Our family firm was founded on 16th May, 1929 in Farnborough by two cousins, Stanley White and Reginald Brown. Expansion followed early in the 1930’s, with new practices opening up in Fleet and Luton. Reginald passed away in 1949 and despite serious illness Stanley managed to keep the business going until his son, Keith, qualified in 1952 and after his national service joined the company full time taking over the Hampshire branches.
Following his father’s death In 1960, Keith White followed in his father’s footsteps and moved back to Luton and opened a fourth practice in partnership with Viv Dunington. Located in Houghton Regis, it soon gained contracts to test the staff of local factories, including Vauxhall, SKF, Renault Trucks and AWD. This industrial work is still carried out today by the grandson of the founder, principal optometrist Martin White who joined the company full time in 1986.
The Brown and White practice in Hook, Hampshire was acquired in February 1999 from Gill McAllister who had originally worked for Brown and White for 10 years in Farnborough and Fleet. So when she decided to sell her practice due to extra family commitments , it was a natural conclusion that she should approach a firm that shared her belief in individual eyecare.
Martin and his qualified staff are determined to maintain the ideals of the founders Stanley White and Reginald Brown – a commitment to providing excellence in all aspects of eyecare and to offering every patient an individual and friendly service.
It was with much sadness that Martin decided to close the practice in Farnborough at the end of March 2007. However this has allowed more investment in the thriving Fleet and Hook practices in Hampshire.
Our 85th Anniversary celebrations in 2014 were a great hit, can’t wait until the 90th!
The Kempston practice is the newest addition to Brown and White. This practice was started by Kazim Asaria and his friend late in 2013 and it soon became clear that running an independent practice was not so easy to do. I was approached in 2014 to see if I would be interested in taking over the practice and by the time the legal work was done it was already 2015! Kazim is still providing his excellent service at Kempston, but does not now need to worry about the administration and legal aspects of running the practice. In March 2015 we also amalgamated with Valerie Curtis Opticians in Kempston. Valerie and her staff have moved down the road into our Saxon Centre premises, were she continues to provide care to her patients as part of the Brown and White Group.
In January 2017 we welcomed Akil Kanani and his team into the Luton Practice. Elcott Opticians had been operating in Luton for about 20 years, with Akil in charge for the last 10. His ethos and values matched our own and we decided that we would be stronger together. So we have amalgamated our teams in the Luton store and look forward to continuing to provide an excellent service for all our clients, new and old.