I can still smell the foxgloves.
Grandpa would walk me around the garden telling me the names of the flowers and, come the autumn, we would pick apples for Grandma Miriam to stew.
Sidney was the craftsman of the two brothers. Percy was the marketing man. Nestled away at the side of the house was Sidney’s workshop. The tools were hung neatly out of reach from small hands. This was where the magic happened.
As a four year old, I did not appreciate how skilled he was but, looking back, I remember a beautiful set of dominoes that Sidney had fashioned. Even the walnut dining table, with its curved legs, was hand-made by Sidney.
Some of the Kirk Brothers’ optical innovations changed the face of optics.
The Facifit nose-pad was the first adjustable bridge. Imagine a time when, if a frame did not fit your nose, it could not be fitted but you had to try a completely new frame.
The Kirslide allowed frames to be tailored to the individual customer and to measure the position of the centre of the prescription.
These inventions seem so simple to us now but they helped the optical profession make huge progress in the 1920’s.