Two sisters have become the third generation of their family to qualify as lorry drivers.

Holly and Kate Bowers have followed dad Martyn and Kate and Holly Bowers, with dad Martyn and grandad William.grandad William in becoming HGV drivers for family firm TLP Group.

And 20-year-old Holly is believed to be one of the youngest women to ever obtain a class one licence, allowing her to drive the heaviest goods vehicles.

Holly, from Talke, had previously worked as a racehorse trainer, but when she was thrown from a horse and shattered her ankle last July she was told she was never be able to ride again.

She then decided to follow her older sister Kate into the family business, initially obtaining her forklift and scissor lift licences, and now becoming an HGV driver.

Holly said: “I was so chuffed and surprised to pass my class one. It was difficult.

“I wanted to work with racehorses but after the bad accident, I couldn’t ride again.

“So my dad offered me this job, and I passed my class one last month.”

Kate, aged 22, from Smallthorne, obtained her class one licence last July.

She said: “I was surprised to get my class one licence as I found it difficult to get my class two, but I feel very happy about it.

“I started at TLP when I was in college, washing the trucks. Then I became full-time.

“I think it’s good because it’s a small family business.”

Grandad William, who founded Newcastle-based distribution company TLP 27 years ago, says Holly is a ‘natural’ lorry driver.

The 72-year-old, from Newcastle, said: “One of the things that excites me is that Holly did not join us until July. She loved her job training racehorses.

“But she has passed her licences in a very short space of time – she’s a natural.”

William’s son Martyn has been a lorry driver for 25 years, and is now a director of TLP Group.

The 46-year-old, from Hartshill, said: “Dad needed some help with the business so the family became involved, and in the last five years my daughters have become involved as well.

“Few HGV drivers are young people, and there is a demand for people with the licence.

“We didn’t think they would pass because the test is so intense, with 40 hours training for class two, and an additional 20 hours for class one.”