OBE for digital pioneer Paul - Grimsby's crown prince of the parking app
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 8 Apr 2019
An excelling pupil who furthered his studies during school breaks “because he had few friends and was rubbish at football,” has been awarded the OBE by the Queen for his exemplar entrepreneurial spirit.
Paul Moorby’s early introduction to computer programming at Waltham Toll Bar back in the late Seventies whet an appetite that saw him go on to develop his own tech-based company, having introduced digital membership to bingo halls before finding a niche in car parks.
Through his Chipside business he now provides digital ticketing and permitting services to half of the UK’s local authorities in the UK, with global aspirations for ‘e-bays’ now being realised
And formative figure, maths teacher Mr Duffy, who also ran the board games club at the secondary school, is held in the highest regard. “I credit him so much,” he said. “I wasn’t any good at football, didn’t have many friends, and at lunch times I wanted to learn something new. Mr Duffy highlighted programming, but wasn’t sure if there was a future in it! When you think the first home computers were emerging in 1982 he was a good while ahead of the curve.”
Twinned with an early desire to run his own business - initially cleaning windows for a fiver at a Waltham care home - he left school at 16 despite being one of the first to achieve 10 O-levels, and joined Expanded Piling on Cheapside.
Within a week he was sent down to London to measure pile depths on large construction sites within 100th of an inch, while cranking up the pressure.
The economic woes of the early Eighties hit hard though, and he worked briefly as a photographer and then for Bass, helping unite Granada and Coral to form Gala, before a brief stint with Kwik Save and branch management in Thorne, Scunthorpe and Cleethorpes.
Then in the early Nineties he returned to study, in Liverpool, reading core programming, before joining a company specialising in parking, where he put five years in the meter before it was bought out by NCP.
Clients, however, were keen to keep him as a consultant, and in 2003 he started to write his own platforms.
Chipside was born and it now offers scalable, managed, hosted systems and employs 50 staff, and is closing in on a £5 million turnover. Nearly two million people use the app, a figure he wants to double in the next couple of years.
Based in Swindon, Wiltshire, he made the relatively short trip to Windsor Castle to collect the OBE from Her Majesty. “I was told she only does two investitures a year, so when I was given the nod it was to be at Windsor Castle the diary was cleared,” he said. “Shaking the Queen’s hand was the scariest thing I have done to date!”
The OBE also recognises his work for the past five years, telling the story of UK innovation overseas. He has taken it to Spain, Taiwan and India in recent months.
Chipside too has international expansion plans, with in-roads being made in Australia and Malaysia. Locally it serves East Lindsey, Lincolnshire, Doncaster, East Riding and Hull City councils.