Simon Purdue Joins as Solutions Architect, Spearheading Business Systems Enhancement

Hythe Group is thrilled to welcome Simon Purdue as Solutions Architect for a six-month placement. Simon brings a wealth of experience and expertise, having previously worked at BAE Systems for over a decade. In his role, Simon will focus on optimising the functional aspects of the business by developing efficient systems and processes. We sat down with Simon to discuss his role, expectations, and goals during his time at Hythe.

Understanding the Role of a Solutions Architect

As a Solutions Architect, Simon’s primary responsibility is to gain a comprehensive understanding of how Hythe operates and translate that knowledge into a set of requirements for various new business applications. His journey began with an Initial Assessment and Discovery phase, during which he delved into the existing systems, data, and their utilisation in the company’s processes. Based on this, Simon will formulate user and business requirements, which will be presented to carefully chosen vendors capable of meeting Hythe’s specific needs.

Motivation to Join Hythe

Simon’s decision to join Hythe was fueled by the exciting challenge he saw in helping the organisation enhance its systems through better integration. His extensive experience at BAE Systems equipped him with valuable insights that could be applied at Hythe Group. 

Expectations and Goals for the Placement

Simon’s primary objective over the next six months is to provide the necessary discovery and requirements documentation for Group Head of IT and Telecommunications, David Thackray and Hythe’s leadership team, to identify the systems that require replacement and integration. Rather than reinventing the wheel, he aims to leverage existing knowledge and maintain a clear view of the master data. These initial months will primarily revolve around discovery and requirements gathering, with subsequent months focusing on the implementation of new solutions.

A Typical Day in the Role

Currently, Simon spends his days engaging with various stakeholders across the organisation, gathering information and building a comprehensive picture of the applications, systems, data, and processes. As his tenure progresses, he will conduct deeper dives into specific processes by meeting with different teams within the business.

Passion for the Industry

Simon’s interest in the field of technology and computing, coupled with a desire to assist others, sparked his initial fascination with the industry. With almost three decades of experience in IT, he has transitioned from resolving technical issues to exploring ways to optimise technology utilisation in business environments.

Background and Preparation

Simon’s early years in IT, particularly his role as a support technician, laid a strong foundation for his current position. Understanding how computers function and communicate with each other provided him with valuable insights into information flow within a business. His familiarity with a wide range of applications and their interoperability allows him to effectively assess Hythe’s existing infrastructure and propose future improvements.

Life Beyond Work

When he’s not spending quality time with his family and unwinding in the garden, Simon indulges in his passion for cycling: commuting to and from work, enjoying weekend rides, and participating in occasional competitions. 

Welcome to Hythe Group

Hythe Group is delighted to have Simon on board as the Solutions Architect, tasked with streamlining and enhancing the organisation’s systems and processes. With his wealth of experience and passion for technology, Simon is well-positioned to contribute to Hythe’s growth and success. We’re looking forward to the positive impact he will make during his six-month placement.


A Year on With Hythe HOSMU Storage and Distribution Solutions

One year after Hythe HOSMU was formed, we take a look at the companies storage and distribution solutions projects, the challenges faced, and goals for the future. 

storage and distribution solutions by HOSMU at heathrow airport airside winter resilience

In their first year, Hythe HOSMU installed a modular self-help system at Heathrow Airport. This system allows for the distribution, deployment and return of equipment, coupled with the safe, measured and effective dispensing of de-icing media. We discuss the challenges and wins of this crucial winter resilience project at one of the world’s busiest airports.

But before we get into it, what exactly does Hythe HOSMU do?


An Introduction to Hythe HOSMU

Back in 2019, HOSMU was formed to support the mass production of bespoke modular units. These units enable the efficient storage, distribution and deployment of self-help tools, plus aircraft stand and roadway clearing equipment. 

HOSMU is part of the Hythe Group. What sets it apart from the other companies within the group is its capability to design, develop and install bespoke and tailored storage and distribution solutions specific to clients’ operational requirements. 

Specialising in Aviation and Rail projects, HOSMU compliments the group’s proven strength and experience in providing Marine and Building Services


Storage and Distribution Solutions for Heathrow’s Winter Resilience

Previous winters had seen the deterioration of the pre-existing winter resilience solution at Heathrow, coupled with inadequate storage for grit and de-icer. 

Hythe HOSMU provided Heathrow’s Winter Operations team with a one-stop location for important tools and necessary equipment. The project aided the safe and efficient turnaround of aircraft on stands, while keeping airside roads and pathways clear.

The innovative HOSMU self-help solution we manufactured provides the consolidated and organised storage of essential winter resilience tools and stand clearing equipment. De-icing products are now distributed safely and with precision.

“We’re delighted to report that following the recent snowy conditions our HOSMU custom made modular units have successfully improved operational effectiveness during a ‘snow event’ airside at Heathrow Airport.” – Neil Robinson 

storage and distribution solutions by HOSMU at heathrow airport airside winter resilience

What Did the Project Involve? 

Following a period of consultancy and development of the project brief, the HOSMU system installation provided an innovative four-part solution.

This included a consolidated single collection point for essential winter resilience operating equipment and the management of stand waste, combined with winter media storage and distribution. 

Forty-eight key airside locations were identified across the terminals, including aircraft stands, pathways, roadways and control posts. These key locations were provided with the requisite modular parts to provide winter resilience tool storage and effective, consolidated housing and distribution for snow and ice clearing media in use across the entire site.

Each custom made component features an RFID asset management and inspection system. The system regularly records inspections and reduces the need for maintenance and equipment replenishment commonly associated with winter operational use.

During an intensive period of prototyping and feedback, HOSMU presented Heathrow with nine client-driven revised prototypes. To ensure quality throughout the project, each step incorporated feedback gathered from presentation and review at airside events and consultations with the winter operations team.


What Was the Biggest Challenge HOSMU Faced and How Was it Overcome?

In addition to understanding, overcoming and changing behavioural and methodological operational airside practices in Winter, perhaps the biggest challenge faced by the HOSMU team was providing a solution to safely store and dispense the winter de-icing media commonly known as ‘Prill’.

Prill is a pelletised form of de-icing media formed by the congealing of a liquid and it provides a safe and effective way to rapidly de-ice and melt ice and snow. It robustly stays in place when deployed ahead of a ‘snow event.’ Prill is packaged in 25-kilogram bags which, once opened and left exposed to the elements or moisture, hardens and is wasted. Hundreds of kilos of prill were often squandered during winter due to bags being partially used or stored ineffectively in grit bins or left exposed to the elements. 

The key was to develop a modular unit capable of being able to receive an entire bag of prill at a safe lifting height and then dispense a specified amount determined by the user, depending on the surface to be treated.

Nine concept prototypes were developed by the HOSMU team offering a range of solutions. After a sustained period of testing the final ‘media Hopper’ design was approved by Airfield operations and following two winters has proven a success. It uses a unique mechanism to ensure the prill is dispensed in its pelletised form, even if it has solidified within the hopper, or has been added to the hopper in a solidified form. 


How Has the Installation Changed Life for the Winter Resilience Team?

“HOSMU’s custom solution has taken our outdated self-help tools and media storage and provided airfield operations with an innovative and robust concept ready to tackle the snow events we manage each winter, helping to keep the airport fully operational…” 

– Winter Operations Manager at Heathrow 

For the first time airside at any airport, all winter self-help equipment is in one easy to use modular system at key locations.

Winter operational efficiencies were vastly improved during the recent snow events at Heathrow. Notifiable asset management and inspection systems are in place with each component. As a result, the need for maintenance and equipment replenishment associated with winter operational use is reduced. 

The HOSMU now provides a clearly identifiable, branded focal point for the organisation and storage of the equipment and winter media. It also ensures operational equipment is returned, reducing the likelihood of trip hazards and lowering the need for tool replenishment. The units are also used as a mechanism to promote safety messages, like the ‘safety 6’, to the airside community.

storage and distribution solutions by HOSMU at heathrow airport airside winter resilience

What’s next for Hythe HOSMU?

HOSMU are ready to present their winter resilience solution to the wider airport community and other industries with a winter resilience requirement. 

The team have also been developing four additional components. These allow for totally consolidated equipment storage on stands and airside at airports. Including; bollard bin clamps, cone and trolley storage, sawdust storage for minor spills and a tiered approach to chock storage. 

HOSMU‘s storage and distribution solutions will give ramp users a one-stop location for all equipment associated with the safe and efficient turnaround of aircraft. It also provides stakeholders with the necessary self-help tools to carry out their roles.

The HOSMU modular concept can be tailored to any industrial operational requirement

Contact our team to discuss HOSMU’s storage and distribution solutions capabilities for your upcoming projects. 

Sarah Powell Joins Hythe Marine As Head of Sales

Meet the Newest Member of The Team

With twenty-five years of sales and account management experience, Sarah Powell has quickly become a key player in the growth of Hythe Marine Services (HMS). 

Sarah Powell Hythe Marine Services New Head of Sales

Her in-depth industry knowledge will lead HMS in new directions and further develop the existing client relationships that the company is built upon. We spoke to Sarah to get to know more about who she is, her career, and her goals for the new role.


Introducing Sarah Powell

Throughout her career, Sarah has held a range of roles including Strategic Director and Commercial Manager within a range of sales industries. 

These roles generally involved Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and Services, covering exhibitions, finance, industrial and retail hygiene equipment and recycled aggregates. Her latest role now sees her joining the marine services industry as Head of Sales for Hythe Marine Services, part of the Hythe Group.

In her free time, Sarah loves nothing more than being out on the water. 

“I am a sailor and have spent most of my life afloat in anything from small dinghies to racing yachts. I fell in love with paddleboarding 4 years ago while on holiday in France and try to get afloat most weekends, even in the winter.” 

Sarah tells us she loves paddle boarding due to how much easier it is to get set up than a boat, and the fact her dog can (reluctantly) hitch a ride!

After moving down south five years ago from North Wales, Sarah loves to explore all the beautiful countryside and coastline the area has to offer. 

Sarah Powell Portsmouth New Head of Sales

Career Successes

When we asked Sarah about the proudest moment of her career so far, she told us “I am extremely proud of a lot of what I have achieved in my career – from winning business from major competitors, to becoming the preferred supplier for the largest players in the retail and grocery sectors.” 

She also spoke about the work she put into developing relationships over the years, and, as a result, the level of trust and respect those clients have in her. 

Sarah puts her success down to a focus on understanding her customers’ unique needs and challenges, in order to provide the right solutions. Sarah explained, “Success comes down to being dependable and trustworthy, and always doing what you said you were going to do. Never tell someone you can do something when you can’t.”

Using this foundation, Sarah has created relationships that evolve into partnerships. As opposed to the usual customer-supplier dynamic, this gives companies the ability to grow with their customers. 


What Will The New Head of Sales Be Doing?

In Sarah’s words, “From a really solid foundation under the leadership of Josh, I want to build a strong commercial structure with which to support his existing customers and develop new relationships across new markets including the construction and renewable energy sectors.”

To achieve this goal, Sarah will be managing the relationships within the existing customer base to ensure they receive the best support and services we can deliver on a day to day basis. There will also be a large focus put on developing new relationships and growing the commercial business. 

And as a crucial part of her role, Sarah will be working closely with the team at HMS. Sarah explained, “I’ll be liaising with the existing estimators, workshop teams and account managers to ensure a consistent approach and communication, all the while keeping the customer experience at the forefront of our minds.”


Sarah’s Goals and Vision for Head of Sales at HMS

Sarah has significant experience in creating and implementing a commercial structure from scratch. And although HMS is a little smaller than the large organisations Sarah has previously worked for, the process and deliverables are all scalable. Sarah told us, “The foundations and ethics are of the same importance whether you are a large bluechip company or an SME.” 

Sarah joked that the only difference at HMS is that there may be more ‘characters’ at HMS than anywhere she’s worked previously! 

Speaking on her vision for her role, she explained, “I want to create and embed a very strong commercial structure within HMS that ensures we provide the very best service and support for our customers now and for the future. Integrity, trust, resilience and reliability are key factors for us and our customers.”

As an agile, innovative and intelligent business, HMS has a lot to offer across a wide range of industries. Sarah is particularly passionate about the planet and the future of sustainable and renewable fuels.

HMS is ideally placed geographically, technically and operationally to be able to support these sectors on and offshore, and Sarah and the team see that as a large part of HMS’ future.

Get in touch with the team through our contact form, or connect with Sarah on LinkedIn directly to discuss your upcoming projects.

Hythe Marine Services’ First Apprentice on His Move to Hythe Building Services

Henry Barker was one of the first apprentices hired by Hythe Group’s original company, Hythe Marine Services. Alongside Rhys Smallman, Henry joined the team as an Apprentice Pipefitter and Welder in September 2012 just after finishing school. 

Hythe Marine Services’ First Apprentice on His Journey Through the Company

After completing his apprenticeship, Henry became full time with Hythe Marine Services, until his recent move to Hythe Building Services

We spoke to Henry to find out about his career, company changes and the importance of personal growth. 


Henry’s Career at Hythe Group 

Although Henry’s apprenticeship with Hythe Marine Services started in September 2012, this wasn’t the official beginning of his career. Henry explained,Luke Fitzgerald (Director of Value Engineering) used to bring me into the HMS workshop on Saturday mornings so I could gain experience. This opportunity led to an offer for an apprenticeship position once I finished school.”

Henry’s Pipefitters Apprenticeship lasted for four years. During the first year, Henry completed his Level 2 NVQ at PETA, an engineering college, before spending six months onsite with Hythe Marine Services. Over the final three years, while Henry was completing his Level 3 NVQ, a PETA assessor would visit monthly to determine his progress. 

Throughout this time, Henry was also working toward his Level 3 City and Guilds qualification at Southampton City College

Henry told us, “I completed my apprenticeship in the summer of 2016. Since then, I have worked on numerous projects for HMS. Most notably in Portsmouth dockyard but I’ve also worked at Southampton General Hospital, Whitman’s Laboratories and in Italy for two weeks working on a superyacht.”

In 2019, Henry moved from Hythe Marine Services to Hythe Building Services.  


Changing Sectors: From the Marine Industry to Building Services

Since his move in 2019, Henry has worked on various projects at different sites across the south coast, and in HBS’ fabrication workshop.

When asked why he decided to move companies, Henry said, “After working mostly in Portsmouth dockyard for seven years, I wanted to experience a new challenge and see what the outside world was about. Luckily for me, that opportunity was there for me at HBS, who were happy to take me on.”

Henry will be using the welding and pipefitting skills learned during his time with Hythe Marine Services, as they are still a fundamental part of his role. However, this career move also offers the opportunity to learn new skills.

“The thing I look forward to most about working with Hythe Building Services is the opportunity to be working at different places. Although some of our projects are fairly long, it’s nice to get out and about on the different sites. I enjoy seeing where all the pipework actually goes and how all the different systems are put together.”


Hythe Marine Services’ First Apprentice on His Journey Through the Company

Apprenticeships with Hythe Marine Services

Although the companies are separate entities, it’s important for them to have strong cross-sector relationships. When employees move across companies, it forms a new link between each team. These connections are crucial for the strength of Hythe Group as a whole. 

Similarly, the experienced generation passes down their knowledge and skill to the younger employees and apprentices. Without this, decades of expertise would be lost. 

Henry is a prime example of the value in educating young people in trades. Henry had the opportunity to go to college to learn his trade, whilst working on jobs alongside experienced workers. This involved a lot of hard work on Henry’s behalf to get to where he is today. However, he also recognises the role his fellow team members had in his success.

Henry told us, “I owe a lot of praise to my fellow workers at HMS who put in the time and effort to help me get to the stage I’m at. Hard work and a positive attitude are still needed, and I hope I set a good example to my fellow workers.”


If you’re interested in finding out more about apprenticeships with Hythe Marine Services, take a look at the following articles:


How has Hythe Marine Services Evolved over the years? 

We asked Henry whether the company has changed over his career. He told us, “HMS has evolved massively since I first joined the company. It was a relatively small company back when I first started, and over the years it’s grown a lot, with the open projects seemingly increasing every year. The company has welcomed many new faces since I’ve been there, and each one of them has helped to push the company in the direction it’s at today.”

Henry also mentioned that he believes Hythe Group is different from a lot of other companies because of the diverse amount of work the group of companies undertakes, and the endless opportunities available to people. He explained that there are always new things to be learned, and new experiences available somewhere within the company. 

Read more about the History of Hythe Group


Interested in working with the Hythe Group team or enquiring about our services? Get in touch today. 


Senior Weld Inspector Paul Stone becomes European Welding Specialist

Anybody with a drive for continuous personal development will be well situated at Hythe Group. This is certainly the case for Paul Stone, a long-standing member of the team, who isn’t planning on putting down the books anytime soon. 

In his latest achievement, Paul Stone, Hythe Marine Services’ (HMS) Senior Welding Inspector, has obtained European Welding Specialist status with The Welding Institute (TWI). 

Having this qualification has given Paul additional industry expertise, allowing him to advise and oversee welding processes and technology. 

We spoke to Paul to find out what went into obtaining this certification, what it means for his career, and the opportunities it creates for HMS as a company. 


Becoming a European Welding Specialist with The Welding Institute 

“TWI is the world’s largest provider of training in non-destructive testing, welding, welding inspection and a host of allied disciplines. Training with TWI leads to internationally recognised qualifications, delivering tangible benefits to individual careers and increasing business capabilities.” – The Welding Institute 

Gaining this internationally recognised qualification isn’t an easy feat. Paul completed five separate modules on-site at TWI, on topics including materials and their behaviour, design, construction, and fabrication. 

As a Senior Weld Inspector, Paul has a considerable amount of experience and industry knowledge of welding. This new qualification expands on his existing expertise, adding an extra layer of assurance for the team and customers of Hythe Marine Services.

Paul explained, “The course without a doubt was valuable to me. I learnt a lot of extra things about different welding processes. It’s good welding knowledge to have for the company and myself, plus I have the course materials for myself and the team to refer back to on future projects.”



How will Paul’s European Welding Specialist Qualification Impact his Career?

When asked about what becoming a European Welding Specialist means for his career, Paul told us, “On a personal level, we always want to try and better ourselves. I actually wish I’d done it twenty years ago. If I had my time again, I would have gone on to become a Welding Engineer.” 

Previously, after obtaining his senior weld inspector certification, Paul stopped going after new development opportunities. But adding this newest string to his bow has kickstarted him to start learning again. 

In true Hythe Group spirit, Paul commented on how his drive to learn sets a good example for the younger staff. They can see from Paul that he’s still wanting to learn new things and continue to develop industry knowledge, encouraging them to follow in his footsteps.

Read more about Paul’s career, expertise, and history with the marine industry in our article Get To Know Hythe Marine Services’ Head of Welding.


What does this Achievement Mean for Hythe Marine Services? 

Having European Welding Specialist status gives potential customers and existing customers confidence that HMS employ people with a strong knowledge of welding processes. 

Having a dedicated workforce that is interested in continual improvement also gives the company assurance in their staff. Soon, Paul is hoping to complete his European Welding Technologist qualification. 

Paul said, “Going back to when I first joined HMS, we were a small team and over that period we’ve grown as a company. We have more welders and plater fabricators that are doing welding tasks, and they’re getting their qualifications as well. I think it’s important for our staff to have official education behind them as it gives potential and existing customers confidence in our work.”

Read about the importance of staff training in our recent news article, Hythe Marine Services Welders Achieve Certified Visual Weld Inspector Status


Personal Development and Training at Hythe Group 

Paul commented that the training staff are put through at Hythe Group is second to none. If a member of staff is interested in doing a course that’s beneficial to the company and the personnel, the senior staff won’t think twice about it. 

HMS and the newer Hythe Group companies are a team of dedicated, driven and empathetic people that are passionate about the work they do. 

Paul demonstrated this unmatchable attitude, as he put the future of the company in the hands of the younger generation.

“All of us that have been here from the start have put in a lot of hard work to get the company where it is. I’m very keen for us to push on for the future, and the younger generation is the future of Hythe Group. Josh Mathias (MD) would tell you the same. We’ve got to try and push the younger generation. If you didn’t have the youngsters coming through and learning the skills of the trades, the company would crumble.”


Interested in quality assured welding services? Speak with our team via the button below. 


Hythe Marine Services’ Expand into the UK Petrochemical Industry

Hythe Marine Services (HMS) are utilising their existing pipework and fabrication skills to expand into the UK Petrochemical industry. To lead the expansion, Matt Cross has joined to share his 13 years of sector knowledge and experience with the team. 

pipes pipework and fabrication for petrochemical industry petrochem


Before joining HMS, Matt was a Mechanical Engineering Estimator and Project Manager within the oil and gas industry. In 2020, Josh Mathias, Director of Hythe Group, approached Matt to help HMS diversify into the UK Petrochemical Industry. 

Matt explained, “The nice idea is that it complements the skills HMS already have. We aren’t reinventing the wheel or anything, so it makes sense to expand. We’re taking the skills we’ve got within the group and reapplying those skills in a different sector.” 

We spoke to Matt to find out about what exactly PetroChem is, his career and expertise, and how it applies to HMS.


What Does The Petrochemical Industry Produce?

The term PetroChem, put simply, refers to the industry and process that refines oil. The petrochemical industry is the refining of oils, like crude oil, to make plastics, rubbers, petrol and diesel. 

Hythe Marine Services will be fabricating the equipment and pipework required for the UK petrochemical industry.

Matt explained, “PetroChem is a process rather than a product, it’s a loose term to collectively cover a whole range of subjects and services, much like the travel or marine industry.”

Why are petrochemicals important? 

The importance of petrochemicals is that even with global advancements in sustainable power and renewables, the world will always need oil, gas, plastics and rubber, so there will always be a consistent demand for the petrochemical industry. 


What Will PetroChem Look Like at HMS?

Expanding into the UK Petrochemical industry seems like a natural next step for HMS, as the process of fabricating pipework for petrochemical companies is very similar to the marine industry. 

Both industries largely involving pipework fabrication and installation. The main difference is that instead of working on boats, the product of Petrochem is in a petrochemical plant. 

Matt told us, “HMS will utilise the skills that we have within the Group already in the marine side, and redistribute them into a different sector.”

Once the training and initial set up is complete, the HMS team will be working anywhere from small gas sites to large Petrochemical plants. The Petrochem service at Hythe Group will be providing:

  • Process piping fabrication
  • Skid-mounted equipment
  • Skid modular equipment
  • Carbon and low temp carbon steel
  • Stainless and alloy steels piping

When asked whether the staff will require new qualifications or retraining, Matt commented, “The skillset has the same foundation but a few paperwork exercises will be required. The oil and gas industry is largely based on American ways of working and their qualifications – whereas the marine industry is more of a British service.”


Testing and Inspection of PetroChem Services 

Weld testing and weld inspection is a fundamental part of all work carried out by HMS. In fact, anybody who completes welding activities for HMS is undergoing training to achieve Certified Visual Weld Inspector Status. 

Inside the new Petrochem department, these values of quality and rigorous testing will form the basis of all projects. 

All welders and fabricators will be working to, and inspected using, CSWIP Welding Inspection standards, as well as following ASME IX Weld Procedures.

Process piping fabrication in, or for, petroleum refineries also follows ASME B31.3 Piping Fabrication requirement. This standard is designed to control quality in everything from the materials and design, to the fabrication, inspection and testing of the pipework. 


Matt’s Career and Experience in the UK Petrochemical Industry 

For the last 13 years, Matt has been working for a petrol chemical fabrication company. The work replicated what HMS offer but within a different sector. Matt told us, “What you see at Hythe with the fabricators and welders, we had exactly the same service. Instead of putting it on boats, we were putting it in oil refineries and buildings.”

Matt is skilled in quotations, pipework, process pipework fabrication engineering and skid manufacture. He started his career as a Fabricator Welder Apprentice, much like many of the team at HMS.

Matt then moved from the shop floor to work as an Estimator for the company, before working his way up through the ranks to become a Senior Estimator and Senior Project Manager. They were a small firm, so Matt was involved in everything from procurement, quality management, to estimation. Matt said, “Even though we had titles of Senior Estimator or Senior Project Manager it was a very varied role.”


fccu riser pipework fabrication petro chem or petrochemical industry - hythe marine services

Examples of Matt’s Past Projects 

Project Managing two FCCU Injections Sections and Associated PAU’s

Matt Project Managed the estimation, procurement, fabrication, testing, refractory lining and delivery of two new FCCU injections sections and associated PAU’s (Pre-assembled Units). 

This project consisted of the two new sections being SA516 Gr 70 rolled shells with multiple penetrating nozzles in carbon, stainless and exotic steels, 5” refractory lined and with thermally sprayed aluminium external coating. 

Associated with the riser section, were six number PAU’s made up from BS EN 1090 structural steel, ASME B31.3 process piping fabrication.   

This project involved overseeing multiple subcontracts to ensure the project was delivered on time to meet with the clients shut down.   


pipework and mechanical fabrication in petrochem or petrochemical industry at hythe marine services

Developing Bespoke Solutions 

Matt worked with a client on a project for enabling works within their saltwater security system, to allow for the future devolvement of the site. 

A bespoke solution was developed with the client’s engineers to meet the scope requirements. This project involved splitting a 48” fire main line into three 20” lines within a restricted space. 

The project required a range of materials, including super duplex as well as multiple of surface finishes.

Click here to speak with Matt about Petrochem and pipework fabrication services.


Looking for Petrochem pipework fabrication services? Speak with our team via the button below.


Get to Know Hythe Marine Services’ Head of Welding

A conversation with Senior Welding Inspector, Paul Stone


Hythe Marine Services are dedicated to providing quality welding services on a local and national level. To find out more about the people and processes behind these services, we spoke to Hythe Marine Services’ (HMS) Senior Weld Inspector Paul Stone. 

Man welding pipework fabrication welding services Hythe Marine Services

When asked to describe his role Paul commented: “As well as developing weld processes and training our welders through Lloyds procedures, I’m here to control welding within Hythe Marine Services, kind of like the welding police – I’m on-site to inspect jobs and make sure things are done as they should be.”

Essentially, Paul is the Head of Welding at HMS. Within this role, he is responsible for weld quality assurance throughout the company.

Paul told us, “The quality side of welding is my background. Knowing about processes, developing procedures and testing welder qualifications. That’s my sort of expertise and that’s what I bring to Hythe.” 

Hythe Group’s managing director, Josh Mathias, added, “Hythe Group has strong values around developing our workforce, and Paul brings an essential capability to the business for in-house development around welding.”


Paul Stone’s Background and Experience 

Paul described himself as a “Time-served welder by trade”. He’s been a Senior Welding Inspector since achieving certification 3 years ago but has been a Certified Welding Inspector since 2004. Paul was actually the first weld inspector in the Naval Base when he was working for BAE Systems

Throughout his career, Paul has always been based in the naval base, whether it’s with BAE Systems or HMS. His experience with BAE Systems gives Paul added knowledge about their requirements on jobs. Another bonus is Paul’s close working relationship with their team, including some of Paul’s old apprentices. 

Paul started out as an apprentice from 1986 to 1990, before becoming a welder and, over the years, moving across various welding coordination duties. He then became a registered welding inspector allowing him to run and monitor the welding services at BAE. Paul then moved on to HMS and has been there for 13 years.

Paul reflected, “There’s been a lot of changes over the years, and all for the better. Hythe is a good place to be, with all sorts of characters, disciplines and trades going on.” 

When speaking to Paul it was clear that he is highly passionate about the welding side of things. His history with Hythe Group gives him a unique perspective, as he can compare the company now with 12-13 years ago and see how far things have progressed. 

Paul said, “We’re at a different level now. I consider ourselves to be the pride of the South Coast in marine repair with all we’ve got in place. We get repeat work from customers like BAE Systems because of the quality of work we do and the timescales we do it in.” 


What does Being an Inspector of Welding Services Involve?

Being a welding inspector relies on having excellent welding knowledge and experience.

A Senior Weld Inspector must be capable of understanding procedures, written guidelines and hold all-round knowledge on weld quality assurance. They also need to have integrity and be able to argue against people that are saying ‘just get on and do it’, and give the reasons why. 

When Paul first joined HMS he was still carrying out welding services as part of the small team. He had some great opportunities and even worked on Royal Naval aircraft carriers such as HMS Invincible, Ark Royal and Illustrious.

HMS Invincible Hythe Marine Services Welding Services Weld Inspection
Hugh Llewelyn from Keynsham, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Paul also went out to New York to represent HMS and has sailed on cruise ships around the world. “I’ve been over to America and sailed back on Queen Mary 2, I’ve sailed out on a vessel to the Baltics around Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia and Estonia. My favourite times with Hythe Group were when we’ve been sailing and working away.” 

As a Senior Weld Inspector Paul’s job is now mostly at the Naval base. Paul no longer embarks on long-haul projects abroad, but instead focuses his efforts on getting things right and making a name for HMS in the marine industry. 

Our article Lloyd’s Coded Welders: Why We’re Different… explains the processes of weld testing, including destructive and non-destructive testing, at HMS.

Paul explained, “The best part of my job is the satisfaction of getting things right and making a name for ourselves. That’s what gets me. It’s not the money, it’s the fact that I get a kick out of knowing we’re doing things right, as we should be. Customers come back to us time and time again. That’s what really gives me a buzz.”


Ensuring Safety and Quality in HMS Welding Services

Safety is a massive consideration for not just HMS, but anyone working in the construction trade and marine environments. 

To ensure the safety of HMS welders, all HMS welding operatives must have air-fed welding shades with filters on them, they must have fume extraction and full PPE – including wearing fire retardant overalls, safety boots and suitable gloves. 

Paul also explained, “For all the tasks we do at HMS, the welders have risk assessments and statements which are issued out by Team Managers. There are also additional considerations like fire essentials, and when working onboard warships there must never be only one person, and our team complete Confined Space training too.”

In a recent move by HMS to increase weld quality assurance, the company are putting all their welders, welding apprentices and anyone who’s doing welding for the company through a Visual Weld Inspector course. Read more about this project in our recent News article: Hythe Marine Services Welders Achieve Certified Visual Weld Inspector Status


What’s Next For Paul Stone? 

As we spoke to Paul he was currently up at the Welding Institute completing his European Welding Specialist Diploma. If that goes well, Paul will be looking at obtaining the technologist diploma too. 

Paul said, “I’m moving now more into the technical side of the company rather than the welding side of things. From my point of view, it’s not just knowing about the welding, it’s the knowledge of materials, weldability factors, how materials react when you’re welding them and different processes. It’s not just a weld inspection thing, and if we do have any welding problems it’s knowing how to get past those issues.”

To find out more about Hythe Marine Services’ commercial and local welding services, get in touch with our team below.

Hythe Marine Services Welders Achieve Certified Visual Weld Inspector Status

Welding is one of the only jobs that’s always inspected to ensure procedure and quality standards are adhered to, no matter how much experience a welder has. 

It’s fundamental to any marine engineering company that processes are not only in place but strictly followed, ensuring the safety and quality of any welding job.  

Visual Weld Inspector welding a flux core weld on fabricated seating

Hythe Marine Services (HMS) are investing in their staff to give customers, and the internal team, an extra layer of confidence that the in-house work being carried out is meeting the highest of standards.

Senior Welding Inspector, Paul Stone, explained, “Our plan is to put all our welders, welding apprentices and anyone who’s doing welding for the company through a Visual Weld Inspectors course.”

We spoke to Paul about the reasons behind this push on inspection training, and why it’s so significant for HMS as providers of marine engineering services in Portsmouth and the UK. 


What’s the Benefit of Visual Weld Inspector Training?

Paul told us, “Being a qualified Visual Weld Inspector means that you’ve completed a welding inspection course which teaches visual inspection procedures, relevant codes of practice and terms and definitions. Our staff will also learn about welding processes and defects, weld measurements, practical inspection and reporting, and the typical welding inspection documentation and requirements. As a result of this training, we can be confident that our workforce are carrying out procedures correctly and that the finished works are always to the highest of standards for our customers.”

By having this knowledge, a welder can carry out an initial visual inspection to catch potential issues before passing it on to the Weld Inspector. HMS welders won’t ever sign off their own work, however, this adds an extra layer of in-house confidence in the quality of the weld. 

Paul said, “There’s a lot more to welding than just going in and doing the job. It’s a process worth taking seriously and investing in the quality of the job, which is what’s done at Hythe Marine. This extra investment in our welders shows potential customers what welding means to us as a business.”


Why is Skill Development so Important in the Welding Industry?

Welders always have to re-qualify and their work is constantly inspected, whether it’s tested visually or using Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) like radiography. Continuous training ensures welding operators are sufficient in the job they’re going to do. 

Following British Standards and requirements laid out by Lloyds Coded Welding, HMS’ welders are prolongated every 6 months and retested every 3 years. 

Read more about the importance of coded welding at Hythe Marine Services here.

Hythe Group welder welding Inconel Gas shielding flow guides for Rolls Royce

What Does Achieving Visual Weld Inspector Qualifications Mean?

The purpose of inspection in welding is to ensure that the quality systems that HMS are working to are met. It doesn’t just mean you’re inspecting the weld itself, but staff are ensuring that the right materials are being used, the right personnel are working on the job and that the welding consumables are the same as what’s in the procedures. 

Once the team has their Visual Weld Inspector status, HMS know that their welders have the knowledge to make sure the welds are acceptable. 

Identifying defects, like slag and weld splatter or gas pores, is part of the course. After completing their training, the welder will know that these defects need to be removed before handing over to a welding inspector for sign-off.  

Welders removing defects before the final visual inspection reduces the amount of rejected welds that need to be redone, which additionally saves time for the team. 

Paul Stone told us, “These qualifications are an investment, but HMS is committed to investing in the workforce and the quality of their welds, to give customers confidence in what we’re doing as a company.”


Employee Development at HMS

Josh Mathias, Managing Director Hythe Group, and Luke Fitzgerald, Director of value Engineering for Hythe Marine Services, encourage and facilitate employee training at all levels within the company. 

Paul commented, “At Hythe Group we’re constantly developing weld procedures and qualifying our welders. It’s not a cheap thing, but customers require quality standards and traceability. People don’t just want it done, they want it done right – with full traceability and all the paperwork in place. Josh Mathias has never got any issues releasing funds to be able to do that.”

When working for clients like BAE Systems, Babcock and the Royal Navy where fully-certified traders are a priority, it’s imperative that all staff have up to date training. 

Paul Stone said, “You’re proving to customers that you can do the job by obtaining the relevant qualifications and taking the right training courses. It’s always better to set the standards than just adhere to them”

Click the button below to find out about our coded welding services, and how our team can help with your next project. 

The Best Stories Are the Ones No One Thought to Tell

Meet Hythe Group Content Marketing Manager, Hannah Cotterell

woman passing sailing equipment to white boat with blue sky

Over the past year, you may have noticed that Hythe Group, which comprises of Hythe Building Services, Hythe Marine Services and Hythe HOSMU, has become increasingly vocal. 

Hythe Group has historically not been one to shout too loud about the fantastic projects they’re involved with, the cool charities they support or the awesome team they retain. However, that all changed a year ago when content marketer and storyteller Hannah Cotterell joined the team. 

Hannah commented, “It’s incredible to see what the Hythe Group of companies get involved with, from bespoke building and construction projects through to the essential service and maintenance of Royal Naval vessels. The team have been doing this for years and think nothing of it, whereas I’m blown away by all the things they get involved with!”

As Hannah reaches her first anniversary of working with Hythe Group, we talk content marketing, the power of story and how Hythe is evolving. 

Introducing Hannah Cotterell

In perfect harmony with the mould-breaking and dynamic character of Hythe Group, Hannah’s not one to follow the ordinary.

After a career in various marketing roles, Hannah quit her day job in 2016 to focus on telling the stories of amazing brands around the world. Having previously worked at Harken Yacht Equipment in PR and Sponsorship, her first job as an independent storyteller was perfectly apt.

Hannah told us, “My first job was as an onboard reporter for yacht racing Team Maverick, the radical Infiniti 46R with Dynamic Stability System (DSS) foiling technology. This was a perfect opportunity as I love anything to do with water and sailing.”

woman on mast with birds eye view of sail boat and ocean

Whilst working with Team Maverick, Hannah made the team website, managed socials and built a brand that made people want to “Be a Maverick.” From there she became a focused Marketeer, with the sole mission of eradicating boring content, offering content marketing as a service and telling the stories of amazing people and brands around the globe. 

But that’s not all… 

After this project, Hannah got herself a CAA drone licence and started doing aerial filming at events such as the SB20 Worlds and Surfing spots in Nazare, Portugal.

One year after deciding to quit the day job, Hannah was travelling around the world with the Volvo Ocean Race (now called The Ocean Race). Hannah recalled, “In 2017-18 I travelled around the world with the Volvo Ocean Race, telling the story of the team behind the hardware of the incredible Volvo 65 Yachts. I never got the chance to be an onboard reporter for that one, but a girl can dream!”

Racing sailing boats in colourful dock with mountains in the background and white yachts behind

After completing a rather hectic year of travel, Hannah was back in Europe looking for her next great brand to work with, and along came Hythe!

Hythe Group Marketing – Where it All Began

A year ago, Hythe Group managing director Josh Mathias decided to start promoting all the great work his team were doing behind the scenes. 

Josh began looking for someone creative to help with the content side of life and received a recommendation from shipbuilding engineer Dave Monks, who’d previously worked with Hannah. They had a meeting to see whether it would be a good fit, and both saw the value of collaborating.

Hannah explained how she started working with Hythe Group, “In September 2019 I received an email from Josh who had been given my name from one of his shipbuilding engineers, Dave Monks. It turns out it really is a small world. Back in 2015, I went to Turkey to help out with the build of Yacht Maverick. Dave taught me how to make a fuel bracket out of carbon fibre in a random shed in Turkey. There is nothing quite as odd as drilling seemingly a billion holes in someone else’s brand new boat!”

What’s it like working with Hythe Group?

welder welding in the dark with blue sparks flying and smoke

Hannah commented on the super friendly nature of Hythe Group and the team. “It doesn’t matter if you’ve just joined a team that have known each other forever because if you’re helping out, then you’re part of the family!”

Another key factor that comes with working for Hythe Group is the impeccable standards everyone in the team strives for. Hannah told us, “There are standards, and then Hythe standards. If you work for Hythe Group then you better bring your A-game, they provide nothing but the best service to their clients and expect nothing less from their team.”

Hannah commented on how Hythe’s dedication to excellence is fantastic to work with.  She told us this striving for perfection comes from everyone’s willingness to do whatever it takes to make a job great, no matter how small the task. 

These positive feelings are mutual with MD Josh Mathias, who told us, “Hannah has been a joy to work with. The content, websites & social media speak for themselves when it comes to describing her capabilities. She has picked up on our industries very quickly, can talk to anyone and seems to make everyone smile when she speaks to them.”

The Marketing Challenges of Hythe Group’s Industries

Since Hannah started with Hythe Group, the Group has moved from a largely marine focus to including Building Services and HOSMU bespoke storage and distribution solutions within their main offering. 

We asked Hannah about the unique challenges that come with working in the Hythe Group company industries.

She told us, “After the re-branding of Hythe Group as a parent company, I guess you could say one challenge is working out how to keep a Group look and feel to your content whilst specialising enough to talk to the right buyer persona for each company.”

Another challenge for Hythe Marine Services specifically is that they work on some highly confidential projects, which is tough for marketers to utilise!

Hannah deals with this by learning the terminology that is generally accepted or rejected and building up a network of people that need to be contacted for approvals.

Hannah said, “The worst thing in my books would be to release an article or image that is supposed to be kept secret. I make sure our content plan is reviewed by numerous personnel before we ever go live!”

How has Hythe Group Evolved in the past year? 

The most significant change this year was bringing together Hythe Building Services, Hythe Marine Services and Hythe HOSMU all under one roof as Hythe Group. In addition, Hythe has released new woodworking and composites workshops!

Alongside the growth of Hythe Group has been the journey of content and marketing, establishing a well-known and trusted brand digitally. There are four main pillars Hannah has been developing, to show the world what Hythe Group can do and to build relationships with clients, charities and potential sponsors. 

Content marketing

In short, Hythe Group got social! Each month Hannah takes the information the team feeds her and turns it into a bespoke content marketing plan that we use to map out our social media activities for the month. Hannah told us, “We are working solely with organic content at the moment and it’s great to see the content grow and the followers increase in engagement.” 

Brand guidelines 

2020 saw the creation of brand guidelines to bring Hythe Group and the Hythe Group companies under one branding umbrella. 

Hannah explained, “This has given us a much more recognisable, uniform and consistent look that our customers can associate with, whilst retaining the spirit of the team.”


When Hannah joined, there were a few different websites for Hythe Building Services, Hythe Marine Services and Hythe HOSMU. During this year, Hannah and the team revamped the sites to bring them all under Hythe Group, making them easy to find, with a tonne more content for clients to explore. 


Managing Director Josh likes to help support charities and groups wherever possible, so Hannah decided to bring in a more structured approach to activating those sponsorships. Hythe Group is no longer modestly hiding in the shadows as we now actively shout about the amazing teams, charities and groups we sponsor. Head to the sponsorship page for the full list. 

Check out the latest stories from Hythe Group of companies via the links below!


Hythe Marine Services Signs Armed Forces Covenant

On the 24th July 2020, Josh Mathias, Managing Director of Hythe Marine Services, signed a commitment for his company to honour the Armed Forces Covenant.

We recognise the value Serving Personnel, both Regular and Reservists, Veterans and military families contribute to our business and our country. Through this covenant we dedicate ourselves to help those that have served or are serving our country, in any way we can.

An Enduring Covenant Between

The People of the United Kingdom Her Majesty’s Government and all those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces of the Crown and their Families.

The first duty of Government is the defence of the realm. Our Armed Forces fulfil that responsibility on behalf of the Government, sacrificing some civilian freedoms, facing danger and, sometimes, suffering serious injury or death as a result of their duty. Families also play a vital role in supporting the operational effectiveness of our Armed Forces. In return, the whole nation has a moral obligation to the members of the Naval Service, the Army and the Royal Air Force, together with their families. They deserve our respect and support, and fair treatment.

Those who serve in the Armed Forces, whether Regular or Reserve, those who have served in the past, and their families, should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services. Special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved.

This obligation involves the whole of society: it includes voluntary and charitable bodies, private organisations, and the actions of individuals in supporting the Armed Forces. Recognising those who have performed military duty unites the country and demonstrates the value of their contribution. This has no greater expression than in upholding this Covenant.

Hythe Group sign armed forces covenant

1.1 Section 1: Principles Of The Armed Forces Covenant

We Hythe Marine Services Ltd will endeavour in our business dealings to uphold the key principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, which are:

  • No member of the Armed Forces Community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen
  • In some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate especially for the injured or bereaved.

2.1 Section 2: Demonstrating our Commitment

Hythe Marine Services Ltd recognises the value serving personnel, reservists, veterans and military families bring to our business. We will seek to uphold the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant, by:

  • promoting the fact that we are an armed forces-friendly organisation;
  • seeking to support the employment of veterans young and old and working with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), in order to establish a tailored employment pathway for Service
  • Leavers;
  • striving to support the employment of Service spouses and partners;
  • endeavouring to offer a degree of flexibility in granting leave for Service spouses and
  • partners before, during and after a partner’s deployment;
  • seeking to support our employees who choose to be members of the Reserve forces,
  • including by accommodating their training and deployment where possible;
  • offering support to our local cadet units, either in our local community or in local schools,
  • where possible;
  • offering a discount to members of the Armed Forces Community;
  • any additional commitments Hythe Marine Services Ltd could make (based on local circumstances).
  • Offer additional training to all personnel who are interested in our skills & want to pursue a trade

2.2 We will publicise these commitments through our literature and/or on our website, setting out how we will seek to honour them and inviting feedback from the Service community and our customers on how we are doing.

I you would like to know more please contact our team via the button below.