The first foundations of the BMSS were laid in 1949 with the establishment of the Mass Spectrometry Panel by the Hydrocarbon Research Group of the Institute of Petroleum. A key figure in this Group was Alan Quayle who went on to represent the Hydrocarbon Research Group in the later Mass Spectroscopy Group (which eventually became the BMSS).
In 1987 Alan wrote an article in the Journal of Organic Mass Spectrometry recalling his work in the 1950s when there were just a handful of people in the UK working on the technique. This account gives us a fascinating insight into the vision that these people had as to the potential of mass spectrometry, and the need to form a community to share experiences in using it. This vision eventually led to the formation of the BMSS and the supportive community that Alan helped found is still a key part of the Society today.
Recollections of mass spectrometry of the fifties in a UK petroleum laboratory. Author Alan Quayle.
J Org Mass Spectrom, 1987 V22(9) p569-585, Wiley
Some people will have access through there workplace to the full article as well as the frontpage.