01366 382118


Downham Market's longest established independent opticians

Claire Parker

Claire qualified as an Optometrist from the University of Manchester in 2001 after initially following a career as a radiographer. She trained and gained a wealth of experience with various multiple and independent opticians, before joining the family business in 2005.

For Claire it really is a family affair, being the third generation of Optometrists within the family, following on from both her mother and father and previously her grandfather. On her father’s retirement in 2011 Claire took over the running of the business exactly 30 years after her father had initially taken it on; firstly as Parker and Leach Opticians, but more recently as Parker Optometrists. She is now the sole owner.

Claire always wanted to work as a caring healthcare professional and to finally be at the helm of the family business is a dream come true. “I get particular pleasure from seeing patients that may have been seen in the past by my father or mother and to be able to provide a continuation of their eye care right up to the present day”.

Claire is married to Matthew and they have a son, Joshua. They enjoy travelling and walking their dogs together in their spare time.

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Tim Briscoe

Tim is a fully qualified Dispensing Optician with over 30 years experience in the optical business. After graduating from Anglia Ruskin University he opened his own practice, Lakenheath Opticians, in partnership with an Optometrist. At the same time, he started Briscoe & Briscoe Opticians Nursing and Residential Homes Domiciliary Services. He has also worked at Clacton Medical Eye Centre and at Frinton Medical Eye Centre, as well as running the eye care services for two prisons.

Tim’s roles have involved working with both Ophthalmologists and Optometrists. These professional positions have given him a deep knowledge and understanding of the different eye conditions, spectacle frames and lenses available today. Tim has a keen interest in fashionable spectacle frames and staff training.

He is a member of the Macular Society, which helps keep him up to date with the latest advances in treatment and assistance. Tim also has extensive experience with patients who suffer from dementia and is a ‘Dementia Friend’.

Tim is happily married to Jeanette and they have three children and one grandchild. In his spare time, he enjoys relaxing with his family and participating in most sports including tennis, football, rugby and golf. He is a keen London Wasps fan. He has also had the honour of being Captain of The Royal Hospital School Golf Club.



Mervyn Graver

Mervyn, a Downham Market native, has been with Parker Optometrists in one way or another for over 35 years.

He initially trained as a glazing technician making spectacles for Downham Optical and has steadily become an extremely expert technician who is now responsible for the production of all our high quality eyewear. He works closely with our lens suppliers such as Nikon and Essilor, to ensure we have the most up to date, state-of-the-art lenses.

He is also an experienced optical assistant, helping people to choose suitable spectacles and performing adjustments, he qualified as an Optical Clinical Assistant in 2003.

When not producing spectacles, Mervyn is a passionate Norwich City supporter and season ticket holder, but we won’t hold that against him!


Joanne Hewitt

Jo was a patient with Parkers before she joined the team as receptionist in 2009; therefore she knows our practice from both sides of the desk and has trusted us with her eye care long before she had to!

Jo is local to Downham Market and is familiar to a good number of our patients and her friendly manner puts all who come through the door at their ease. There are not many people Jo doesn’t know in the town!

Prior to joining us Jo worked at a local primary school whilst also performing admin duties at a pet supplier, so she is living proof that it is possible to work with children and animals!

When relaxing, Jo enjoys watching motorcycle racing with her husband Graham. She has two grown-up children.



Wendy Fox

Wendy joins Parker Optometrists with many years of optical experience, mainly in frame sales and product development. She began her career in the 1980’s with Dollond & Aitchison and joins our team as an Optical Assistant with her vast wealth of knowledge of spectacle frames and lenses.

Wendy loves spending time with customers and will always make you feel welcome!

Wendy spends her spare time silversmithing and walking her four-legged children Bo, Diddley & Bossdog.

Ruth Fletcher

Ruth joins Parker Optometrists with many years of optical experience, working as an Optical Assistant. She enjoys helping customers choose their new spectacles and is highly knowledgable on lens advice and technology.

In her spare time, Ruth likes to spend time with her partner and daughter. Her hobbies include gardening, walking and swimming. She loves to feed the hedgehogs who visit her garden at night!

Emily Bruce

Emily joined Parker Optometrists in 2020 having worked in health care, including at Addenbrookes Hospital and a local GP surgery. She has a keen eye for fashion and is a bright & bubbly team member. Emily will always give customers a very warm welcome!

In her spare time, Emily enjoys spending time with her boyfriend Jordan and her pet cat, Humbug.