This fascinating document helpfully includes details of each person’s role on the railway and their wages as at April 3rd. It also allows a comparison with the list of Middy staff in 1911, based on that year’s census: the 1911 list is not definitive because the census does not always reliably identify a person’s occupation and place of work.
NB The unnamed salaried staff were William Lindsey T. Badcock (Gen. Supt. & Engineer), and Thomas J. Dalgleish (Accountant). Distinguished by having their remuneration expressed as per annum rather than on a weekly basis, they were also paid considerably more than any of the wages staff.
Out of a total of 63 staff in 1922, only 23 can be positively identified as having been working for the MSLR in 1911. This seems quite a high turnover for what was traditionally regarded as a stable industry: we know that at least four of the 1911 staff were killed in the Great War, but this only explains a small part of the difference. It is suggestive that the Locomotive Department, which employed the most highly-paid wages staff, retained a surprising 5 out of 7 staff, so perhaps money (or lack of it) was a factor.
Although many of the names in the list are familiar, there are two main areas where new employees have been identified: gatekeepers and the Permanent Way department. It has always been known that many level crossing keepers were the wives of other railway staff, and at least 5 of the 8 gatekeepers fall into this category. The low pay of these staff is presumably a reflection of the intermittent nature of their duties, and perhaps of the fact that most of them lived in company-provided accommodation. The relatively large size of the P. Way department – nearly a third of all staff – is an indication of the labour involved in maintaining the Middy’s flimsy track, despite the low levels of traffic.
One small mystery is the listing of two clerks in the Traffic department, in addition to the four who comprised the Head Office at Laxfield at this time. Perhaps they travelled around the stations on the line, assisting the regular staff with clerical tasks as and when required. They were certainly paid less than any of the regular clerks in Head Office.