Thankyou to our Headline Sponsors above

John Malcolm Hockney 1948 to 2024 RIP 

John Malcolm Hockney 1948 to 2024 RIP 

We learned yesterday of the passing of an old and dear friend John M Hockney. John was one of a number of highly respected manufacturing opticians in the UK in the 70’s.

Starting his career in the spectacle frame business in London like so many, his talents at running business soon came to the fore when he opened a small unit for lens glazing in Histon Cambridgeshire. Through long hours and dedication to his customers this business like those to follow grew exponentially and once expansion at Histon became impossible through lack of space John moved to Bar Hill, a new village in Cambs. Henceforth the company was known as Cambridge Optical Ltd.

This purpose-built building was filled with state-of-the-art glazing machinery and to us seemed a huge leap of faith. But with John’s guidance the building was later doubled in size and the new entity was opened with a large celebration for all John’s customers and his friends by no less than Eric Morecambe, the UK’s favourite comedian.

John had a large personality and was constantly filling the old print magazines with PR and stories about Cambridge Optical. Some began to consider a better name for one leading journal in the 80’s might be “The Hockney Press!”

John’s success was in understanding what the public wanted in frame design as well as quality lens production and it was also the care he took in each and every one of his optical customers.

John was Chair of the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians for 2 years and played a large role in its many committees when the lens manufacturers paid for TV advertising on eyecare issues.

He also will be remembered for creating some of the largest stands at Optrafair run by the FMO when in one year he brought the BBC’s “The Clothes Show ” with Jeff Banks and a catwalk in the mid 80’s. Another of John’s innovation that we now take for granted.

I personally am very grateful for his assistance in helping me on the ladder of ownership of my first practice in Newmarket after working for a major chain. His help and encouragement continued until I myself owned 10 practices and a manufacturing and wholesale company.

Like all great men John had many friends in charge of very large companies and it was he who introduced me to this circle of friends who later nominated me to join the Livery of Spectacle Makers.

We will miss the laugh and the Hockney smile. RIP John

Bob Hutchinson Editor