About us

Established since 1990 in both Knutsford & Wilmslow, the Clare & Illingworth optical practices have been at the heart of both Cheshire market towns for years.

Over that time we have developed close relationships with local people, businesses and visitors to both towns.

Clare & Illingworth was launched by Derek Clare & Alyson Illingworth with the view to create a professional yet approachable optical experience for the entire family.

We pride ourselves as being friendly, approachable and yet still accessing the best the optical industry has to offer in a non-pretentious way.
We would love the opportunity to carry out a full and comprehensive eye examination for you and if spectacles are required our team of qualified Dispensing Opticians are on hand to help guide you through frame and lens choice.

Its all in the detail.
Derek & Alyson.


The ‘Clare’ in Clare & Illingworth. Derek works at our Wilmslow practice and is an Optometrist, carrying out eye examinations, fitting contact lenses and is also an accredited Diabetic Screener. Derek has a long list of patients who he has seen year after year and has built a solid medical experience as well as running two busy practices alongside his business partner Alyson Illingworth.
The ‘Illingworth’ of Clare & Illingworth. Aly is a Dispensing Optician who works at our Wilmslow practice, helping patients to choose suitable eyewear or advising on contact lens options. Patients who have seen Aly for years literally trust her to pick out the frame for them, safe in the knowledge that her keen eye for a style that suits and her experience in relevant lens choice will lead to a high quality finish every time.


Practice Management Team

Richard Clare and Alison Bradley

Richard and Alison are both qualified Dispensing Opticians.

Richard manages our Knutsford practice. As Derek’s son, he has grown up around the optics industry and has worked for Clare & Illingworth since 2003. Starting on reception and subsequently training as a Dispensing Optician, he has a good understanding of all parts of the patient journey.

Alison manages our Wilmslow practice. She has worked at C&I since 2007 and was previously part of the management team for a large multiple. She is an experienced Dispensing Optician and has spent her whole career in the optics industry.

Together, Richard and Alison work closely with both teams to ensure Clare & Illingworth remains at the forefront of local optical healthcare.

Louise Marshall – Optometrist

Louise has been with Clare & Illingworth for 17 years and seen lots of changes within the optical industry in that time. She is an experienced Optometrist and Contact lens practitioner who works between our two practices. Louise was recently part of a group of experienced Optometrists to test and give feedback on a new multifocal contact lens product from Johnson & Johnsons Acuvue range. Our patients in Wilmslow were part of the trial and her experience and their feedback was used within its launch.

Jane Laitt – Optometrist

Jane is an experienced Optometrist who has worked within the Northwest for years and gained valuable experience in small, independent companies where, like here, building long lasting relationships with patients is the norm.

Joanne Marshall -Locum Optometrist

Joanne works as a Locum Optometrist once a week in our Knutsford practice and also works on the Wirral. She sees patients for eye examinations, contact lens checks and is certified to carry out follow-up examinations for a local private healthcare companies.

Paul Manton – Locum Optometrist

Paul works between our two practices as a Locum Optometrist. He works with other Cheshire/Manchester practices and has experience with Diabetic screening and specialist contact lenses.

Anna Fawkes – Dispensing Optician FBDO

Anna has a wealth of optical knowledge after a varied career in dispensing optics. Previously based in London, Anna was part of a busy Kensington practice where, like at Clare & Illingworth, the focus was on quality eyewear options and a customer focussed dispensing style. Anna has also managed a hospital paediatric dispensing team, ensuring she has gained experience in both high street and hospital surroundings

Katy Proudman – Dispensing Optician FBDO

Katy is a qualified Dispensing Optician who works between our two practices. Before working with us she worked in a large national chain opticians and so brought with her experience of working with a range of people and eyewear options. She is predominantly based at our Knutsford practice.

Lesley Kelly

We are very pleased to say that Lesley has been with Clare & Illingworth since 1990, making her a familiar face to our Wilmslow patients, Lesley runs our Visual Fields clinic at the practice and liases closely with the Optometrists regarding this important aspect of our diagnostic work.

The Knutsford and Wilmslow Reception and Optical Assistant teams

Our dedicated reception teams organisation skills aid the smooth running of two very busy practices. They are the first point of contact for patients wishing to book examinations, order contact lenses or for general queries.

Sandy Quirk is a certified Optical Assistant who works between Knutsford and Wilmslow. Her Optical Assistant qualification allows her more of an insight into medical conditions arising from an eye examination and also to help support the Dispensing Opticians with frame selection and lens advice for patients.

Alexandra Guy (Ally for short,) is based at our Wilmslow practice and is new to the world of optics. Ally has fitted in really well with our teams and patients alike and is starting the ‘Optical Dispensing Course’ at the end of January 2020. The course will give Ally a more in-depth knowledge of the patient journey, optical lenses, eyewear and optics in general.

Cheryl Kershaw is based at our Wilmslow practice and helps with reception but also alongside Lesley Kelly in our Visual Field clinic. Her experience in Optics and specifically the Field Tests has helped our Wilmslow practice increase the availability of Visual Field appointments for our patients and hospital work.

Diane Maidment is based in our Knutsford practice and is instrumental in the running of our busy reception. Nothing phases Diane and her calm and organised manner helps keep the practice running smoothly at its busiest times. Her background in fashion also helps patients choosing from our amazing sunglasses range (if she hasn’t beat you to the top frame herself of course.)

Rachel Matthews is based at our Knutsford practice and is our Optical Assistant. Rachel helps in all areas of the patient journey with Clare & Illingworth. From reception tasks to assisting patients when choosing eyewear alongside the Dispensing Opticians. She’s quick to spot which celebrities are wearing our favourite eyewear brands too.