Chris has lived in the Village for 33 years and with his wife Von have brought up their family here. Originally Chris had what he called a “proper job” working at Xerox and as a consultant but has also been deeply engaged in village life all that time.
After ten years developing and running the KGV sports and social club, He and Von moved to the south of the village in 2002 to take on the Sun Inn lease from Punch Taverns this was supposed to be a project for Von.
To say the least, the relationship with Punch did not go well and after defeating them on two occasions at rent review Chris ended up having to defeat the coalition government and help enact new national regulations to try to save the British Pub – He says that is still a work in progress.
Along the way Chris ended up with a sailing business in Scotland which has kept him out of the village for the summer season for the past decade. In the winter he returned south to take up the cudgels with the Pub Industry once again.
It seems Punch got so irritated with him they tried to rid themselves of a troublesome tenant who was raising insurrection among numerous Punch tenants nationally. Their cunning plan was to sell the Sun Inn to a property developer and let it take its chances.
After some swift footwork it seems the Property developer quickly realised he didn’t want Chris as a tenant either and he not only agreed to sell him the pub but also loaned him much of the money to buy it while finances were sorted out. Chris is still prominent in the national Pubs campaign.
Now the freehold owners of the Sun Inn, Chris and Von are working hard to backfill the 30 years lack of investment from Punch, and to turn the Pub into a sustainable and modern Village resource that responds to the changing needs of the Parish, and along the way makes a contribution to the economy of over £330,000 per year in employment, local trading and taxes.
Chris retired from sailing at the end of the last season and within a couple of months the UKOG threat has appeared. Chris stood for the Parish Council as a member of the Village response to UKOG – Protect Dunsfold.
The UKOG threat is about to crystallise so watch this space.