Aged 16, Morris Somerville began his apprenticeship as a draughtsman at Reyrolle & Co in Hebburn, Tyne and Wear, later attending night school to attain Chartered Engineer status. A business meeting in Glasgow led to an introduction to Marie (who would later become his wife) and a decision to move to Glasgow permanently.
In 1966, Morris spotted a gap in the Scottish manufacturing market. His primary interests were ventilation, dust control and air conditioning – hence the name Dustacco (Dust/Air Conditioning Company). He set up a small design office in his Glasgow flat and subcontracted the manufacture and installation of his ventilation designs, often supervising the site installations himself.
Through Dustacco Engineering, Morris designed and subcontracted the fabrication of extraction and ventilation equipment for clients such as Brown & Polson, Singer, Coats Vyella and British Steel.
In the early 1970’s, Morris identified a need within the existing client base for process cooling. Seeing this as an opportunity for diversification into new fabrications, he went on to design a water cooling tower, which was branded ‘Watermiser’ and manufactured in-house by Dustacco. In 1971, Watermiser was incorporated as a separate company and Morris took pleasure, together with Vincent Flynn, friend, brother-in-law and salesman extraordinaire, in designing what he lovingly termed ‘the best cooling tower in the world’.
Watermiser Ltd remains the only water cooling tower manufacturer in Scotland.
Over the years, we have worked for a diverse range of clients including many large businesses in the food and drink industry such as Heinz, Nestle, Diageo and Coca Cola. We continue to work with distilleries across the UK from William Grant & Son in Ayrshire to Highland Park in Orkney. Notable projects in other sectors include the supply of water cooling towers at the Dahran Airport, Saudi Arabia (1970s), and a sizeable design to install project at the Palace of Westminster London (1981). More recent high-profile jobs have included BNFL’s Sellafield over the 90s to world-renowned drinks brands such as Glenfiddich, Bowmore and Bushmills in the last year or two.
Despite the images shown, we can assure you that just as the facilities and service offering has evolved over time, so too has our health and safety culture. This was commonplace in the 1970s, but not any more!
Guided by her father’s legacy and with the ongoing commitment of our dedicated personnel, Alison is proud to be at the helm of the businesses which have grown in size, strength and capacity, particularly over the last 15 years.
From the growing client base and project complexity to the people development and project management skills, there are simply too many great aspects to detail here. Suffice to say, the team means everything, and without it, the businesses wouldn’t be what they are today. Our people are at the heart of all we do.
“Looking back, I’ve many fond memories of dad ‘talking shop’ – there was always a new job or big project in the offing.
Like many others, I realise what a privilege it was to work with such an inspired man, and I continue to be honoured by the loyalty of those individuals and indeed, generations of families that continue to show unwavering commitment to Dustacco and Watermiser today. Without their efforts and the inclusive culture that they have created and continue to foster, we would not be where we are today.”