Family-run city opticians Dipple and Conway marks 100th birthday

Robert and Barry Conway celebrate the business's century of success

Robert and Barry Conway celebrate the business's century of success - Credit: Archant

Clearly for family-run Dipple and Conway Opticians, a century of successful business is as simple as piece of cake.

Last Monday, four generations of the Conway family gathered together at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell to celebrate the big milestone.

Ninety-one-year-old Monica Tavender, daughter of co-founder Thomas Conway, was given the honour of cutting the first slice of the 100th birthday cake.

Robert Conway, senior optometrist, thanked his staff and clients at the event for their continued years of service and loyalty.

'Family members have travelled from as far as the United States and Germany to be here today, to share their memories of a century of Dipple & Conway.

'We'd like to thank everyone for coming, and especially to Monica for officially cutting our cake,' Mr Conway said.

Today, the business has practices in Norwich, Diss and Swaffham, passing down through the Conway family.

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Now overseen by cousins Ben and Matthew Conway, Dipple and Conway is regarded as one of the region's leading independent opticians, offering state of the art clinical eye-care.

The family reunion of sorts – including about 29 Conway relatives from around the world – was not the only way Dipple and Conway celebrated its anniversary.

The opticians held an archive exhibition at the Museum of Norwich last week with hundreds of artefacts found in their historic building on Castle Street.

The exhibition featured an array of eerily-realistic glass eyes, sight tests and vintage frames and sunglasses.

The exhibition also included an 'Eye Spy' tour around the museum, where children could find hidden pairs of glasses and match corresponding stickers to a trail guide.

Robert Conway found that sorting through pieces of his family's past has made him realise how important it is to remember the business's history.

'From studying the collection and understanding more about the periods from which they originate, we're able to learn a great deal about how eyewear, eye care and the business of being an optician has evolved over the years.

'These pieces really tell a fascinating story,' he said.