Two lucky Metro staff who have clocked up more than 40 years’ service got the chance to meet the Prince of Wales when he visited the region earlier today, Tues 9 Nov.
Steve Griffin and Dick Harrison chatted with Prince Charles when he travelled on the Metro in Newcastle city centre.
They then had the honour of standing with the Prince while he unveiled a plaque at Haymarket Metro station to mark 40 years of Metro.
The heir to the throne was in great spirits during the journey from Central to Haymarket as part of his visit to Metro to mark the 40th anniversary of Metro’s Royal opening in 1981.
Steve, a Workshop Technician who looks after Metro ticket machines, and Dick, a Buildings and Facilities Supervisor, were selected to meet the Prince due to their four decades of service.
Steve, 63, of Whickham in Gateshead, was there on the day that the Queen opened Metro, and he was honoured to get the chance to meet the Prince of Wales 40 years later.
He said: “It was a wonderful honour for me to meet Prince Charles. I was here when the Queen opened Metro in 1981 and to meet the prince all these year years later was really lovely for me.
“The prince was interested in what my job involves and learning more about the repairs that we have to undertake every day on the Metro network.
“The prince was also interested in how we manufacture part to help save on the cost of some of our repairs. He was interested in the young people that we are training up and being able to carry on the work that we do.”
Steve added: “His Royal Highness asked me where I was at the Royal opening in 1981. I showed him a photo of me meeting the Queen that day in 1981 and he said that I hadn’t changed a bit. I think he was just being kind!
“It was certainly a very proud day and it is great to think I was there when the Queen opened the Metro, and I was there for this Royal visit near to the end of my career with Nexus.”
Dick, 66, of South Shields, said: “It was a really proud day for me. When I received the phone call about the chance to meet the Prince I had to think twice about it but I thought to myself I am never going to get the this chance again. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am pleased that I did it.
“Prince Charles was very interested in what we do, and he was very knowledgeable about the Metro system.
“He asked about my work here over the 40 years of service and he was really interested by the fact that I’d been here so long. We spoke about apprenticeships and keeping skills sets up in the industry.”