When Muriel arrived, she received an extended eye examination with our fabulous optometrist Gemma. To resolve Muriel’s vision problems and give her clear vision across four sheets of music. Also the ability to see her audience we had to create a lens design to give her Muriel the widest possible field of view. Once fitted with her new glasses a few weeks later Muriel was delighted. She utterly surprised by the clarity that her new spectacles provided.


We opened our second practise on the 12th January 2019 and what a fantastic day it was! Lots of the lovely people of Saddleworth came down to enjoy the opening festivities. Local brass band Diggle B played for us. Helen and Philip Beckwith from Champion Brass cut the ribbon and gave a wonderful speech and Allegro Optical in Greenfield, Saddelworth was open! And what a fantastic 11 months it has been, we just want to say a massive thank you for the warm welcome. So many people have supported us and we’ve had some wonderful feedback we get from you all. We’re very excited now a new decade awaits Saddleworth and Meltham.

The team continued to grow

2019 has seen many new faces join the allegro family. In April we had Optometrist Gemma Augustine joined our team and we couldn’t imagine the team without her now. If you didn’t know Gemma is a flautist and a professional singer who has performed in iconic venues such as the Royal Festival Hall! 

Gemma Augustine Optometrist and singer Allegro Optical Meltham and Greenfield The musicians optician

Next to join the team was the lovely Dispensing Optician Claire Atkinson with a fantastic eye for fashion, Claire is the “go to” woman for frame advice. In her spare time, Claire is partial to stand-up comedy shows. She’s also a dab hand with a flugelhorn and cornet!

Claire Atkinson - Dispensing Optician, flugelhorn and cornet - The Musicians Optician Allegro Optical Specialist music glasses

Later in the year we had Podiatrist Anne Aspey join us and we were hugely surprised how many people we mutual have in friends and how many musicians she knows. 

Anne Aspey Podiatrist Allegro Optical Saddleworth

Next, we had a new Audiologist join us Mr funny man Kevin McMulkin who loves cracking jokes lame or otherwise and is most definitely life and soul of a party. 

Kevin McMulkin Audiologist Allegro Optical

Last, but by no means least, optometrist Amy Ogden join us in November and when isn’t at work she is out running and she has a running blog and she recently completed the Loch Ness marathon in memory of her Dad, and to raise money for the AMMF cancer charity. 

Now we couldn’t talk about our wonderful staff without giving one more person a mention and that is of course James Brooks who started his ABDO Optical Assistant Course this year and is doing so well he’s earned himself the new nickname MR 100% so well-done James and keep up the good work. James Brooks Clinical Support Technician - Euphonium player - The Musicians Optician Allegro Optical Specialist music glasses James, Steve and Esther Allegro Optical at Social Progress So Pro


So, it’s time to say goodbye to the brilliant 2019 and bring in 2020 which we know will be filled with many, many more fantastic times ahead. We have a vision of what the New Decade awaits Saddleworth and Meltham. Happy New Year from everyone at Allegro optical.

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