About-Us

At Bush the Opticians Ltd you will be looked after by Optometrist Vivian Bush and his experienced team. Since 1865 there have been five generations of the Bush family testing eyes and making spectacles in Hull.

Vivian has recently been joined in the practices by Optometrist Paul Forte. Paul commenced his career in optics as a dispensing optician, gained a higher qualification in contact lens practice and went on to qualify as an optometrist in 2007. His special interests are in contact lenses and children’s eye care. He is the father of young twin boys.

Over all of that time what has never changed is the high level of care and attention to detail. The ethos has always been to provide accurate ‘sight testing’ and good quality, comfortable vision correction. It is the common thread which runs through the years and into today’s world of sophisticated optical technology.

Eyecare must be thorough to ensure the visual system, and you generally, are in good health – the eyes say much about what is happening in the body. All spectacles are all completed to our uncompromising standards in our own laboratory.

Our contact lenses must not put sight at risk and we regularly monitor your visual welfare.

Family history:
Vivian Bush qualified in Optometry in 1981, after obtaining his degree at the City University, London, and post graduate training both in private practice and at the world renowned Moorfields Eye Hospital Department of Contact Lenses.

His career brought him back to Hull where he joined his father and grandfather, 3 generations working together, an interesting mix of experience and new ideas.

His special interests are the prevention of eye disease, patient information communication and contact lenses. He represents the profession nationally in the Association of Optometrists, and is a former chairman of the East Yorkshire Local Optical Committee.

That is the body which develops new schemes to provide community based eyecare for conditions such as red-eye, glaucoma and diabetes.

The first of the five generations to test eyesight and make spectacles in Hull was Herman Busche (1830-1888). He was born a Prussian citizen, now northern Germany and Poland, and left there to work in Ireland in 1850. For the next three years he apprenticed himself to a leading Dublin jeweler, before sailing the Atlantic to learn about the ‘States’.

Herman Bush (he anglicized the surname) had a keen scientific mind and was always searching for ways of improving processes and developing new inventions. He worked for the fledgling ‘American Optical co., in Stamford, Mass. But, by the late 1850’s decided to return to Europe. It is worth noting that whilst the ships were full of people heading west to seek a new life in America, they were also filled with thousands who looked, learned and retraced their passage.

We do not know why he established himself in Hull although, interestingly, he had used a Hull firm of solicitors, Whitworth & co., in the 1850’s to file his patent applications. Herman Bush’s first business address was in Great Myton Passage, now the town end of Hessle Road. From those premises he rapidly became know as an expert jeweler and goldsmith as well as having a special interest in timepieces. He was friendly with Thomas Harrison’s grandson and wrote in ‘the Horologist’ journal about the famous chronometers Harrison perfected.

Back in those days the skills of opticians arose from being able to work at precision level with perfectly ground circular glass, such as was also used in watches, and the spectacle frame materials of which gold has always been one of the very best.

Herman Bush was a craftsman of the first order with a passionate interest in the science of materials. He spoke French and English fluently, as well as his native tongue, German, and wrote prolifically to the major journals of the day.

The next generation was Joseph Bush (1867 – 1933) whose earlier career combined the jewellery and optical business interests of his father.

The role of opticians, by this time, was becoming more recognized and Joseph chose to qualify as a Fellow of the British Optical Association, one of our professions first recognized qualifications.
Joseph was a keen worker with gold, and was able to handmake spectacle frames. He tested eyesight and dispensed spectacles at 125 Hessle Road, where Smith and Nephew are now.

Herman Bush (1905 – 1988) chose to qualify in optics and opened his own premises at 568 Hessle Road, the area known as Dairycoates. By the 1930’s, having survived the depression years, he had a reputation for his skills in ‘eye examination’ as well as making fine spectacles at ‘Bush’s sight testing rooms’.

He had a special interest in engineering and could see that opticians needed more sophisticated equipment than was typically being used. As a result, by the 1960’s Herman Bush had built up a successful manufacturing business which supplied opticians both in the UK and worldwide.

He developed and continuously improved spectacle lens measuring devices, microscopes for examining eyes, and semi-automated eye-testing methods.

Sydney Bush is the fourth generation, and began his career in medicine but switched into optics and joined his father during the early days of the NHS. He embraced the new method of making and fitting corneal contact lenses in the 1950’s.

Over the years since he has been a keen innovator, developing spectacle lenses, and for the last 20 years immersing himself in the field of vitamin C and nutritional medicine.