Hythe Engineering Celebrates Key Milestone on Prestigious Royal Navy Project

Earlier this year, one Hythe Engineering project team reached a significant milestone on a prestigious Royal Navy project. The crew successfully completed a compartment seating installation – an intricate task involving cross-functional collaboration, a high level of technical expertise and clear communication between internal and external teams. 

Hythe Engineering‘s seamless integration of diverse skills and expertise, underpinned by shared values and a strong company culture, has been key to delivering these outstanding results. 


Meticulous Preparation Overcomes Tough Challenges 

The project milestone was not an easy feat – involving numerous preparatory steps, including penetration removals, insert repairs, and underdeck stiffening changes to the tank top in proximity to the area. 

After completing vacuum testing in the installation area, the team is now focused on structural alignment and sign-off before proceeding with full welding. 

With the seating units measuring over seven meters in length and weighing around 2.5 tons, managing this installation safely was an outstanding achievement. This milestone represents a culmination of efforts from across the entire organisation, exemplifying the team culture at Hythe Engineering. 

HMS Defender arriving into Portsmouth

Collaborative Effort Results in Resounding Success 

The installation and workshop team may have been the flag bearers for the successful work, but their success wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions of various departments working seamlessly together.  

According to Project Manager Matt Cross, the team are doing a fantastic job, with Aiden Steward and Fred Creamer heading up the constructive and pipework afloat teams respectively…

“Both gents bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, as well as huge amounts of energy and enthusiasm. For me, having them both as members of the team gives me great confidence in a successful delivery.” 

Danny Shipp, Delivery Manager at Hythe, also shared some kind words. He highlighted the exceptional work ethic and skill of the project team and associated business areas. 

“The team have managed a significant step forward. Managing the delivery of this task and the safety of this installation has amounted to a fantastic achievement. 

Importantly, although Aidan, Fred and the team on-the-ground have been the flag bearers on this particular step, the success represents the culmination of effort from everyone in the team. 

Across our departments, the Procurement, Engineering and Quality Control teams have seamlessly aligned in the coordination and delivery of manufacturing seats and targeting the penetrations needed to be ready in line with requirements. It’s because of this joint, collaborative effort that we’re able to make things like this happen. 

A real, well done and thank you to all involved.” 

Hythe Engineering - We Can

Embodying Company Values and Culture 

This accomplishment showcases the power of trust, teamwork, and a shared drive, as outlined in the company’s values. By respecting one another, being committed to the cause, and maintaining a positive attitude, the team demonstrated the huge value of the We Can ethos that underpins what life is like at Hythe Engineering. 

As the company continues to grow and take on new challenges, this milestone serves as a testament to the strength of the business and the collective efforts of its people. From manufacturing and engineering to procurement, HR, and quality control, every team member played a role in this achievement. Congratulations to Danny, Aidan, the project team, and everyone involved.


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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 Joins Hythe Marine Services As 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.

portsmouth view sarah powell 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’ 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. 

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 of 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. 

From Pipefitting Apprenticeship to Full-Time Pipefitter

Meet Hythe Marine Services’ latest recruit Conor Green

10% of the workforce at Hythe Marine Services (HMS), a marine engineering company, is made up of apprentices. This means the growing workforce pass down decades of in-house knowledge and industry expertise, to pursue Hythe Group’s overall goal of continuous upskilling and development. 

Hythe Group as a whole promote and drive apprenticeships and training through all levels of the business and three Hythe Group companies.

One example of this is Conor Green, who recently went from pipefitting apprentice to full-time pipefitter with Hythe Marine Services. 

What Does a Pipefitter Do?

Usually starting out as juniors or apprentices, pipefitters are skilled tradespeople who install, repair, maintain, assemble, fabricate and test pipe systems. These piping systems will usually include pipework, valves and pumps.

Within the marine engineering industry, pipefitters are a crucial part of the workforce as they are responsible for ship piping systems on naval and commercial vessels. 

What Does a Pipefitter Apprentice Do?

A pipefitter apprenticeship program involves a combination of practical experience within an engineering company and theoretical study with a college or university. 

As well as working towards their certification, pipefitter apprentices gain hands-on experience in the relevant skills required to be a pipefitter. These skills include welding, plating and fitting pipes. 

Depending on the level of the qualification, the apprenticeship will be between 2 and 4 years. 

Meet Conor Green 

We spoke to Conor to find out what his apprenticeship involved, what it’s like to be part of Hythe Group and life as a pipefitter in the marine engineering world. 

pipefitter welding a pipe wearing full protective equipment in a workshop

What Does a Pipefitting Apprenticeship Involve? 

My apprenticeship was four years long and split up into different sections. The first year was in the dockyard completing the Level 2 part of the qualification. Year one was mainly paperwork based with four days in college and one day a week on placement. 

We had lecturers going through each module, and we had different tasks to complete in the workshop to learn the basics of engineering and hand skills. On Friday’s I was with Hythe Marine Services, where I’d get hands-on experience working on jobs with the tradesmen to learn the ropes. 

After that first year, I spent all of my time with Hythe Marine Services getting practical experience. Depending on what jobs were on at the time would determine who I would be working with. I’d go out on jobs with different teams, watching them work and help out, or I’d be in the workshop working on a set task to develop new skills. 

Alongside this, I was completing my Level 3 NVQ in pipefitting which meant I would complete tasks according to the certification requirements, take photos and complete write-ups to document what I’d done. 

In the fourth year of my apprenticeship, I’d completed all the necessary qualifications which meant I could spend my time solely gaining knowledge and getting hands-on experience with the tools and learning from my mentor. 

This was my favourite year of my pipefitting apprenticeship as I could focus on the skill of the trade rather than having to worry about the paperwork. 

Why Did You Choose to Be a Pipefitter? 

I wanted to carry on with further education but I didn’t like the idea of just going to college. I went to some open-evenings in colleges and at the dockyard to learn about the available apprenticeships. Hythe Marine Services were there and I liked the idea of learning on the job and getting experience whilst being paid. 

I chose pipefitting specifically because I liked the idea of getting to learn different skills like plating, welding and engineering. 

What Was Your Favourite Project You Worked on?

During my pipefitting apprenticeship in Portsmouth, I got to work on loads of different jobs. The one I most enjoyed was in the 2nd year of my apprenticeship at Southampton General Hospital. 

Myself and a group of pipefitters went to rip-out and reinstall a brand new piping system in the boiler house at the hospital. 

I got to be on the job from start to finish so I saw all the aspects that went into the project, such as getting the materials, planning the installation and the piping itself. 

The boiler house was still powering Southampton General Hospital, so we had to work to strict timeframes. If we needed to rip a pipe out, the boilers would get turned off so there were only certain windows we could work within. 

We had to plan the day to the exact hour. For example, we would only have about a 3-hour window to complete a task because that’s how long the boiler could be off for. We had to plan during the days leading up to it how the job would be done, and complete all the pre-fab to ensure the pipes are fitted. This was so when the boilers were switched off we knew we weren’t going to overshoot it and cause major problems for the hospital. 

I liked the aspect of planning and getting to see a long-term job from start to finish, and the tape-off of the project and the final handover.

marine engineer pipefitting and welding inside a pipe

What Advice Would You Give to Somebody Considering a Hythe Group Apprenticeship?

I would highly recommend it. When you go to college it’s all done by the book and it’s not real life. By doing an apprenticeship, you actually get to see what it’s like because you’re on the job. You might go to college and you might love it but when you get to the job it could be completely different. When you’re learning on an apprenticeship you see what it’s actually like and get to gauge whether it’s right for you. 

I chose to stay on with Hythe Marine Services because they’re a friendly company to work for and I know the procedures, rules and how things go. After four years working with the team, I get on with them all and know them really well. I feel like there are still things I can learn and experience to get and knowledge I can gain.

What’s Your New Role?

Now I’ve got my Level 3 NVQ diploma, I’m now a qualified pipefitter. In my new role, I’ll now be getting very hands-on with all the tasks, gaining more confidence and experience in my trade. 

I’ll be doing various different jobs in the trade, by myself and with others. Now I’m fully qualified it’s about getting more experience and tying everything together. 

In the long term, my goal is to cement myself as a valued member at the core of Hythe Marine Services. 

How to Become a Pipefitter Apprentice with HMS

Find out more about our apprenticeships, including pipefitter apprenticeship jobs, via our Apprenticeships page.

Or, you can read more about what it’s like to be an HMS apprentice from our interview with Hythe Marine Services apprentice Tyrrell Ford.

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.

Hythe Group Introduce a New Joinery and Carpentry Workshop

Meet Peter Barker and Mike Budd

Hythe Group have opened up a brand new workshop specifically for woodworking projects. To find out more we spoke to experienced carpenters Peter Barker and Mike Budd, who recently joined the Hythe team.

Peter and Mike first worked with Hythe Marine Services (HMS) in May 2019, as contractors on a project for the Royal Navy’s Hunt Class minesweepers. After seeing their skill and work ethic, HMS offered them permanent roles within Hythe Group and in September 2019 they joined the team full-time.

The new joinery workshop

Hythe Marine Services’ shop floor previously focused solely on metalwork and fabrication. Metal welders and fabricators often work in cold environments, whereas woodwork requires a warm, dry workshop. Combining these two crafts under the same roof would have posed a potential fire hazard (between the sparks of welding and the wood shavings of joinery work) and so the decision was made to keep the two workshops apart. 

As a result, Hythe Group built a brand new workshop designed especially for woodwork, which is spacious, warm, clean and well-lit.

New team members Peter Barker and Mike Budd

Both Peter and Mike obtained their NVQ Levels 1,2, and 3 in Carpentry and Joinery whilst completing apprenticeships at shipyard companies. Throughout their careers, they have worked for numerous businesses within the marine engineering industry. 

Since his apprenticeship, Mike built a wealth of experience and skill working for A&P Shipcare, Sunseekers, Harris Pye Marine, Trimline, and BSA building and maintenance. During Mike’s time at A&P Shipcare, he worked on deck heads and bulkheads, built cradles for the ships to sit on, was part of the team dry docking ships and was involved in stripping out cabins.

Whilst working with various businesses, such as BAE Systems, Peter gained invaluable industry knowledge which he brought to HMS. Peter also spent time working for luxury yacht companies like Oyster and Compass Tenders. Throughout his time at Compass Tenders, Peter built and moulded high-end superyacht tenders from scratch, such as the Jupiter tender for their superyacht ‘Alisail’.

Prior to joining Hythe Group, Peter and Mike were working at the same company. Peter told us about a fantastic antique yacht he worked on during his time there. “I worked at a classic boatyard in Germany where we re-planked an antique boat from scratch. We used American cedar inboard plank and mahogany exterior plank, and the joinery consisted of old school scarf joints or for oak frames we used brass screws. It was traditional boat building in a very prestigious boatyard. A great project to be a part of.”

Through their previous company, Mike and Peter worked for Sunseekers on interior subfloors, roofing and decking. Interior fit-outs were always to an impeccably high standard. They recalled being in awe at the sheer size of the superyachts, and their unbelievable features like gyms and even cinemas! 

“The work that we do is really rewarding because ultimately, the end result is on display for everyone to see. Having worked with superyachts and other high-end clients, the standards are extremely high and the finishes must be top-notch. It’s great to finish a project and see all that hard work on display,” Mike Budd.


What does this mean for Hythe Marine Services? 

With the new workshop, Hythe Marine Services can now provide custom high-quality joinery and carpentry services to the marine industry. This is a new in-house capability for Hythe Group, and they look forward to the different nature of projects it will bring. 

Since starting with HMS in September, Pete and Mike have been busy working on some exciting woodwork projects. These will usually begin with a drawing, cutting list and edging and finish with bespoke, handmade items that meet customer’s exact requirements. These projects include custom wardrobes with built-in beds, radiator covers and bathroom utility units. After drawing up designs for one customer, they built a bespoke kitchen suite using tongue and groove vertical lines. 

Mike commented: “Hythe Marine Services do exceptional work but it’s usually behind the scenes and hidden once the end product is completed. Our work is the final product, minus the finish, so it has to be perfect before leaving the workshop.” 

In the future, Pete and Mike are looking to do more woodwork for Royal Navy carriers, such as their cabin refits, bar tops and workspaces and are also hoping to expand within the building side of the business. Their diverse careers have given them a wide-ranging skillset which enables them to adapt to anything. Their skills go beyond woodwork to mechanical fitting and installations, with Mike and Pete often helping out with bulkheads, tracks and deckheads. They also spent a lot of time last year working on the HMS Queen Elizabeth adding hinges to fire doors. 

The new joinery workshop is now up and running within Hythe Marine Services. A great benefit to Hythe Group is the new workshop can also assist Building services on their projects where required. The new team with Peter and Mike is there to support the turnkey solutions HMS require. This gives customers the added ease of a one-stop-shop for their projects.

To find out more about how our bespoke woodworking services can help your next project, contact us here!

Hythe HOSMU provides storage & distribution solutions for Heathrow Airport


Who and what is HOSMU?

HOSMU is a Hythe Group company which was introduced to support the mass production of custom metal fabrication projects, providing innovative solutions to customers’ storage and distribution challenges.

The HOSMU concept was developed in partnership with Heathrow Airfield Operations, the safety and workplace supplier, Our Soles Ltd. and proven engineering specialists, Hythe Marine Services.

The resulting turnkey solution is a concept driven, manufacturing business capable of designing, delivering and implementing consolidated and organised storage of essential resilience equipment.

This process has been designed to give customers the highest quality solutions, based on Hythe Marine Services knowledge and experience from the marine sector, including cost efficiencies and speed of a production line.


The Heathrow Airport project

Hythe HOSMU was installed airside at Heathrow Airport in readiness for winter 2019/20. The installation provided a new solution for a consolidated, single point of collection, for essential winter resilience operating equipment.

Operational efficiencies are instantly improved by placing all equipment into one modular system (situated in multiple locations airside) which ensure self-help snow and ice clearance equipment is organised and readily available. By providing a clear focal point for organistaion and storage HOSMU ensures operational equipment is returned, reducing the likelihood of trip hazards whilst lowering the need for tool replenishment.

The HOSMU for each stand or airside location is assembled depending upon the footprint and operational requirements of the area. Each unit can contain a number of functions such as:

  • Winter operations locker
  • Winter media distribution hopper
  • FOD (Foreign Object Debris) and POL (Polluted waste) wheelie bin storage

What was the problem Heathrow Airport’s winter resilience team faced?

You might be wondering what winter resilience really means? Heathrow has a team specifically dedicated to winter operations and they are entrusted to plan, prepare and manage robust strategies and resources for effective winter resilience. This may concern the shocks and stresses of winter weather, such as snow and ice, which impact airport operations.

Heathrow provides a number of useful tools and consumables which are kept in strategic areas of the airport for use by stakeholders and contractors as ‘self-help’. This ensures the safe passage of working areas in the event of ice or snow.

Heathrow had previously been using open mesh steel cages to house self-help equipment (brooms, shovels, scoops and buckets) and HDPE bins for the storage of winter media (grit and prilled de-icer) for in-situ distribution when required.

The open mesh steel cages offered no protection from the elements, nor did they provide any dedicated space for each of the self-help items to be kept in an organised fashion. Items were routinely being tarnished by exposure to the elements or lost in use.

In addition the HDPE bins were proving inadequate to store bags of prilled de-icer, especially when they had been partially used due to the products requirement to be kept dry at all times. Therefore a solution was required to enable safe, dry storage of the prill and grit allowing for accessible dispensing without any deterioration of the media or risk of manual handling issues – as grit or prill were lifted out of the bins in bulk, or scooped out from the bin whilst bending.

During a routine meeting with the Heathrow Winter Operations team to discuss the provision of PPE and safety workplace supplies (specifically related to the self-help clearance of Snow) Neil Robinson, managing director of Our Soles, was asked to provide concepts for robust self-help equipment that could develop innovative solutions to enable the safe storage and distribution of the items.


Why was Hythe Marine chosen to solve the problem?

Neil has been servicing Hythe Marine with safety kit and uniforms for almost a decade. During this time his relationship with key personnel within Hythe Marine Services has grown, as has his understanding of their capabilities related to turnkey projects. Neil’s experience watching HMS work made Hythe Group the perfect partner for this task. The project was reliant upon Hythes Marine’s metal fabrication and engineering skill set, and familiarity with bespoke problem solving, to ensure delivery of a robust, elegant and effective solution.


How did HMS solve the problem?

The brief was as follows:

  1. Manufacture a storage unit whereby all self-help tools could be safely stored and easily accessed.
  2. Design a hopper capable of dispensing prilled de-icer and grit without jamming whilst ensuring the disposal of media doesn’t involve any unnecessary bending or lifting
  3. Design a bin clamping mechanism to keep wheelie bins located airside and locked into one location
  4. Make the component parts modular

Following a number of meetings between key personnel the requisite self-help products to be housed in the locker were decided upon and each of the media. Prilled De-Icer and Aviation Grit were analysed for their mechanical properties to enable prototype hoppers to be developed. A shadow-boarded ‘locker’ was quickly developed that would effectively, safely and securely keep the tools shielded from the adverse weather conditions and ready for use when required.

The ‘Hopper’ was more of a challenge. After multiple trials of the media (particularly the prilled de-icer) in cold, wet, warm and dry simulated environments, and experimenting with numerous dispensing mechanisms, HMS Director of Value Engineering Luke Fitgerald and Operations Manager Greg Strange finally developed a solution. This is now in effective operation at Heathrow, dispensing media reliably, safely and accurately.

Following multiple prototypes, client led revisions and design developments the final HOSMU locker prototype was produced in time for presentation at the Summer Airside safety event in May 2019. At the event it was presented to the airside community for feedback as well as the winter operations team for approval.


What was difficult about the bespoke requirements of this project?

This project was different to others Hythe Marine Services is used to due to the requirement for airside stand locations and proximity to aircraft. Numerous operational safety considerations needed to be adhered to in order to enable a safe and robust solution to exist airside. The most tricky element was the design and mechanism of the hopper, specifically for prill which is a notoriously difficult media to work with.

This is what led to the pioneering bespoke hopper design. All modular component parts have been bespokely manufactured to the original brief.


What is difficult to adhere to airport regulations?

Numerous operational safety instructions exist for contractors working airside at Heathrow of which HOSMU are proud to have complied with in delivering this project.

Specific safety management systems were built to assist the project in complying with HOSMU’s obligations to the project Risk and Method Statements, control and procedures for aerodrome works.

Adherence to ground operations in terms of use of personal protective equipment, airside cleanliness and FOD management in accordance with the airport operations plan, alongside our commitment to environmental management and sustainability, all featured as part of the project delivery.


Future Development Plans for HOSMU?

To provide additional operational resource and further reduce hazards in operational areas, we are proposing the following additional equipment storage:

  • Cone and Cone trolley storage
  • Sawdust storage for minor spills
  • A tiered approach to chock storage

This will give ramp users a one-stop location for all equipment associated with the safe and efficient turnaround of aircraft, as well as providing our stakeholders with the necessary tools to carry out their role.


University of Portsmouth Installation

Hythe Building Services designed and delivered the Mechanical services for this prestigious project with Kier Construction for Portsmouth University.

The Hythe Building Services team stripped out all existing Domestic, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Services and installed a completely new system that included new wash hand basins within the new Consultant rooms, a VAV system complete with heating coils to control the optimum environment within the teaching spaces, intricate BMS modifications to incorporate the new systems onto the existing BMS Schnieder infrastructure. 

The project was a great success and Hythe went on to secure and deliver two other extremely time sensitive projects with Kier for The University of Portsmouth, our relationship with Kier and the University continues to flourish.