This year I’ve set my heart on getting a new pair of spectacles. I’ve been thinking about it for some time now. Thinking, thinking, thinking. And now, I know exactly what I want……sort of! I know that I want something hand crafted and well made. A durable, timeless pair that are a bit special. I don’t care about mainstream big brands. I care about the story behind my chosen pair of specs. Then one day last week, I found myself gazing over the ramshackle rooftops by our home and realised that Algha Works was staring right back at me.
It’s decided. I want a pair of spectacle frames made here. Just here. And I shall tell you why.
This Georgian steel framed building is the unlikely setting for spectacle making magic. John Lennon, Johnny Depp, Audrey Hepburn and more have worn frames made behind these doors. Glasses made iconic on the big screen by bespectacled characters such as Harry Potter or Gandhi were also made right here. You wouldn’thavethunkit would you?
It all begun in 1932 when Max Wiseman literally uprooted his factory in Germany and moved it to Fish Island, in Hackney Wick. It’s been here ever since, seeing one era into another and trend follow trend. Today Algha Works is the only remaining spectacle frame makers in UK and still faithfully specialising in frames of timeless style like their eternally popular ’round eye’. Hundreds of processes, hours of work and years of experience go into each frame made here, some of which are carried out with machinery originating from 1898. I want my future pair to be one of these pairs.
Useful links for the curious:
Take a look at Algha Works’ brand Saville Row frames
Take a look behind the doors via Spitalfields Life Blog