13 May 2020

Brian Harvey FCOptom: 1928-2020

We are saddened to report the recent death of Brian Harvey FCOptom, retired optometrist of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Brian was born in 1928. At 16, he worked in the workshop of his father’s optical practice, George T Harvey’s of Saville Row, Newcastle, established in 1927. He did his National Service in Egypt in the RAMC, working in the spectacle depot from 1946 -1949.

He studied Ophthalmic Optics at Northampton Polytechnic, London,1949 -1952, one of 50 students on the first 3-year course, which became the BSc in Optometry. Here he met his future wife, Joan Holliss, a fellow optical student. They married in 1954, taking over the family practice, after his father’s death that year, which they ran together until 1991, when Stuart Henderson continued it under the name of G T Harvey & Partners.    

As a young post-war practitioner, Brian was passionate about raising the status of the profession and establishing a proper code of conduct. He was Secretary of the BOA North Eastern Society from 1955-62 and Chair from 1973-75. In 1963-4, he was Chair of the Northumberland and Durham AOP and was Chair of the Local Optical Committee from 1974 for many years, also co-ordinating refresher courses in the region. He was a member of the AOP General Council from 1968 -1981 and a BOA Councillor from 1976-1980. Actively involved in the creation of the British College of Ophthalmic Opticians, he served on the Council from 1982 for a few years.  Brian continued to attend local optical meetings until his late 80s. He and Joan became members of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, enjoying all the Livery Company offers.

The long-lasting friendships forged during their College years were very important to Brian and he relished the lively reunions of “The First of the Thirds”! He is survived by Joan, his children Clare, Anne, Tim, Catherine and Sarah, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He will be greatly missed.