Obituary: Roger Pope

The holder of two Royal Warrants has been described as “the doyen of dispensing opticians” in a tribute by Frank Norville OBE

A man in a navy suit with a burgundy tie, burgundy pocket hankerchief amd dark rimmed spectacles sits at a wooden table with his clasped hands resting on the table. Four pairs of spectacles rest on the table beside a small, circular mirror.

Roger Pope has been remembered as someone who was “devoid of any airs and graces” even after decades rubbing shoulders with the upper echelons of society as a Royal Warrant holder.

Pope (1946-2024) worked in optics for more than five decades. His eponymous practice in New Cavendish Street, Marylebone, was established to meet the complex dispensing needs of private ophthalmologists.

Pope first received the Royal Warrant by Appointment to HM Queen Elizabeth II in 2006 and by Appointment to HRH Prince Charles in 2014.

Roger Pope in 2022
Roger Pope in 2022

Longstanding friend, Frank Norville OBE, shared: “I always regarded Roger as the doyen of dispensing opticians, yet he was devoid of any airs and graces that he might have assimilated from a lifetime spent with the great and the good of London’s retail West End and the medics of Harley Street.”

“With a great memory, he had a fine manner with clients and suppliers alike. A meeting with Roger was something people always looked forward to. Roger was always happy to discuss and integrate latest ophthalmic technologies even while providing very traditional services to his clientele. Roger made thousands of friends along his lifetime optical journey,” Norville recalled.

Pope met his wife, Linda, at City and East London College. They both qualified in 1970 and were married the following year, living in Datchet and later Kent.

Linda, who died in 2019, had her own practice in Hawkhurst, Kent. They leave behind a son, daughter and three grandchildren.

A meeting with Roger was something people always looked forward to

Frank Norville, OBE

Business partner and director of Roger Pope Opticians, Priti Kotecha, shared: “Roger’s loss is deeply felt by the entire team, with many having worked with him for over 25 years, and those that had the privilege of knowing him. His legacy of passion for providing the best eye care with kindness, integrity, professionalism, and compassion will continue to inspire us for many years to come.”

Pope was interviewed in 2022 for OT’s The view from the chair cover story, when he was continuing to work two days in practice at the age of 76.