London firefighting mother and daughter make history

Katie Holloway with mother Sally Harper Image copyright London Fire Brigade
Image caption Katie Holloway with mother Sally Harper at Tottenham Fire station

A mother and daughter have created history by serving as firefighters at the same time in the 150-year-old London Fire Brigade.

Tooting Fire Station manager Sally Harper's daughter Katie Holloway, 22, joined the same south London station where her mother started in 1988.

The service had only seven women firefighters when the Ms Harper joined, compared with more than 300 now.

The new recruit was "immensely proud" of the role of women in the brigade.

'Like my mum'

Ms Harper said: "Katie may have joined the same station as me, but it has changed so much since the late '80s.

"My locker was in a cupboard, which I had to go through the men's changing rooms to access.

Image copyright London Fire Brigade
Image caption Katie Holloway had wanted to drive a fire engine like her mother since she was a child

"After giving birth to my first daughter, Joanne, I was the first firefighter to come back to station after having a baby and attitudes towards women in the fire service were sometimes very challenging."

Ms Harper recalled a teacher's reaction at a school play when her daughter said: "I'm driving a fire engine like my mum."

"The teacher tried to correct her and said 'don't you mean your dad?' and Katie came straight back with 'No. Like my mum'," she said.

Ms Holloway, who has just completed her first full tour of duty, said: "I'm immensely proud of the work my mum and others have done for women in the fire service, which makes it a completely different experience to when she joined."

Her mother will be retiring later this year.

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