A BARRY schoolboy admitted to being both nervous and excited after he was chosen to welcome a royal to open Barry Island’s refurbished lifeguard station.

High Street pupil Owain Woodfin presented Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester with a posie before she officially opened the refurbished facility.

HRH, who is commandant-in-chief of St John Cymru Wales, the country’s leading first aid charity, also presented commendations to exceptional young St John volunteers.

But badger, Owain, 10, who has been involved with the organisation for a year and a half, got the job of greeting their special visitor.

Owain said: “I was mostly excited, but a little bit nervous.”

The duchess told volunteers she was “chuffed” to receive the posie and described Whitmore Bay as “picturesque”.

The lifeguard station on Whitmore Bay was refurbished last year, after St John and Whitmore Bay Surf Lifesaving club volunteers raised more than £70,000 for the work needed.

The station will be used by volunteers and members of both clubs who will learn and enhance their surf lifesaving skills.

St John Wales’ Chief Executive Keith Dunn said, “It was an honour to welcome The Duchess of Gloucester to open this facility, which is much-needed during the busy holiday season.

“Our aim is to have a first aider on every street in Wales, and the volunteers who will be keeping people safe on the beach this summer are helping us achieve that.”

Her Royal Highness also awarded commendations to young volunteers Shane Hayes, 11 and Callista Dowling, 13, for devoting their time to St John Wales, despite adverse conditions in their lives.

A demonstration of water rescues and surf lifesaving skills by members of St John and the Whitmore Bay Surf Life Saving Club also took place at the event.

For details about St John Wales visit www.stjohnwales.org.uk