Join the MSLR as a Member or a Volunteer

The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway is unique in English railway history. Today’s Middy is run and staffed entirely by volunteers and we are always looking for new enthusiasts to come and join us. Our current rolling stock and Museum infrastructure need constant maintenance. Our restoration programme includes freight and passenger vehicles and we are also restoring our own steam locomotive, Hudswell, Clarke No. 1604.

In January 2023 we have just extended our railway to more than double its previous length to a new destination to be called Aspall Halt.  All we have to do now is fund the Transport & Works Act Order to run our trains and provide the materials to build the station! (We already have the station buildings.)

Right now we have vacancies in all these areas:- events management, fund raising, infrastructure maintenance staff, site station staff and footplate staff. We will also have a vacancy for the post of Treasurer in the next year.

If you would like to help us as a volunteer please contact our Volunteer Co-ordinator, David Clayton at volunteering@mslr.org.uk  Although previous experience is always a help we can and do provide training, particularly in the operational areas.

Specific Situations Vacant Now

Carriage & Wagon Manager

The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway is looking for a volunteer Carriage & Wagon Manager to take on responsibility for the railway’s heritage rolling stock and to ensure there are adequate vehicles available to meet the needs of the operational programme.

The Carriage & Wagon Manager will lead and develop a team of volunteers to carry out maintenance, overhaul and restoration work and will be the focal point for recruitment of  volunteers wishing to join the Department.

The Carriage & Wagon Manager will also oversee status producing reports and budgets as required by the Board and all paperwork and maintenance procedures as needed.

Attendance at Board, Operations and Events Committee meetings will be necessary when carriage and wagon conditions, availability and repairs and movements are under discussion.

Clearly this is an important post and, although not essential, experience of railway procedure and heritage railways would be an advantage. Equally important is the ability and communication skills to get things done and run smoothly whilst working collaboratively with the other departments of the railway.

Technical guidance is available from other MSLR staff if required.

To find out more about the position and its component parts contact David Clayton at email: volunteering@mslr.org.uk

Events Manager

The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway, Suffolk’s only standard gauge heritage railway, is looking for an Events Manager to take on the devising and operating of the railway’s programme of added attractions during open days and other non-railway operating days.

The Events Manager will work with the Events Committee and other departmental managers to coordinate the devising, planning and execution of events. Then contacting and recruitment of contributors, exhibitors, performers and delegating responsibilities to internal and external staff and generally stage managing the non-operational content of the Middy’s events to ensure successful outcomes.

The events are of major importance in ensuring good attendance and income at the railway’s open days and require a person with enthusiasm and creativity to keep them fresh and entertaining for our visitors.

Experience of heritage railways and staging events would be advantageous, but more important is the ability and good people skills to get things done and the energy to make sure that things run smoothly whilst working collaboratively with the other departments of the railway. Although computer literacy is essential, there is no age limit and new ideas and techniques would be welcome.

To find out more about the position and its component parts contact John Reeve at email: marketing@mslr.org.uk

Treasurer

Applications are invited for the post of Treasurer of the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway Company Ltd, which falls vacant on 1st October 2024, or any earlier agreed date.

This is a Board level post, and the successful applicant will have to fulfil the duties of Trustee and Treasurer as prescribed by Company and Charity legislation. These include:

  • maintaining the Company’s books of account, currently held on Xero accounting software, and adapting the same to meet changing legislative and Board requirements
  • preparing annual accounts to Trial Balance level, for inspection by the Company’s Independent Examiner
  • rendering returns to HMRC in respect of VAT, Corporation Tax and Gift Aid, and ensuring that the Company’s tax affairs are compliant with current legislation
  • rendering annual returns to the Charity Commission
  • providing the Board with up to date and accurate financial information as required, and also financial advice enabling them to make financial decisions consistent with their responsibilities

The commitment in terms of time is around 1 or 2 days a week.  While there is no requirement to be a qualified accountant, book-keeping skills are necessary. Guidance about the company’s tax affairs could be given as part of the handover process, if needed.

Expressions of interest in the post can be given to any current Trustee, but preferably to the Company Secretary. David Clayton at email: volunteering@mslr.org.uk

Shop & Ticket Office Assistance

The Middy Shop is an integral part of the Middy Trading Company and helps to raise valuable funds needed to operate our railway.We are looking for more volunteers to staff the shop and ticket office usually on a Sunday when the railway is open to the public and the railway is operating.

If you would like to help even for a few hours, please contact David Clayton our volunteer coordinator for the MSLR or any member of the Middy Trading Co.

Some experience of working in an environment where you interface with customers would be an advantage but is not necessary as any training required can be arranged.

For more information contact volunteering@mslr.org.uk

Membership

Being a member entitles you to discounted entry to the museum on most operating and non-operating open days. You’ll also receive four free copies of our quarterly magazine Making Tracks, keeping you up to date with all the latest developments at Brockford. Please download and complete our membership form and post it to our membership secretary at Brockford Station if you would like to join.

Membership fees 2024: Adult – £16.00; Double Adult – £20.00; Child (under 16) – £8.00; Family (2+2) – £24.00;

We also offer Life Membership: Adult – £200.00, Senior Citizen (over 65) – £100.00

Become a volunteer

Being a member also qualifies you to become a ‘Middy’ volunteer. The railway is staffed by volunteers from all walks of life and of all ages, and is lead by a volunteer board of trustees. There are various departments at the MSLR, from carriage and wagon and locomotives to press and publicity and general administration, all of which are always eager to accept new volunteers.

You don’t need any prior experience to become a volunteer as any training required can be given on site. Some roles need a bit more training than others (some also have minimum/maximum age limits), but as long as you are fit and healthy there is nothing to stop you giving anything a try!

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please email volunteering@mslr.org.uk or fill in the form.

Enquiry Form

Necessary training will be given, but please provide below any other relevant information, including potential availability, background, skills and any previous volunteer experience (railway or other).