Norwich Opticians celebrates 70 years

Coleman's Opticians in St Augustine's Street before the refurbishment work. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Coleman's Opticians in St Augustine's Street before the refurbishment work. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

It dates back to the sixteenth century and has - for the last 70 years - housed one of the city's most established firms, with its own unique history.

Coleman's Opticians' buildings in St Augustine's Street about 1960. Picture: SUBMITTED

Coleman's Opticians' buildings in St Augustine's Street about 1960. Picture: SUBMITTED

Now, the premises on St Augustine's Street housing Coleman Opticians is to undergo a major internal renovation.

The firm is carrying out the work to mark its anniversary this year. It was first bought by founder Lionel Coleman in 1930, but it was 15 years before he opened at optical practice.

Since then, the company has been handed down through a series of 'buy outs' by staff who have trained and worked at the shop.

Co-owner Katie Fenn, who has worked at the opticians since 2004, said: 'The front of the shop is being turned around for more space.


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'We're living in fear because it's an old building and we have to work around original beams. There is also a wall that can't be taken down - that's a huge problem.'

Mrs Fenn said: 'We'll have an area for children, more frames available for people and we're having audiology being put in so we can do hearing tests. 'It's going to be a tough few weeks but it will be brilliant when it's finished.'

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The practice's refit starts today and is expected to last the best part of a month. However, the doors will remain open during the work.

What are your memories of Coleman Opticians? Email rebecca.murphy@archant.co.uk

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