One Small Step... | The Morson Story - Part One
Morson Group has been celebrating 50 years in business in 2019. As part of our celebrations, we’ve created a book about the business; its foundations, its growth and its people.
Over the next six weeks, we’re going to be releasing excerpts from the book, charting the Morson story from its earliest days to the present day.
One Small Step
From the age of 18, young Eccles boy Gerry Mason developed a hunger to explore life abroad. Initially he followed his passion for modern Jazz as well as spending some of his teenage years in Canada where he worked as a bank teller and lifeguard at Toronto University. When he returned at the age of 20, he began his career as a self-employed mechanical design draughtsman, discovering quickly that working for different companies on contract was a challenge that suited him. It was also a time Gerry discovered the love of his life, Margaret, who he married in 1962.
Despite the temptation to settle down, the draw of international travel, particularly Canada, remained strong. So, when the opportunity arose in 1966 to open and manage a Toronto office for UK firm Cromwell Engineering, Gerry jumped at the chance, taking Margaret and their two-year-old Ged and one-year-old Carmen with him.
Two successful years passed with Gerry learning much about developing a business and management. But all the while, a burning ambition was driving Gerry in another direction; recalling “I always had the ambition to come back and start my own business and basically work for myself.”
The cupboard under the stairs
Gerry believed firmly that “back then there was a pool of talented engineers and designers in the North West. The people were all hard working and honest.” With this in mind, he decided to realise his ambition by founding his own recruitment business, providing technical contract staff to the engineering industry. Their new home was a four-bedroom house in New Lane, Eccles. “It was a nice house,” Gerry recalled, “with a big open plan staircase and the desk underneath was the office.” And it was here, under the stairs, where Gerry’s new company J. Morson & Son, a combination of his surname and that of an old work colleague J. Corbett, was born. Unbeknown to him was the fact this would provide the foundations from which an international business would eventually grow; one that 50 years later remains rooted firmly in the fabric of the North West.
With no money to hire staff, Gerry’s family were immediately thrown into helping get the business off the ground.
“When we got a call in the early morning or weekend my wife would answer saying she was the cleaner,” Gerry recalled with a smile. “Then, during the day when she answered, she was the secretary.” Gerry never took his family support for granted: “There was quite a bit of pressure on my wife and the family; mostly my wife. She supported me throughout the early years and during the growth in many ways. She was always there to support me every step of the way. I’ll forever be indebted to her for that.”
The time would soon some where the fledgling business would require its own permanent office space so the business could take on permanent staff to fulfil the growing demand…