It's the family firm celebrating 100 years on the High Street.

One of the oldest opticians in the country, Rawlings Opticians can trace its beginnings back even further than 1923 when it first opened in Winchester

Also boasting branches in Chandler's Ford and Hedge End among ten locations, the retailer goes as far back as 1895 when Alfred John Rawling opened his first shop in Croydon. 

As well as selling and repairing jewellery, clocks and watches, early sales also included spectacles.

In 1903, AJ Rawling became one of the earliest opticians in the country to qualify. His five children were all involved with the business, four sons qualifying as ophthalmic opticians and a daughter as the book keeper. 

An early advertisement in 1920s Winchester saw a lantern project an image of an eye into the centre of the road, but it had to be stopped as it frightened horses going up and down the street. 

Daily Echo: A historic picture of Rawlings Opticians, which is celebrating 100 years in Winchester

Four of Alfred’s grandchildren followed in the family footsteps qualifying as Optometrists and continuing to run the business.

Of the fourth generation, Richard Rawling is now Managing Director of the company alongside the other Directors David Barker, Claire Shipway, Rachael Smith, Tim Shipway, Deborah Blanc, Sara Shipway and Simon Callaghan. 

Over the years, Rawlings has built a strong reputation and currently looks after the eyecare of around 10,000 people a year.

Daily Echo: Model in glasses

Last year, hearing care was launched in addition to the firm's optical service.

The business, now renamed Rawlings Opticians & Hearing Care, continues to provide a professional service for eye examinations, contact lenses and dispensing spectacles, as well as now for hearing devices.

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On Friday afternoon, the Winchester branch, in the High Street, hosted a centenary celebration event where staff enjoyed cheese, wine, nibbles and cake with patients and passers by to celebrate turning 100.

Daily Echo: Eye close-up

One of the oldest businesses in the historic city, the celebrations will also include a performance from Blue Apple Theatre singers and a visit from the Mayor of Winchester Cllr Angela Clear. 

A raffle, with prizes from businesses including Jeremy France Jewellers, Rick Stein's and Piecaramba, and guess the name of the bear competition will fundraiser for Blue Apple, which uses theatre to transform lives.