Davis Opticians - Our History
Once upon a time ... well, over fifty years ago ... our founding partner Rod Davis bought an established independent practice in Kettering Northamptonshire when the owner retired. We were called Ashbournes then, but Rod re-christened us Rodney Davis Opticians. We started out in a small office in Gold Street, Kettering. Rod started testing in Thrapston at the Doctors surgery, and then we started our own practice, next door to the Post Office in 1979. Shortly after this we opened a branch in Rothwell High Street.
The Kettering practice moved to our present premises, Moyune House in 1974. This was a beautiful Victorian property complete with stables! We converted the latter into a lens workshop, the first optician in town with glazing facilities. Nick, Jeremy and Kim joined the firm soon afterwards, and we became Rodney Davis & Partners.
Rod also tested patients in their own homes from the very early days, a service which we still provide. We have also been closely involved in testing for the Hospital eye service.
In the early nineties we became one of the first Carl Zeiss lens centres in the county, improving the range and standard of lenses we could offer our patients. We have stayed with German manufacturers ever since and are now one of the biggest accounts for Rodenstock in the UK.
In 1997 our Kettering practice underwent a major refurbishment, trebling the dispensing area and adding a screening room. We also bought new premises for the Thrapston practice, a large Victorian house that was a Butchers shop! Shortly afterwards we refurbished Rothwell to match the style of our other branches.
In 2002 we were one of the first practices in the country to install an Optomap machine, offering our patients state of the art Retinal screening. This revolutionary technology allowed us to examine the Retina in the greatest possible detail, and store and e-mail images. We now have Retinal screening in every practice, with the next generation of Retinal cameras moving on from the Optomap.
On our forty year anniversary in 2003, we changed our name to Davis Optometrists, to reflect the fact that Rod Davis retired. He still calls in regularly to keep an eye on us! We also spread our wings a little further than Northamptonshire and opened a brand new branch in Olney, Buckinghamshire.
We extended our patient care services in 2004 with training to provide check ups for Advance Vision Care of Harley street, providing pre-surgical assessment and aftercare for Laser Surgery patients.
In response to patient requests we started opening on Saturday afternoons, initially at Kettering but due to demand we are now open at Thrapston, Olney and Market Harborough on a Saturday too. We also provide late night testing at Kettering on Thursday evenings.
In Autumn 2009 we took delivery of our Ocular Coherance Tomography camera – the OCT. We had the 9th instrument in the world! This amazing new technology enables us to examine the internal structures of the eye in 3D, in even greater detail than with our retinal cameras. It can be used for early detection of disease, in monitoring eye conditions and storing information about individual patients’ ocular health for future reference.
In 2011 we extended into Leicestershire too, acquiring Clinton-Smith Warren Optometrists in St Mary's Road Market Harborough. Peter Warren, the Optometrist owner joined forces with us, and still tests there part time. We've expanded these premises, and also have the latest generation 3D camera for this branch.
In 2015 we extended Thrapston to give us a second consulting room there, while also purchasing our newest practice in Stony Stratford Milton Keynes! This long established practice, built by Lesley Arkin, is a prefect fit for our ethos and patient care. Lesley is still working with us, continuing her practice in behavioural optometry.
We’re proud of our history and our constant evolution. Our family values and our experience give us solid foundations to work from, and the confidence to seek out the newest innovations and best care for our patients. We are proud of our status as an Independent Opticians which allows us to give unbiased advice and offer a vast product range. We love what we do and we’re looking forward to the excitement of the next fifty years!
For more information on Independent Opticians go to www.eyelovelocal.co.uk