Wessex Group History

Having served an electrical apprenticeship with the Southern Electricity Board, Tony Morgan started his own business in November 1963. Sales in the first year amounted to £4,291.6s 11d

Tony (pictured circa 1964) traded under his own name until 1967 when the business became known as Wessex Electricals and was subsequently incorporated in 1972.

Wessex Electricals developed an enviable reputation locally and enjoyed excellent relationships with many of the region’s local builders, winning more and more prestigious contracts, including the re-wire of Sherborne Abbey.

We moved from our makeshift office, a residential property in Shaftesbury, to a small purpose built office on the edge of Longmead Industrial Estate, which we proudly named “Wessex House”. By the end of 1982 the company had increased annual sales to £153,466 and was employing 18 staff.

If the previous two decades had been about laying foundations, the third decade was about significant growth and diversification. There were very few regional burglar alarm companies in 1984 when Wessex Alarms was founded and we quickly established ourselves as the region’s premier provider of security systems. In 1985 Tony’s eldest son, Simon, joined the business from school as a trainee security surveyor.

Towards the end of this key decade we moved from our small offices to our second purpose built building and sales shot past the £1m mark to £1,826,329 and we employed 35 staff.

The fourth decade saw continued growth and the creation of a formal group structure under the parent company “Wessex Group”. Alistair, Tony’s other son, joined the business as a trainee buyer in 1993 having spent six years working in sales, the last two in the electrical wholesale industry.

Wessex Alarms was renamed Wessex Fire & Security, to better describe the services provided, and continued to go from strength to strength. Wessex Building Services was founded to specialise solely in major projects and two of the most notable projects during the decade were the complete electrical refurbishment of Poole Arts Centre, including the prestigious concert hall, which reopened as The Lighthouse, and the installation of all the electrical services in the largest Sikh temple outside of India.

In 1999 the company acquired two adjoining factory units on the Longmead Industrial Estate, which we partially demolished to create our current 15,000m² purpose built offices.

By the end of this decade of growth annual sales amounted to £16,710,364 and the number of staff had reached an impressive 205

In the first year of our fifth decade Wessex became recognised as a UK top 50 electrical contractor, entering the Schneider sponsored list for the first time at No. 45. This marked the beginning of a period which has seen the sort of significant achievements only achievable by a mature and experienced business.

In 2004 we began providing heating and plumbing services under the banner of Wessex HVAC & Plumbing and a year later we acquired Andover based Wiltshire & Willey Electrical Contractors.

2004 also saw Tony Morgan elected to the most prestigious role of President of the Electrical Contractors Association and he subsequently collected a plethora of lifetime achievement awards from both the electrical and security industries

The most notable project of the period was undertaken by Wessex Fire & Security and involved the installation of the fire alarm and voice evacuation system at the brand new GCHQ building in Cheltenham – a contract that took two years to complete and was worth £2.5m.

Tony completed his phased retirement in 2006 formally passing the baton to his two sons Simon and Alistair who had taken over executive responsibility in 2001.

In 2010 Wessex Renewable Energy was founded and 2013 hailed the formation of Wessex Property Care to provide an integrated service for all our customer’s property maintenance needs.

In 2014 Gordon Green retired, having celebrated 50 years’ service, the last ten of which as the Managing Director of Wessex Electricals. Tom Chandler, our previous Director of Purchasing, is now the MD, having joined the Group in 2002.

Wessex Group continues to go from strength to strength and in 2016 sales amounted to £41,511,691 with the number of staff standing at 398.

For more information please CLICK HERE to open our “50 Years of Wessex” Brochure