An Office In A Bank | The Morson Story - Part Two

Morson 2
James Kenealey

by James Kenealey on

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.

Bank Chambers

In 1970, the time had arrived for the fledgling Morson to move to a new office, and fortunately there was a perfect, if a little primitive, space located very nearby.

Bank Chambers was a set of small offices above a bank in Eccles’ town centre and one of Gerry’s first tasks on moving in was to hire someone to help with the company’s growing payroll. Unbeknown to him, the advert he placed in the local paper would lead to one of the longest employee relationships in the history of Morson.

In 1970, Pauline Hassall decided she needed to find a part-time job to help support her young family. “I saw one advertised with hours that were nine o’clock to twelve noon” she remembers, “skills required were book-keeping, typing, payroll, with shorthand a bonus. It was the perfect job for me, so along I went.” Pauline was nervous at the interview, but confident she had the right qualifications. And although Gerry’s belief in the future of his business was strong, he was careful not to oversell the situation. “I remember Gerry saying he couldn’t offer long-term security as he wasn’t sure if the business would succeed or not,” says Pauline, “of course, we all know the answer to that now.”

Fortunately, Pauline was offered the job there and then, helping Gerry firmly establish J. Morson & Co in their new offices.

 “The staff was made up of Gerry the boss, Eric Anderson, who helped Gerry recruit contractors and find clients, and Gerry’s wife Margaret who came in every Wednesday to help me pay the wages. Mr Mason, Gerry’s dad, also came in to look after the office, as well as a lady who came in at 1pm to do the typing; although I never met her, because I always left at twelve noon.”

“To say it was basic is an understatement... everything was second-hand. I’m sure it was just plain floorboards with no carpets or any type of covering. In other words, we didn’t do fancy.” Pauline Hassall

Pauline soon became established as payroll manager and by 1972 the business had moved downstairs in Bank Chambers into larger space. “We were expanding and needed more staff,” says Pauline. That’s when I met Avril Robinson who is still one my dearest friends. Avril joined as a typist, the only problem being we didn’t have a typewriter, so Gerry borrowed one from the big engineering firm AEI, which if I remember rightly was one of our clients.”

Early Challenges

With dark clouds looming in 1970s industrial Britain, growth wouldn’t be plain sailing. The first challenge appeared in January of 1971 when postal workers demanding higher wages voted for the country’s first ever national postal strike. 

In a world before BACS and electronic bank transfer facilities, a failure of the postal service was catastrophic for public and business communications alike. For J. Morson & Co, who sent out all contractors’ wages by post, the threat was particularly acute, especially just after Christmas. Gerry Mason, who always put his contractors’ needs ahead of everything else, saw no alternative, venturing out into the harsh January weather to drive to each contractor’s home, handing over their wages personally. This routine lasted throughout the seven- week strike period. It was exhausting for those involved, but crucially it demonstrated both the credibility of the company and the value J. Morson & Co placed on its contract design engineers; virtues the Morson Group still upholds today.

The early 70’s saw much industrial unrest and in 1974, as a result of a national miners’ strike, most businesses using electricity were only allowed to consume power for three days each week. “This lasted from January to early March, but we needn’t have worried,” says Pauline, “because Gerry decided to ignore it and try and carry on as normal. I can even remember a policeman coming in one day and telling us to shut the office!”

Even when faced with challenges like this, everyone in the tiny team worked hard to get the job done and the happy family atmosphere that would characterise the company’s future growth was already well established.  

Cx Jobs

IT Security Specialist

DescriptionDefinining security configuration and operations standards for security systems and applications, including policy assessment and compliance tools, network security appliances, and hostbased security systemsDeveloping and validating baseline security configurations for operating systems, applications, and networking andtelecommunications equipmentPerforming internal and external technical control audits and vulnerability assessments to identify control weaknessesand assess the effectiveness of existing controls, and recommend remedial actionPerforming source code reviewsPerforming network and application penetration testing ( Black box, Grey box and White box)Performing log analysis and security monitoringPerforming IT infrastructure/ Application Security configuration reviewsDesigning and implementing technical security mechanisms and technologiesDesigning and developing technical security standards and procedures.Supporting the design, implementation, management and maintenance of IT security solutions.Supporting the execution of security incident management procedures. QualificationsMinimum 4 years of relevant education (master or equivalent) after the secondary school minimum experience requirements: + Minimum 6 years of relevant professional experience in IT SecuritySecurity best practice guidelines (ISO 27001, NIST, SANS Top 20 OWASP, etc.)Good practice in the secure configuration of servers, network devices and applicationsNetworking protocols and application communicationsNetwork analysis toolsSecuring Unix and Windows operating systemsSecuring middleware and applicationsNetwork penetration testingWeb application penetration testingVulnerability assessmentsForensic image collection and analysisManaging/deploying the following security technologies:FirewallsIDS/IPS - Intrusion detection/PreventionSystems, SIEM - Security information and event managementIAM -Identity and access managementAPT - Advanced Persistent threat detectionDLP - Data loss preventionVA -Vulnerability Analysis and mitigationPKI - Public key infrastructureVirtual environmentsEndpoint securityMobilesecurityCommunications and data encryptionRemote access methodsBackup and disaster recovery methodologiesPatch management technologies and processesWireless protocols and servicesOpen Web Application Security Protocol (OWASP) and secure software development standardsPerforming security code reviews.Security monitoring, threat detection and incident responseProactively and iteratively searching through networks and applications to detect and isolate advancedthreats thatevade existing security solutions (Cyber threat hunting)Security operations engineering (e.g. implementation of defensive measures, threat intelligence production)Linux administration, TCP/IP, Network Security.Security configuration reviews of IT Infrastructure and security devices, OS, Databases etcOther Expected Qualifications:Certified Information Systems Security Professional with Information Systems Security ArchitectureProfessionalconcentration (CISSP-ISSAP)Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)OSCP, OSCE, GPEN, CEH, CCNA, CCNP

Pensions Administrator

We are looking to recruit a Pension Administrator to work for a defence company based in Rosyth as part of their Naval Marine business. Working as part of a team, you will provide an accurate, reliable and high standard of pensions administration service for Members and Trustees of the in-house defined benefit pension schemes. Key Responsibilities; - Calculation and payment of scheme benefits ensuring compliance with legislative and pension scheme requirements. This includes early leaver calculations, transfer values, the calculation and payment of benefits for member retiring normal/early/late or on ill-health retirement and deaths - Ensuring work is completed to agreed Service Level Agreements - Maintaining the Pensions Administration system - Dealing with enquiries from members, trustees and the employer - Liaising with Payroll/HR departments and external companies - Assisting with ad-hoc project based work - Updating the Purchase ledger with all invoices for each Scheme and seeking authorisation for payment - Scanning the day to day work carried out by the Pensions Administrators - General administration duties - Ordering and maintaining stationary - Booking meeting rooms, ordering catering and escorting visitors - Dealing with queries The successful applicant will have excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. Strong attention to detail and commitment to provide ongoing quality is required along with good knowledge of UK pensions legislation and defined benefits experience (cradle to grave). You will be a good team player, who is able to work to tight deadlines and be able to prioritise and organise your workload Qualification/Experience - Defined Benefit Administration experience from cradle to grave - Ideally experience of using Profund, with a good understanding of Word and Excel - Relevant Pensions industry qualification, such as QPA would be beneficial - The jobholder must be able to perform calculations for defined benefits pensions schemes Morson is acting as an employment business in relation to this vacancy.Pensions Administration; benefits; Profund; customer service; QPA; pensions legislation; payroll; HR administration; purchase ledger


Our Client has an urgent requirement for Marine Experienced Platers working on the Type 26 project at Govan shipyard. You will be required to attend 2 days EET training, this is mandatory prior to a start being offered

Mechanical Engineer

We have an excellent opportunity for a Site Engineer / Mechanical Engineer The successful Candidate will deliver allocated project work from assignment to close out to support the Heysham 2 site. This will require close collaboration with the client, other team members and contract partners. Key responsibilities include: Safely manage the delivery of assigned projects, jobs and tasks while working collaboratively with other team members and station staff. Work to improve Equipment Reliability across Fuel Route including through modifications, optimising maintenance routines and defect resolution. Produce Work Order Cards, Risk Assessments, Method Statements, Quality plans, Construction Plans, Engineering Changes and other documentation required to deliver projects. Ensure documentation, including drawings and records, are kept and tracked as appropriate and are updated and closed out in full at the conclusion of projects. Act as the point of contact on the power station for assigned projects. Ensure work is planned according to station processes and relevant parties are aware of the project and their responsibilities to facilitate successful project delivery. Perform walk-downs with contractors to review upcoming tasks and obtain quotes as required. Review and approve contractor documentation prior to them completing work on site. Facilitate and chair project meetings such as pre and post job briefs, setting to work meetings and readiness reviews as required. Conduct safety walks on a monthly basis as a minimum and report safety concerns through the appropriate channels immediately whenever and wherever they are found. Promote quality at all times. Comply with Company Nuclear and Station procedures. Apply internal and external standards and procedures to project activities. Attend suppliers to witness factory acceptance tests and other EDF sites to learn from experience as required for specific projects. Build up quotations for site based works after consultation and walk-downs with the client. Ensure all quotations are approved internally before issuing to the client. Supply data and updates on estimated project completion dates to assist project support staff with ensuring projects remain on time and on budget. Where this is not the case, be prompt in raising early warning notices and variations for submission to the client. Represent the Company in meetings and forums as required and when requested to by the Site Manager and Fuel Route Group Head. Mentor other site engineers through their authorisations as requested by the Site Manager. Drive continuous improvements in the relationship between the Company and the EDF Fuel Route Engineering organisation through the way we engage with the client and act as a leader in this regard with the rest of the team. Use technical and plant knowledge to assist with the scheduling of tasks for the site team.

Skills and qualifications needed for a career in cyber security