About Us


I J Brown’s Opticians Helping Dorset People See Clearer For Over 130 Years!

I J Brown Opticians was established in Weymouth in 1882 and is one of the oldest independent ophthalmic opticians in the UK. The firm has 4 practices in South Dorset and is run by Partners, Alun Beaven and Paul Wallis. They are totally dedicated to providing their patients and the local community with the best professional eye care available.

Partners Alun Beaven and Paul Wallis both agree:

“ Our philosophy when it comes to our patients is simple – we are here to offer the very best professional eye care. As conscientious, independent and local opticians, we take time to listen to your concerns and requirements before making any recommendations for your eye care and if necessary, your eye wear. Utilising the latest technology and by providing a level of care to match, our aim is to always provide you with an excellent service, offering you total peace of mind and satisfaction. We are fortunate to have many loyal patients, staff and suppliers, and we would like to personally thank them for their continued support… we look forward to providing eye care to the people of Dorset for many more years to come! ”

Founder-Mr-I-J-Brown

Founder Mr I.J. Brown

 

History

The firm was first established as a jewellers and goldsmiths in 1882 by Isaac Jackson Brown at 2 St Thomas Street Weymouth. In 1895 Isaac Jackson Brown became one of the original Members of the British Optical Association and in 1898 he opened the first private sight-testing room. In 1909 the firm started to make spectacles. His son Alexander Jackson Brown joined the firm in 1914 after completing two years training in London and becoming qualified by the Examination of the British Optical Association. When his father retired in 1934 Alexander took over the business and branches were opened in Swanage in 1938 and Bridport in 1954. In 1952 his sons John and Norman joined him and took over the firm on his retirement in 1966. In 1990 I J Brown merged with the Paul Wallis Practice in Dorchester, making I J Brown Partnership the largest independent opticians in Dorset. John Jackson Brown retired in 1992, Norman Jackson Brown retired in 1995.
1887

1887

1920

1920

Landmarks of I.J.Brown Opticians

1882 Firm established by Issac Jackson Brown initially as a jewellers and goldsmiths at 2 St Thomas Street Weymouth.

1885 Isaac Jackson Brown became one of the original Members of the British Optical Association

1898 The first private sight-testing room opened

1909 I J Brown started to make spectacles.

1914 Alexander Jackson Brown, Isaac Jackson Brown’s son, joined the firm after completing two years training in London and becoming qualified by the Examination of the British Optical Association.

1934 Isaac Jackson Brown retired and his son Alexander took over the business

1938 I J Brown Opticians opened in Swanage

1953 John & Norman Brown joined the family business

1954 I J Brown Opticians opened in Bridport (29 Barrack Street)

1966 John & Norman Jackson Brown took over the business following the retirement of their father

1978 Alun Beaven, an Honours Graduate of Aston University, joined I J Brown in Bridport and Weymouth.

1982 Bridport Practice moved from Barrack Street to The Old Post Office, 29 West Street

1990 I J Brown merged with Paul Wallis Practice in Dorchester, making the firm the largest independent opticians in Dorset. Paul Wallis, an Honours Graduate of City University, joined the Practice.

1992 John Jackson Brown Retired

1995 Norman Jackson Brown Retired. Alun Beaven & Paul Wallis took over the running of the Practice

1999 Bridport Practice moved to 7 West Street Bridport

2001 After 119 years in the same premises in Weymouth, I J Brown Opticians relocated just up the road to our current larger premises at 6-7 St Thomas Street

 

Now

The Practice is run by two partners, Alun Beaven and Paul Wallis.

The firm employs 25 staff, many of whom have been with the Practice for well over 10 years, and some as long as over 20 years. Working alongside the Partners are Ophthalmic opticians Alan Cooper, Sharon Laney-Davies, Jay Sawdy and Trudi Loud who are all qualified in modern techniques of eye examination and sight testing.

We supply a huge range of vision aids from fashion frames and special spectacle lenses, to contact lenses and special aids for people with severe sight problems or eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. If you require spectacles or contact lenses, these need to be fitted with care and attention to ensure optimum vision and comfort. Our qualified Dispensing Opticians, George Davidson, Nadine Blackmore, Beverley Alner, Gillian Perry, Elizabeth Peters and Dispensing Assistant Jane Thorpe are specialists in spectacle fitting and will give you expert advice on frame and lens selection.

The firm has retained the in-house glazing laboratory which was first started in 1919 to produce spectacles and modify lenses. This is based in the Weymouth practice and services all four practices. It is here that our qualified optical technician, Elaine Matthews creates, among other things, the eyeglass lenses according to your prescriptions and fits them into your chosen frames.

Each of our four practices are designed and fitted with two consulting rooms, with ground floor access and with every facility to provide a high level of professional eye care. This includes modern screening tests for glaucoma and many other ocular conditions. Each practice is able to offer Digital photography which involves taking pictures of the back of the eye, which assists in recognizing eye disease at very early stages.

 

Alan-Beaven

Alun Beaven, an Honours Graduate of Aston University, joined I J Brown Opticians in 1979.

Paul-Wallis

Paul Wallis, an Honours Graduate of City University took over his father’s practice in Dorchester and became part of I J Brown Opticians in 1990.

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