When Darall Jones started work on the buses, he knew the job would be just the ticket.

That was 50 years ago. And while many things have changed beyond recognition, that has remained a constant.

“I have never wanted to do anything else and have loved every minute,” said Darall, who lives in Lindley with his wife, Philomena.

Even now, at 68, he has no wish to retire. “I still enjoy working,” he said.

Born in Leeds, Darall joined the then Leeds City Transport as a conductor in September 1966 – not long after England won the World Cup. After three years, he moved on to driving and has done that ever since.

“In my time, I have seen the job of conductor go, the arrival of one-man buses and monitoring of journeys on camera etc,” said Darall, a driver with First Bus.

All aboard! Vintage bus spectacular at the Mill, Batley

The couple moved from Leeds in 2000 when the city ‘got too busy’. And it was only by a chance wrong turn that they made Lindley their home.

“We had actually planned to look round for somewhere in Halifax,” he said. “But we took a wrong turning and ended up going through Lindley. We saw a bungalow we liked and bought it a couple of days later.”

Not surprisingly, Darall has a stack of memories from his half-century on the buses.

The best bit has been the comradeship. And the worst: “Nothing really,” said Darall. “Maybe the emergence of cameras everywhere.”

Darall Jones of Lindley - 50 years on the buses.

But he does recall being hit on several occasions by angry passengers. “Sometimes I brought it on myself,” he admits. “I could be a bit mouthy in my younger days.”

Once, tempers were so frayed he got off his bus and went all round the vehicle hitting it with his fists.

“It was like that scene from Fawlty Towers when John Cleese attacked his car with a branch. I did that rather than get annoyed with someone else,” he said. “Seems so silly now.”

And Darall certainly thinks passengers are ‘more pleasant’ these days.

His favourite route is the 503 Huddersfield to Halifax service. “That’s my regular run,” he said. “I know lots of the passengers and we have a good rapport.

“That’s the bit I like. This is a job you either love or hate and I have really loved it.”

Philomena, 60, has told First Bus of Darall’s approaching milestone and they are waiting to hear if his achievement will be officially recognised.

But regardless there will be a major family celebration with Philomena and their five daughters and one son to mark the event. “We’ll be going out for a slap-up meal,” said Darall. “We’ll really push the boat out.”

Darall, meanwhile, is currently off work having just had a knee replacement but he plans to be back behind the wheel by the end of September.

“I can’t wait to get back,” he added. “I’m bored.”