Retro: Living life through a lens

Daybell and Choo Opticians 2
Daybell and Choo Opticians 2
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Take a seat and then tell me how many letters of the top line of this story you can read!

You’ve probably guessed that our weekly look at professions has this week reached the world of opticians - a job that most of us will have come into contact with at some stage during our lives.

Marilyn Waldron checks a customers eyes at Parkhurst Opticians in Goldthorpe. She has returned to work to help her husbands farming business survive.

Marilyn Waldron checks a customers eyes at Parkhurst Opticians in Goldthorpe. She has returned to work to help her husbands farming business survive.

It is one of those visits, like doctors and dentists, that is a necessary chore every now and again throughout our days.

For many, the first encounter with an eye test will have been at school, searching for numbers hidden in pictures of hundreds of coloured dots.

Of course, back then, we probably had little idea what was being tested - but by the time the eye test chart with the rows of letters of varying sizes came out, there was no getting away from whether you had a duff set of peepers or not - you could either read them or you couldn’t.

And then, there are the red and green colour tests - picking out black shapes against coloured backgrounds and deciding which is brightest - and then worrying if you are giving the correct answer when they both appear pretty much the same.

Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson at Specsavers, Pinstone Street for their Specsavers Drive Safe Road Showpictured with  Louise Bromley and  Louise Meadows.

Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson at Specsavers, Pinstone Street for their Specsavers Drive Safe Road Showpictured with Louise Bromley and Louise Meadows.

There’s the unpleasantness of the glaucoma test to endure too - a small puff of air, blasted right into the eye by machine. No matter how many times it happens or how many times you’ve had it done, you’ll always recoil in the chair in discomfort, dabbing at your watering eyes.

Of course, the most fun part, if you can call it fun, is when the optician wields those oversized glasses that are used to determine your prescription.

Plonked on your nose, a variety of lenses will be dropped in, flicked around, swapped about and finely tuned and tweaked with until you can quite clearly recite “X C H G J” without stuttering or read a passage from a laminated card containing a few literary verses in minute print.

By the end of it, you are pretty befuddled by which lens was best, the first or second, and again, sit there thinking whether you’re giving the right answers or not.

FACTORY FOCUS,LAWRENCE JENKINSON,OPTICIANS'Left, Optometrist Jenny Grange tests a clients eyes.

FACTORY FOCUS,LAWRENCE JENKINSON,OPTICIANS'Left, Optometrist Jenny Grange tests a clients eyes.

Of course, joking aside, opticians play a vital role in preserving the nation’s eye health and giving us the gift of good eyesight in a job that has changed little over the years.

One thing is for certain, there’s many of you reading this now who wouldn’t have been able to, if it weren’t for expertise of an optician.