About Us

Our practice started in Brislington, Bristol in 1931 when G. Arthur Brock began part-time Ophthalmic Optics in addition to his work as a local pharmacist.Eventually the optical work increased and in 1939 work was transferred to the current premises at 32 Eagle Road, but confined to a back bedroom!  At the end of the war he specialised in the optical practice alone which had now taken over more of the building. NHS work increased the workload dramatically in 1948 with the introduction of ‘free’ spectacles but this only lasted until 1951 when the government introduced charges. During this time demand had outstripped supply nationally and a pair of bifocal spectacles could take up to a year to arrive!

Anthony V. Brock, son of G. Arthur, qualified in Ophthalmic Optics in London in 1953 and after two years in the army (R.A.M.C.) joined his father in practice at Brislington and in a new practice at Wells Road, Totterdown. He became a partner in 1956. The practices continued to grow and the Eagle Road practice was extended several times to accommodate an increased workload and a growing family ( living on the premises ). As a family firm Anthony’s wife Gloria helped with many tasks including decorating ! G. Arthur Brock retired in 1971. Also in 1971 contact lenses became available at Brislington, with a service provided initially by Laurence Jenkin and later Brian Mulcahy. Under threat of demolition the Totterdown Practice was closed as most of the area was flattened for redevelopment and road schemes.

In 1982 Michael R. Brock ( son of Anthony), having trained in The City of London, joined as a Qualified Dispensing Optician and also became a registered Contact Lens Optician and later a partner in the practice.  More recently he has become a Specialist Sport Vision practitioner. In 1983 Michael’s wife Sue joined the practice as a receptionist and later accounts manager ( although a qualified clarinet teacher ).Mike has retired from the partnership in 2019 but is working as a consultant part time.

A second practice was taken over at Gilda Parade, Whitchurch in 1986. Sadly in 1987 G.Arthur passed away after a happy retirement.
In 1995 with local shops in Whitchurch struggling it was decided to gradually transfer the practice at Gilda Parade to Brislington and to a new practice opened in Chew Magna, a delightful village south of Bristol, which has thrived ever since.

Anthony retired as in 1998 ( and sadly passed away in 2012) .  Michael was joined by Optometrist Mark Houlford in 1997 who subsequently became a Partner. Mark is also a Sport Vision practitioner, and a leading figure in the world of School Vision.

We are still independent, and have continued the policy of reinvestment in equipment, training and facilities and we embrace the technologies that enable us to provide the best possible eyecare now and in the future. We have increased our service to include Eyeplan and  specialities in Sport Vision and School Vision. Mark gained the diploma in Therapeutics and Prescribing in April 2022, which enables him to prescribe any drug necessary to treat eye conditions. This qualification is achieved only by a very small number of practitioners. 


Optometrist Mark Houlford
B.Sc.,D.Opt. Dip SportV, Dip SchoolV, Dip TP/IP ,

Dispensing Optician
Nicola ‘Dee’ Deacon

Our current staff:

Receptionists  Lisa, Karen,Margaret, Sara, & Diane.

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