Welcome To In The Frame December 2020

Goodbye Millie

It is with sadness that I must tell you that Millie has decided to retire from Jacksons. Mille has been with us for some years now since relocating from the South of England.

Previously a Personal Assistant in the City, I think Jacksons must have been a bit of a culture shock!

During her time with us she has worked as front of house, welcoming patients to the practice, as well as being responsible for our online sales of spectacle accessories.

We will all miss her greatly and wish her well as she embarks on this new chapter of life.



Changes to the practice

For those who have not visited recently, you will notice some changes when you next call. We now have a dedicated area for visual field testing and OCT scanning which gives us more flexibility when booking patients in for enhanced examinations.

Jo and Jaime have enjoyed the challenge of learning how to operate the machines and I have been freed up to have more time for scan interpretation and face to face patient contact.

We have also invested in an auto phoropter – a cunning device which sits in front of the patient’s face holding the lenses. The fact that everything is contained makes sanitization easier and I can operate it from the other side of the room. Another big plus is that it doesn’t squish your nose like a conventional trial frame!

You will find that we have slightly fewer frames on display making it  easier to keep everything clean but rest assured, we still hold hundreds of frames in stock in draws both upstairs and downstairs.

Keeping everything scrupulously clean and allowing for social distancing also means that we have had to reduce the number of appointments on offer each day. To ensure that we look after our existing patients and to cut down on the amount of paper we use sending out reminders, we have started to forward book future appointments – like what happens at many dentists and hairdressers. Rest assured we will be ringing round to remind people when they are next due in!

From my father’s pen

Having heard last time about my father’s time in Nantwich on National Service, we step back a little to look at his first days in the workplace.


Having given an outline of my years at “Chorlton  Academy for Young Hooligans”, it made me look at my early years in the business world.  A far cry then from the frantic mechanized world we now live with.

By September 1954 it was clear to me that there was no sense in staying in full time education.

We, as a family, were not exactly poor, but certainly not flush, with both my parents working full time. Being able to contribute to the family coffers and at least cover some of the costs of a growing teenager was extremely attractive.  It also meant I had something in my pocket – paper rounds and deliveries of groceries for the Co-op became a thing of the past.

I started a job search and ended up with five interviews and four job offers, such was the employment market in 1954

My choice was the insurance industry and I duly accepted an offer to join The British Engine Boiler & Electrical Insurance Company as a “Junior” in their Head Office in Manchester.  My Dad’s contribution to careers advice, when the job had been secured, was;

“Insurance, doesn’t pay that well, but there is a good pension at the end of your career”.

Paraphrased; You will always be short of cash and waiting for “Dead Men’s Shoes” for progress.

So, it was on 5th January 1955 I started work at 24, Fennel Street, Manchester, opposite Manchester Cathedral.  It introduced me to the delights of the daily journey to and from work by bus.  Normally upstairs, in a smoke filled fog from cigarette smokers –  the effects of passive smoking were unheard of in those far off days, but you could be fined £5 for spitting as tuberculosis had still not been eradicated. To sit or stand downstairs was for girls and not considered manly.

The second delight was Fennel Street itself. It was the epicenter of cheese and coffee importers in Manchester.  The aromas were wonderful.  Mid way along the street was Lancaster Avenue.  It was an alleyway between Fennel Street and Victoria Station set over two levels with numerous Merchants with their samples and storage.  It was built in elegant Victorian splendor, with iron balustrades, solid oak floors and the odd scurrying rat, some quite large.  Hence the acquired name “Cheese Alley”.

But I digress.

The “Juniors”, three of us in total, were stationed on the first floor which also housed “The Management”.  Our main task was to be “runners” at the beck and call of these “Gods” who ran the Company. To this end there was a large electrically operated box on the wall with six round openings.  When one of our masters required something, he would press his button, the box would buzz loudly, and a red disc would drop down swaying madly from side to side to indicate who we were to serve.

One of my usual duties was to fetch Mr. John Mason’s daily Romeo et Juliette cigars.  I would be given a £5 note and then hasten to the tobacconist, returning with purchase and change.  Never once did I get a tip!  not even what might win the 3 o’clock at Aintree.

I have in mind the £5 note was one of the white ones, still legal tender and in circulation, which was the size of a newspaper page.

We three were a part of the “Agency Department” and were expected to be smartly attired in a suit, white shirt, and tie.  As a gesture, we were allowed to wear a Sports Jacket and Flannels on a Saturday –  Yes, we worked Saturday until 12.30!  I would often have my sports bag with me hidden under my desk  and would go straight from work to any football fixture I was involved in that day

The company was involved in the inspection, certification and insurance of machinery and plant. Mobile Cranes of the day were British, usually manufactured by Coles; had 4 wheels and a lifting capacity of 5 Tons.  Contrast this with the present; manufactured in either Japan, South Korea, or Germany, with 36 wheels and capable of lifting 500 tonnes with outriggers.  I will return to this sometime in the future all being well.

To break the routine, we were given special tasks.  One of mine in 1955 was to gather as much information as possible from newspaper and magazine articles, on explosions affecting Vertical Cross Tube Steam Boilers following a serious accident in a Glasgow factory.  The problem was eventually attributed to corrosion in the riveted seams of the boiler.  The boiler was like a sheet of metal rolled into a can shape and sealed with riveting.   The boiler was clad with insulating material, usually blue asbestos, to retain heat and protect those in close proximity to the boiler. This cladding allowed only limited inspection of the boiler, which failed to pick up permeating stress cracks which resulted from expansion and contraction.  I had taken my first steps in learning about “engineering”.

I progressed from “Junior” to become a general clerk and over the next months started to progress through the various departments such as Lift & Crane, Engine Electrical and Boiler, all the time expanding my knowledge of my chosen profession. Then in May 1956 the next part of my adventure was upon me.  I was called to do National Service.  Having been in the Air Training Corps it was no surprise to find I was to join the Royal Air Force. I was given a rail warrant and directed to report to RAF Cardington in Bedfordshire. At least I had the comfort that my job would still be there if and when I completed the two-year stint.

But more of this hopefully in the future as I understand that some of Helen’s patients identify with events which I ramble on about.  That encourages me to continue and any feedback to Helen is always welcome.

PS: Hope you have all journeyed so far through Covid without a problem.  I always wondered what jail would be like and now I think I have had a taster!

All Fogged Up!!

 So, the other day we had a lovely lady visit the practice for her routine check-up. All was well and having bought a beautiful Coco Song frame from us last year with X Series varifocal lenses, she had no need to update.

She was still really unhappy with her vision however, as her glasses kept fogging up when she had to wear a face mask.

We suggested she tried No Fog wipes – a single use disposable lens wipe that prevents lens fogging for up to 24 hours.

She was so excited at the prospect of solving her problem that she tried one there and then in the practice. The results were remarkable – no lens fogging when she breathed out with her mask on!

We have these wipes in stock at £6.90 for a box of 24 individual wipes.

Keeping you safe in the practice

We take our patients safety very seriously. When you visit you will find that we have locked our front door and installed a bell to help control the number of people in the practice at any one time. We have an automated hand sanitizer stationed by the front door – just wave your hand under it – nothing to touch. All the staff wear appropriate PPE and if anything stays still for too long it gets wiped down! You may notice that it feels a little cooler than normal too as we are keeping doors and windows open where possible to boost ventilation – we haven’t had to break out the thermal underwear yet!

We are asking everybody to come for their appointments alone where possible but if you cannot, that’s fine. We are also booking appointments for everything so even if you just want a small adjustment or a nose pad replacing, give us a ring and we will get you booked in.

We recognize that some of our patients have health issues that make them particularly vulnerable. Please ring us if you are anxious about your visit – we may be able to arrange for you to come when there is nobody else in practice.

Road pilot  – make night driving easier

Did you know that lights at night can create reflections and glare on our glasses? These reflections and glare disturb our eyes, creating discomfort and lower visual acuity. They can come from all directions and different sources (headlights, traffic lights, streetlamps), turning the driving experience into an inconvenience more than a pleasure.

Coming into winter we are spending more time on the road in the dark. Many of us don’t feel as comfortable when driving at night. With this in mind, Essilor have created Road Pilot, a lens specifically designed to help make night driving easier. These lenses are optimised specially for driving. they help you enjoy better vision at night or in difficult weather conditions, protect your eyes from reflections and make it easier for you to shift your viewing focus – quickly and often. Road Pilot lenses are equipped with a special premium anti-reflective coating. This reduces the subjective sensation of glare – e.g. from oncoming vehicles with LED or Xenon headlights – and effectively protects your lenses from scratches and the adhesion of dirt particles.

Road Pilot comes in two different formats. The standard lens is perfect for drivers under the age of about 45, who have no problems with their near vision. Essilor Varilux Road Pilot is for those who need additional help with reading, making it easy to check the dashboard and dials. Please ask us for more information.

End of year frames sale – no this is not an optical illusion!

Over the autumn we have been busy choosing exciting new frames styles for 2021. Frames must live somewhere, and our draws are already full to the point of bursting. So, to make room for them we will be holding a frames sale between 1st -21st December.

Buy one frame save £75

Buy two frames save £160

Buy three frames save £250

This offer includes all our frames excluding the Style 99 and Finale collections and is an opportunity to bag yourself a genuine bargain. Many of us have missed out on treats and holidays throughout the year, so why not take this chance to treat yourself to an update in your eyewear wardrobe? Why not consider a more casual pair for days when you are not in the “Zoom office”? how about another pair of readers so you can leave a pair by the bed? Or a pair of Road Pilot for night driving or intermediates for computer use?

We all have more than one pair of shoes for different types of occasion but many of us expect one pair of glasses to be suitable for all occasions.

Why not treat yourself – or ask Santa to?

A different sort of Christmas

So, as I sit writing this, I know that we will all be facing a different sort of Christmas.

We normally have a house full, as my parents come to stay over the festive period and my sister and brother in law join us on Boxing day.

This year, I am not anticipating that this will happen.

Mum and I are therefore working on how we can still make it special even though it’s a bit different. The turkeys have been ordered – smaller than usual but still enough for turkey sandwiches on the 27th! I am plotting a Zoom Quiz for Boxing Day evening and a small firework display for Christmas Day  – also to be relayed by Zoom to the family. This will be a small affair, as being from Yorkshire, I have never seen the point to setting fire to money. Felix tells me that I should be able to get a box for about £20 so I have tasked him with finding such a box and put him in charge of organizing the display. We may even have music? Why not! I think anything goes this Christmas.

Poor old Felix has his birthday on 29th December ( I have always thought it a particular shame for children with Christmas birthdays) and he will be 17 this time. He is desperate to learn how to drive and cannot wait to have his first driving lesson. I am not that desperate. He is already a dreadful back seat driver – “ you could have gone then!” “you can stop indicating!” and my favorite “of course you can get through there! How wide do you think this car is?!” The thought of allowing him to get behind the wheel of my beautiful red Mini is not one I am relishing but I fear there is no escaping it either!

Support your high street… Cloughs of Nantwich

Clough’s is a family run business, established in 1952. Located on Welsh Row, the business has evolved over the years, following trends in the soft furnishings industry. They pride themselves on offering a friendly, professional service, ensuring all their soft furnishings are made to the highest standard. Whether you are looking for one blind or curtains for the whole house, they can help you every step of the way.

There window displays are always lovely and very inspirational and best of all they stock my own personal favorite – Farrow and Ball paint!

So next time you are looking to freshen up a room, why not pop down Welsh Row and look for local inspiration?

Welcome to our new patients

A special “Hello and Welcome to Jacksons” to all of you for whom this is your first copy of In the Frame.

Thank you also to those of you who have been kind enough to recommend us to their friends and family. Nothing speaks more highly of a business than a personal recommendation, so we are honored when this happens.

Merry Christmas!

So, a big Merry Christmas and a Happy Covid free New Year to all our patients!

Its going to be different but I hope that somehow you all manage to enjoy the spirit of Christmas and spend time with your friends and family – even if it is only virtually. 2020 has been challenging. Fingers crossed that 2021 will be a little easier.

Merry Christmas to you all from Helen and the team at Jacksons.