Aldreds Opticians started trading in South Elmsall in 1981.
In 1982 opened second practice in Slaithwaite.
Philippa Tyas chased me around the country until I finally gave in and she became Philippa Aldred in 1983!
She became a business partner in 1987, although she had worked as a locum optician with us since 1983.
Teresa, our receptionist at South Elmsall joined us in 1982 and apart from a year of respite we have had to put up with her all these years.
After her 12 month break, she came crawling, nay, begging us to take her back, and being the kind hearted souls we are we relented.
Elaine, our other receptionist joined us at South Elmsall in 1994. and despite her just working for the love of the job, we can’t get rid of this one either. Both Teresa and Elaine can talk the hind leg off a donkey, so you have been warned.
As regards our Slaithwaite practice, our receptionist Maureen has been with us since 1990 and despite being way, way past retiring age, likes to be where it is warm.
Linda joined us in 1997 and was a consumate job changer but is still with us.
We acquired our Ackworth practice in 2011 when Mr Skirrow retired from the then England & Hinton.
Jean our receptionist at Ackworth (who knows all our patients by sight, name, address and shoe size) was staying on for a 6 month period to help with the transition to Aldreds Opticians and is still here!
We try to maintain a friendly atmosphere in our practices and look upon our receptionists more as friends, rather than employees. We hope this spills over in our attitude towards our patients.
Philippa qualified as an optometrist in 1979 after graduating from Bradford, she also was awarded the Porter Prize from the SMC (Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers) for the best mark in the Opthalmic Drugs Examination.
From 1979 until 1983 Philippa worked in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Avon for a group practice.
In January 1982 Philippa opened her own practice just outside Bath and in 1983 moved back into Yorkshire as wedding bells were ringing!!
For a few years Philippa did additional work for the Barnsley Co-operative Opticians undertaking part time locum work. She also worked at a monthly clinic for Mr Toor at Pontefract Infirmary for a little over 12 months.
She did all of the above while keeping the wheels turning at their own practices, bringing up three children and taking care of a needy husband!!!
Last, and definitely least, I qualified as a Dispensing Optician in 1979 whilst working for Dolland & Aitchison in Leeds. I then moved to another company with better prospects, however, this did not work out as they hit financial problems and made several of their newest staff redundant, myself being one of them.
I did locum work for approximately 9 months whilst looking for a suitable site to open my own practice. Ironically, the firm who had made me redundant where my biggest employer in my locum work.
I eventually put my roots down in South Elmsall and the rest is history as they say.