DAVID Joyce barely knew what an optician was when he made the decision to become one, but now as he retires from his Kington practice 40 years later, he's happy with the choice he made.

"I wanted to go to medical school," explains David, who attended Lady Hawkins. "But I didn't get the grades I needed. A career adviser, whose daughter had just started her training as an optician, suggested I give it a try, so I did."

David started his training in Manchester as a married man, having made another life-changing decision before leaving Herefordshire for college.

Ethel and he have now been married 42 years, and have two daughters, Alison and Helen.

Returning to Kington, where he had grown up at his parents' farm on Brilley Mountain, David took over the High Street optometry practice from Walter Cole.

David took time out in the 1980s to run Cwmman Farm, the tenanted National Trust property his parents had run previously.

Having handed the keys of the High Street practice over to the new team of Darrell and Marion Scott, David is now looking forward to seeing a little more of the country as he and Ethel make more use of their caravan.

"I am also heavily committed to Freemasonry from here to Bristol, so that will be keeping me busy," he added.