I’m Bob Massey, an Essex boy born and bred.
When I was eighteen my parents moved to Sheffield.
Fortunately I found a scrap of paper with their new address and, after completing my ‘A’ Levels, I followed them.
I subsequently spent ten years in that holy city.
I returned to Essex in 1986 with my beautiful wife Valerie, settling in an area of South Woodham Ferrers where the streets took their names from the works of J.R.R.Tolkien.
Work-wise I was involved with Information Technology (or Data Processing as it was called when I started) since early 1979.
Computers in those days were behemoths that needed their own working environments, yet had less processing power than the average modern smart-phone.
Once upon a time I used to think I had a career. Now I concede that I had a succession of jobs. It was fun for the most part, and, as Sir Terry Pratchett would describe it, “mostly indoor work, with no heavy lifting“.
I gave up the day job in May 2017, following my election to represent the residents of South Woodham Ferrers at Essex County Council (see below); I quickly realised that County Council meetings – taking place during working hours – would mean I would not have time to adequately perform my ‘day job’.
I wasn’t enjoying it, and while I’ll never be rich, I can afford the occasional holiday.
In my ‘spare time’ over recent years I’ve developed websites for local businesses and organisations, branded ‘Black Chrome‘, I now support about twenty and we’ve enjoyed more than a million visitors.
This site takes its name from the island of Tolfalas, in the Bay of Belfalas, in the south west corner of the map of Middle Earth.
It looks like quite a nice place, there’s more information here.
My home and my business take their name from the Mallorn tree that grew in Lothlorien; it was where Tolkien’s elves made their home.
I’ve served on South Woodham Ferrers Town Council (with a gap when I worked away in Edinburgh for a year) since 1988.
In May 2011 I was elected to Chelmsford City (then Borough) Council,
I was re-elected to both Town and City Councils in May 2015, and in May 2017 I was elected to represent South Woodham Ferrers at Essex County Council.
I served as Mayor of Chelmsford from 2019-20, then Mayor of South Woodham Ferrers from 2020-21.
I sadly, and unexpectedly lost Valerie to an acute and aggressive form of cancer in October 2016.