A CRAFTSMAN who has made hundreds of sledges for children in County Durham has carved one for a Royal recipient.

Malcolm Rolling makes the sledges in his garage at his home in Carrville, Durham.

Mr Rolling, who has been invited with his wife Carol to a garden party at Buckingham Palace later this year, made a sledge for Prince George in 2015 and decided it was only fair to make one for his little sister Princess Charlotte as well.

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Last week, the 74-year-old received a letter from Kensington Palace to say the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be pleased to receive the gift.

Mr Rolling said: “I just get so much pleasure from it. Prince George has a Malcolm sledge so it was only right that Charlotte has one too.

“I would love to see him being tugged around on it.

“Now Kate is pregnant again I’ll have to organise another one.”

A former chief technician at Durham University, where he worked for 47 years, Mr Rolling started making the sledges about eight years ago following a request from a neighbour.

Since then, he has made more than 550 of them, raising thousands of pounds for charity.

He has made dozens of the wooden toys for children involved at Durham City Rugby Club, where he was a player for 32 years before being made president, as well as making them for other friends and charities to auction, raising as much as £300 a time. They take a week to make and cost about £10 but Mr Rolling gives them to recipients free of charge, though they often choose to make donations to charity in lieu of payment.

Mr Rolling, who retired 13 years ago after suffering a pulmonary embolism and bowel cancer, is now being treated for myasthenia gravis – an auto immune disorder and has decided not to attend the garden party because of health concerns.

He added: “When I’m making the sledges it’s the only time I don’t feel ill. I love making them.

“This year when we had all the snow it was wonderful to see photos of all the kids, and adults as well, out playing with their Malcolm sledges.”

Instead of attending the garden party on May 31, the couple have decided to throw a party at the rugby club, which will be held to celebrate Mr Rolling’s 75th birthday and Mrs Rolling’s 80th.

He said: “I’m gobsmacked by how nice everyone has been but we couldn’t go. Both of us are humbled that people had nominated us.”