IN THE early 1980s, Colin Fairweather and I recorded nine Islanders talking about their childhood and working lives for our book, ‘Island Voices.’

One of them was Reg Davies of Newport, then in his 70s.

In 1923, Reg, then 14, became a bus conductor with the Vectis Bus Company, better known today as Southern Vectis, and stayed with them his entire working life.

Here are three of the many stories Reg told us, all from the 1930s.

The first involves conductors who picked up used tickets from the floor to resell them and pocket the money.

“I was off duty one day and I took a bus to Sandown, and Dave Peach was the conductor on it.

“When we got to Yarbridge crossroads, Titchy Dean, the inspector, jumped on.

“Well, David collapsed on the seat in front ­— collapsed!

“We undid his collar and laid him down and when we pulled in at Sandown, I had David in my arms and Titchy was quite concerned.

“The passengers got off the bus and I was looking at David.

“I thought he was going to die, but as I cradled him he winked at me. I was flabbergasted. And he came round and moaned.

“’Oooh,’ Titchy said, ‘Well, he won’t be all right to Newport.’

“I said, ‘I’m going back there, I’ll take over,’ so Titchy got off.

“Directly he jumped off, David sprang to life and said, ‘Coo, that was a close squeeze. I had about six dud tickets on my rack.’

“He’d sold five or six of these bloomin’ duds to the people on the bus.

“If he hadn’t ‘fainted’ old Titchy would have gone round and he’d have been caught. He would have been sacked.

“We were always getting fired by Dodson, who owned Vectis.

“‘You’re fired,’ he would say. Only he didn’t used to say that. He used to point his pipe at you and use a little bit of ‘French’ with it as well.

“One day, I had Charlie Taylor on with me ­— Ryde to Newport ­— and there was a woman to get out at Fairlee Garage.

“It had been raining and we had these huge balloon tyres on the back.

“I gave Charlie a bell to stop, and being a big powerful chap, he whacked on his brakes ­— whooff.

“We skidded and went across the road and pitched on a wall.

“The wheels were hanging over the drop into the garden, and Char, I’ll always remember, said, ‘There you are, madam. Out the back way instead of the front.’

“There was a picture taken of us stood by the bus.

“Course, when we got into Newport, Dodson got his pipe out like a revolver and he said, ‘You’re fired,’ so Charlie said, ‘Come on then ­­— give us my cards.’

“Course, it was all a bluff.

“We didn’t have a bus to drive, so we went to Yelf’s in the Square and had a cup of tea.

“George Hyde came in after a while and gave us our orders for the next day.

“Charlie said, ‘You can shove off, there isn’t any buses for you.’

“Well, that was one way of getting an evening off, and Dodson was stood behind the wall there and he heard.

“He said, ‘You’re fired ­— you’re fired!’

“One day, a man and his wife got on the bus ­— regular customers ­— and I went to take their fares and this chap said, ‘Look, my wife got some oil on her brand new dress ­— I’ve a good mind to claim.’

“I said, ‘Oh, go and claim from the old man, he’s got plenty of money.’

“And about two days afterwards, Dodson called me upstairs.

“I went in and who should be sitting there but this chap and his wife.

“They said, ‘Hello, Reg,’ and Dodson said, ‘Is this the conductor that was on the bus?’

“They said yes, so he said, “Got some oil on the …?’

“Yes, I said, ‘It was on her dress.’

“Pleased as punch I was. So the couple went off and I went to go when he shouts, ‘Just a minute.’

He said, “Oh, so you go and see Mr Dodson ­— he’ll pay you out in compensation.”

“He’d paid this woman out ten pounds for a bloomin’ dress that cost about thirty bob.

“He says, ‘You’re fired!’

“There was a woman ­— Miss Hague ­— who was pretty ‘friendly’ with Dodson, and she had a free pass.

“Frank Salero was driving this particular day and she wanted to get off in Lower St James's Street.

“Frank pulled up, put a bit of a jerk on and she tripped over and went down ­— whoomp ­— straight into this hole where the door was, and ‘course, Frank started laughing, ‘Haw, haw, haw,’ so she reported him to Dodson.

“We both had to go and see him.

“Dodson says, ‘When Miss Hague got out of the bus, you threw her over.

“And not only did you do that, but you laughed at her.’

“Frank said, ‘So’d you, Governor, if you’d seen her bloomers.’

“Dodson says, ‘You’re fired. You’re fired!’