The 70-year-old optician from Bedford will see you now - meet the man whose customers have included ABBA's Bjorn

Now he's passing on his knowledge to his son - who also works at the store

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 4:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 4:54 pm

A Specsavers dispensing optician in Bedford who has been confirmed as the oldest in the company is now passing the torch on to his son - one of the youngest members of the team.

Chris Bedford, who turns 70 in August, still works three days a week at Specsavers in the Harpur Centre, and doesn’t intend to stop any time soon.

He said: "I just don’t want to sit at home watching daytime TV. I still enjoy working, and I enjoy training every so often so I want to carry on while I’m still fit and healthy and all my faculties are still there."

Chris Bedford and his son, Sam
Chris Bedford and his son, Sam

After qualifying as an optician in 1969, Chris has worked at numerous practices, including starting his own and also spent 19 years as an optician for the US military at RAF Lakenheath.

Over the years, he estimates to have dispensed over a million pairs of glasses, with some famous faces among his customers, including Bjorn Ulvaeus from ABBA and Ernie Wise.

Although he just narrowly missed out on completing the Morecambe and Wise set.

Chris said: "Eric Morecambe came in on my day off when I worked in Luton, and he was a bit of a local celebrity as well as being a national treasure so I was dying to meet him, but I just missed out."

Elizabeth Stewart, director of Specsavers Bedford, said: "The team really looks up to him, and he loves training as he is always keen to impart his knowledge, in a really nurturing way.

"He’s such a team player and he’s still very happy to adapt and has no qualms about embracing new technology and trying new things. He’s just an all-round really lovely guy and it's fantastic to have him on the team.’

One member of the team who is benefitting from his experience is Chris’ son Sam, who at 16 years old is also one of the youngest working at Specsavers.