Rawlings opticians are celebrating 125 years since they first opened their doors in Croydon. To this day, it is still a family run business and the oldest Opticians in the country with the same family still working in the business. In 1895, Alfred John Rawling first started selling, repairing jewellery, clocks and watches and spectacles for 3 shillings (12p). His interest in spectacles led him to train as an optician, and he purchased sight-testing equipment in 1903. Alfred expanded the business over the years with his sons taking over much of the management of his branches.
In the first part of the 20th century it was common for opticians to advertise widely, and amongst other places, Alfred Rawling advertised with enamelled plates attached to the sides of the Croydon Trams.
In the 1920’s, in the Winchester store, he advertised by having a lantern outside the window, which threw an image of an eye in the centre of the road. This was forced to stop shortly afterwards as it frightened the horses going up and down the streets.
2017 saw the 80th anniversary of the Caterham Valley store, first opening in 1937.
Today, Richard Rawling, the fourth generation of the family, is the Managing Director and there are 9 branches spread across Surrey and Hampshire.
Rawlings are very proud to be reaching such a momentous anniversary and will be partying throughout 2020.
Look out for events held in your local store – Caterham Branch will be through-out March so please pop in and enter our grand prize draw, with all money raised going to Moorfields Eye Charity, who carry out research into eye diseases