A FAMILY-RUN business which has helped to improve the eyesight of tens of thousands of Hartlepool residents is celebrating its 30th anniversary next week.
Maggie and Mick Timlin say the years have passed with the blink of an eye since setting up their firm, Timlin Optometrists, in Church Square, Hartlepool, on December 4, 1984.
They started the business from scratch without a single customer, but word of their popularity and professionalism soon spread and they have built up a client base of about 30,000.
They range from babies and toddlers up to a lady who is 103.
Maggie, 55, said: “The years have just flown past, I can’t quite believe it’s 30 years.
“We both still find it very interesting even after all this time, and we both really enjoy it.
“We help people from a lot of different age groups and meet some lovely people.”
She added: “We’ve never regretted our choice of career and we’re really proud that we have achieved 30 years.”
Maggie, who grew up in Keswick, and Mick, who attended English Martyrs School and grew up in Hartlepool, met while studying optometry at Aston University, in Birmingham.
The pair married in 1983, before setting up the practice the following year.
They have three children, Helen, 29, a bibliographic profiler, Chris, 27, who is studying a masters degree in design, and Richard, 25, who is following in his parents’ footsteps.
Maggie, who has also worked alongside the University Hospital of Hartlepool specialising in children’s vision for the last 28 years, said: “We just gradually built it up over the years.
“It’s been a lovely journey.”
The Timlins have also supported Hartlepool Blind Welfare Association carrying out regular fundraising for the group based in Avenue Road.