Most people that have been around the optical industry for a while would be very familiar with the names Ralph Clarke and Ron Banks. Having both come through the ranks of training in optical dispensing / mechanics when the first principles of optics and ophthalmic lenses were still taught, Ralph and Ron both served their apprenticeships with OPSM when it was Australian-owned before choosing to work as independent optical dispensers.
Both have been continuously registered as optical dispensers and with many decades of experience in the industry between them, Ralph and Ron have been practising their craft since a time before any of the current spectacle lens designs or materials were even invented. This gives them a unique perspective on dispensing a pair of spectacles, having learned the specifications and experienced the limitations of each multifocal lens design and every ophthalmic plastic material as they have become available to be dispensed in optical prescriptions. They are both well aware of the pitfalls that a spectacle-wearer will encounter if a frame is poorly fitted, if an inappropriate design has been chosen or if a pair of lenses is not properly positioned to best suit the wearer’s needs. Anything that Ralph Clarke and Ron Banks don’t know about optical dispensing is not worth knowing!
Ralph commenced his Ralph Clarke Optical business in Castle Hill in 1996 and has been located in Lawton House since it first opened. Ralph specialises in looking after optical prescriptions that have been put into the too-hard basket by other dispensing outlets as many of the locals in the Hills District as well as those who have come from elsewhere in Australia and overseas will attest. He has been involved in the teaching of optics at Sydney University and dispensing within the TAFE system in NSW. He has a keen interest in the visual needs of drivers and yachtsman, having been involved in motor racing and sailing for a number of years. He also specialises in assisting the selection of the most appropriate optic solution for those with exacting needs in the use of computers or in other specific work or lifestyle situations. Many of Ralph’s elderly clients in Castle Hill have benefited from his patients and his attention to detail in assisting them to get the best results from their optical prescription.
Ron joined Ralph Clarke Optical in 2003 and brought a keen eye for the technical and fashion aspects of spectacle selection to the business. With a similar history of comprehensive training in the field, Ron’s background in lens design and appropriate selection of materials, lens tinting and scratch-resistant and anti-reflective coatings have brought a wealth of knowledge to the Castle Hill operation. Ron also specialises in the needs of those who have specific requirements for work and/or hobbies in the great outdoors and is himself a highly accomplished bird watcher and fisherman.
Whatever the individual needs of the spectacle wearer, Ralph and Ron’s wealth of experience, optical know-how and individualised service is second-to-none and has made Ralph Clarke Optical an institution in Castle Hill, the Hills District and beyond.