Established in the 1880’s and still providing excellent eye care and service to all our patients

Our business was started in the 1880s by Abel Wallwork on Regent Road in Salford. He was a jeweller who started to specialise in “pince-nez” spectacles. His son Douglas was one of the first trained opticians and was President of the British Optical Association, which was very involved with the start of the NHS and moving the profession forward.

In those days we traded under the name A Wallwork and Son and did so (even when it was Douglas and his son Dennis) until we changed to Wallwork Opticians in the early 1980s. We moved from Regent Road in 1972 to the new Salford Shopping Centre. We started working from Worsley Rd in the late 1970s  with both sites running for a few years, before relocating fully to Worsley Rd in 1983.

Ian Wallwork and Nick Wallwork (our two present optometrists) are the 4th and 5th generation of the family to serve our local eye care needs. Whether or not something is put in the tea in the Wallwork house we’re not sure! However, as well as the family continuing, so does the essential values and ethos of placing excellence and fairness at the core of our business for all our clients.

When sorting through some old family papers we came across this flyer that we assume would be from about 1920 (due to the ‘boast’ of being able to test at night as we had ELECTRIC LIGHT). If that date is correct then the gentlemen on the front would be Abel and Douglas.

 

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Douglas was always one for a quote and we still have one of his best hanging above reception and on our lens cloths:

“YOU CAN’T BE OPTIMISTIC IF YOU’VE GOT MISTY OPTICS”

That seems to be first used around 1930.

As well as testing eyes, the family have also had a share of educating. Both Dennis and Ian having had posts with UMIST (now University of Manchester). Nick is a part time lecturer at Liverpool University.

As a company we have always led from the front in embracing technology, investing heavily in money and time to do the best job we can. The flyer above shows what then were very radical new ways of testing eyes.

At the end of the 1960s Dennis was covered in the media showing a closed circuit television system to help people choose specs by seeing themselves with their new frames on. We now use an iPad system that lets us email images to you so you can ask friends’ opinions as well. That’s a whole lot simpler and more effective than the old reel-to-reel system of the 1970s.

In 1975 we were one of the very first opticians in the country to have a Non Contact Tonometer (a machine that puffs a short air pulse at the eye to measure the pressure). At the time there was widespread discussion in optics circles that this couldn’t become a routine part of an eye examination due to the cost etc. Now it is in almost every opticians in the country.

The late 1990’s saw us again at the forefront of things with a retinal camera, again being one of the first in the country.

In 2004 we invested in our first tomograph, the Heidelberg Retinal Tomographer, that looked as if it was going to be the new glaucoma tool, to find early change but which has now been largely superseded by OCT (Ocular Coherence Tomography).

2009 brought the OCT which we think is the most exciting tool to find its way from hospitals out to community eyecare. A complete game changer in assessment of macula conditions and very valuable in monitoring nerves in possible glaucomas.

These were all expensive items, purchased as we show our intention to always try to offer the best, leading the way not just following. Abel and Douglas would be proud that what they set in motion is still aiming high.