Building Your Dreams
While wardening at Puttenham Bunkhouse Barn last weekend, I had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Meeks, its founder, who spent many years as editor with Cycling UK, (Cyclists’ Touring Club), and who, aged 16, was the youngest elected member of the YHA’s management team here in the south-east.
Sitting relaxed in the sunshine, amid butterflies and flowers, wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan “Wilderness not woodchips”, Chris continues to share his passions.
He’s an astonishing example of how one person can inspire a generation. The bunkhouse began life as an idea: finding a place, negotiating the lease with Guildford Borough Council, raising £130,000, removing a huge cattle trough and digging out the floor to lower it by 50 cm. The eventual opening in 2005 was achieved thanks to enormous input from a team of volunteers, including John Bannister, an alternative technology expert.