About Us

Kassford Opticians was originally established in 1828 under the name of Marratt & Ellis Opticians. During the Second World War, the original building was destroyed by a nearby bomb explosion, so the practice moved between various locations around the area before settling in Forest Hill in the 1960's.

The current owners, Johann Blandford and Al Kassam, bought the practice from the previous owner in 2007, when he retired. They combined their surnames to rebrand the practice as Kassford Opticians, and it remains this way today.

The team at Kassford Opticians is compact but highly qualified and specialised in the field of optics. Al and Johann are the principal optometrist and dispensing optician respectively, and are ably supported by Pat and Beverley. These ladies will probably be the first faces you see when you come into the practice; they'll be able to answer any questions you have about your eye appointment as well as giving assistance on choosing your new eyewear.

Last year the latest piece of equipment was purchased, the Nidek Fundus camera. This amazing camera allows a photographic record to be kept of the back of your eyes, allowing the optometrist to compare previous photos and noting if there have been any changes to the eye.

We're proud to be an established part of the community, giving all our patients the most efficient and reliable analysis of their vision and eye health. At Kassford Opticians you can be sure you are in the best hands possible.

For more information about the services we offer, please don't hesitate to give us a call on 0208 699 3196. Alternatively, you can book an appointment directly by clicking here.


The Staff

Johann Blandford FBDO

Manager and Dispensing Optician

Johann has always been in optics, after finishing his A Levels, his brother (who is also in the field) suggested that Johann come to London from his home in Bournemouth to do a dispensing course. He did and after qualifying, ended up staying in London to gain some experience in local practices and also met his future wife!

Johann did his pre-registration at Rowland Opticians – a business that owned a chain of five practices in South-East London. Three years later he was promoted to manager, and over a total of twelve years successfully managed three of the five practices.

It was while he was working at Rowlands that Johann met Al. Between them they decided to go into business together, and bought Marratt & Ellis opticians in Forest Hill when the previous owner retired. They changed the name, and have been in business ever since!

As the practice’s Dispensing Optician, it is Johann’s responsibility to ensure that every customer receives a quality pair of frames and lenses that are tailored to their exact lifestyle and needs. He also does a lot of hands-on work, including glazing lenses in the practice’s own laboratory, as well as liaising with product reps and ensuring that the day-to-day maintenance and running of the practice is kept up-to-date.

Johann takes a great pride in his work, and enjoys providing patients with excellent quality and perfectly fitted products. As he also does the glazing, he is able to follow every product through to completion, right from the initial dispense to handing them over to the customer when they are ready for collection. He has an excellent knowledge of a huge variety of frame and lens types and always gives patients honest and appropriate advice.

Despite living 30 miles away in Essex, Johann enjoys the community feeling in Forest Hill and being able to see the practice’s loyal and friendly patients on a regular basis.

When he’s not at work, Johann likes to spend as much time as possible with his family – going on holidays and short breaks, eating out, going to the cinema and taking his two children swimming and ice skating. 


Alnoor Kassam BSc MCOptom

Senior Optometrist

Al first became interested in optometry as his grandparents both suffered poor eyesight. A result of insufficient eye care in their former country of residence, Al realised as he was growing up that they both had macular degeneration – a condition he would later study as part of his training.

Wanting to provide other people with the eye care that his grandparents never had, and hopefully prevent them suffering the same fate, Al decided to train as an optometrist.

During his studies Al worked as a lab technician at Vision Express. After qualifying he moved to become an optician at K Rowland Opticians in Catford and worked there for several years. It was during this time that he met Johann who was also working in the same practice.

Together, Al and Johann combined their surnames and established Kassford Opticians in 2006.

A typical day at work for Al involves carrying out tailored eye tests for patients, and providing them with professional expertise, advice and guidance about their eye health. He also has a significant role in the day-to-day management and running of the practice!

As Kassford’s optician, Al’s favourite part of his job reflects the reason he first ventured into optometry. He enjoys helping people lead the life they want to lead, by ensuring that their vision and eye health is always as good as it can possibly be. The variety of his work is also a big advantage: he states that he never sees the same pair of eyes twice as even when the same patient returns, their eyes will have changed.

Al takes a pride in his work, and always gives every patient a thorough and detailed eye examination. He makes everyone feel at ease with his personable nature and gentle mannerisms, so that they feel comfortable asking any questions they might have about their eyes or eye test.

A particular stand-out moment in Al’s career came when he diagnosed a patient with retinal detachment – a very serious condition requiring urgent hospital treatment. However, the patient was reluctant to go to the hospital, and didn’t think the problem was that serious. Through Al’s persistence he eventually convinced him to go to the hospital, where he received immediate laser surgery which saved his eyesight. Had he not had the treatment, he would have almost certainly lost his sight, and is now very grateful for Al’s expertise!

Outside of work, Al is active in the local Forest Hill community. He is a member of the Lambeth, Southwark & Lewisham Local Optometrists Committee, and likes the cultural feel of the area.

His hobbies include travelling and experiencing new cultures, going to museums (particularly the local Horniman museum), football & sports, and eating good food. He describes his ideal weekend as a mixture of relaxation, entertaining friends and family, and exploring the outdoors and keeping fit.


Pat McAlpin

Receptionist and Optical Assistant

After leaving school, Pat first worked in Marks & Spencers, where she climbed her way up the ladder and eventually became a Supervisor. After leaving that role, she spent a short time as a Nursery Assistant in a local nursery.

Once she had had her two sons, Pat returned to work as a classroom assistant and dinner lady at local schools. The convenient working hours allowed her to be at home with her boys in the evenings and during school holidays.

She started working at Marratt & Ellis in 1999 and once Al & Johann took over its management in 2007, Pat stayed on as their receptionist and optical assistant. She enjoys still being able to meet the original patients from the Marratt & Ellis days, but also likes getting to know the practice’s newer patients too.

On a day-to-day basis, Pat’s receptionist duties include answering the phone, dealing with enquiries, booking appointments and welcoming patients to the practice. As well as this, the optical assistant side of her role sees her helping patients choose their new glasses, carrying out repairs and even assisting Johann with the glazing.

Pat’s favourite part of working at Kassford is the fact that she has been at the practice for 16 years. During this time, she has seen young patients grow up to be teachers, doctors, solicitors and even a neurologist! She has also been able to keep in touch with older patients, getting to know them even better and developing several friendships over the years.

Pat is a Londoner through and through, having lived in the area all her life. She currently lives within 15-20 minutes walking distance of the practice and loves being part of the community. However, one of her sons now lives in theUSA, and so she also enjoys going to visit him and his family, or hosting them when they visit the UK.

Outside of work, Pat likes to keep active. She enjoys swimming, gardening and going to the gym, and spending weekends with family including her soon-to-be one year old granddaughter.


Beverley is the pleasant and friendly face of our Plumstead branch. She is a full-time optical assistant and has been in optics for over 5 years progressing to Optical Assistant level 1.

Contact Details

Forest Hill Address:
50 London Road,
Forest Hill,
London SE23 3HF
E-mail: info@kassford.co.uk
Tel: 0208 699 3196

Opening Times

Monday to Friday: 09.00 to 17.00
Saturday: 09.00 to 16.00



Contact Details

Plumstead Address:
2 Lakedale Road,
London SE18 1PP
E-mail: info@kassford.co.uk
Tel: 0208 854 2406

Opening Times

Monday to Friday: 09.00 to 17.00
Saturday: 09.00 to 16.00