I'll never forget my time volunteering at the Great Exhibition of the North

Martin Rivers, a performer with Streetwise Opera's group in Newcastle and Gateshead, writes about his experience volunteering at the Great Exhibition of the North:

Well where do I begin?
Let me introduce myself.
I’m Martin Rivers and I go to the
Explore group in Newcastle at the Sage.
A couple of years ago, the North East put a bid
With other places like Manchester and Edinburgh
To put on an exhibition to showcase what is like up North.
And what’s it like to live up North. Well Newcastle/Gateshead
Won. Forward on to the summer of 2018. And what a Summer it was.
Stephenson's Rocket came home to where it was built and many more
Activities to do with art culture technology took place.
Well I signed up to be a volunteer cos I wanted to do something during our summer
Break from Streetwise Opera, I made some lovely friends and I met famous people.
Well the highlight for me I was chosen out of over a thousand volunteers, one of forty,
To be in the presence of a future king of England, the Duke of Cambridge. I was less than two
Feet from him, but the security checks were quite strict as you might expect.
Once past security we waited ages but the Duke of Cambridge spent 45 mins to an hour
With us all.
I feel very honoured to have been chosen, I was. I was
Chosen because even though I’d had a lot of personal issues
Going on in my life, I still made the effort to do my shifts and
With a visual impairment attended all my signed up shifts.
I’m sending the Duke of Cambridge our latest production on DVD,
Tell Me The Truth About Love, and information about Streetwise Opera, in the hope
He might support Streetwise.

I’ll never forget the Great Exhibition of the North
And my time there.

Martin Rivers