Frank Dickinson (1906 to 1978)

 

As I sat on a bench in the St Anneís shopping centre near this blue plaque I noticed only one person who glanced at it - and he was walking too fast to digest it. Yet millions and billions of people benefit from the manís his work (Iím one of them.) He was one of the pioneers behind the contact lenses enabling people like me to avoid having plastic/metal and glass across your face.

 

He was born in Blackpool and moved down to St Anneís where he spent most of his life. Aged 33 he was on a trip to America to meet contact lens pioneers such as Obrig and Feinbloom. Here he met a fellow Brit called Keith Clifford Hall and together they were some of the first optometrists to fit contact lenses in the UK. Heís best known for the Microlens which was a smaller thinner lense that was so refined the wear doesnít know theyíre on their eyeballs. Away from eyes he was a talented artist, a church organist and a fine pianist. He was married with children and died aged 72. Iíve yet to find his grave.

 

He created the lenses and refine them many times over here in this busy square. Nowadays itís a cafe. I did a salute and left.