A BROTHER and sister have become the latest members of their family to join one of Durham's trade guilds.

Rachel Vest, 26, and her brother Mark Vest, 20, decided to join the Drapers' Company, part of the City of Durham Freemen, in memory of their father Robert, who died almost 20 years ago.

They swore an oath of allegiance at a ceremony at Durham Town Hall on Monday, taking the number of Vests in the company to 13 – an all time high.

Their uncles David and Richard and brothers Richard and Paul are also members.

Ms Vest, who works at a chemist's shop in Durham, said: “Mark and I both decided we wanted to honour the memory of our dad Robert - who died in 2000 - and granddad Charlie, by becoming freemen and joining the rest of our immediate family.

"My dad was 21 when he was sworn in and he had followed in the footsteps of his own father.

“Uncle David, who was one-time warden, helped us draft the application and I wouldn’t be surprised if we are related in some distant way to the others whose surname we share.”

She lives with her partner Adam and seven-year-old son near Durham.

Mr Vest, from Gilesgate, has recently successfully gained qualifications that he hopes will lead to work as a nursery assistant.

Stephen Healy, north-east warden for the Freemen of England and Wales said: “To have so many members in one company sharing the same name is certainly something for Durham to celebrate.”