photoIn the small towns and villages where the Kinloch Players appeared, there was no such thing as  the legendry ‘pro digs’ known to other branches of the theatrical profession. There was no call for them.  A visit by the  Kinloch Players was a one-off. Taking in members of the company was either done as a way of letting a spare room and providing meals for a small profit or as a friendly gesture towards these people who had come to their village hall and were providing welcome entertainment. Digs were never free but in some cases the cost was minimal. The actors were generally accepted in the first place because they looked respectable and sounded reasonable. Although some of the men had long hair and wore corduroy trousers, they didn’t look like a band of travelling layabouts.  ‘Cords’ , suede shoes or sandals and a duffle coat was almost de rigueur for theatricals in the late 1940’s. Although the image was not that of the average farm hand or shop worker it was acceptable.

Arriving in a new date, the men in the company set up the stage and arranged costume baskets  backstage and the ladies unpacked the costumes and ironed them. Arranging digs was usually left to Mary Kinloch.  A good start was often a few words with the hall keeper. If an address he recommended couldn’t help, an alternative contact would often be suggested. It is amazing to think that the company was usually fixed up with accommodation during the day the company arrived. By the end of the show everyone had somewhere to go. A precarious way of life but it was accepted as normal. On only two or three occasions did the system fail; not because people were unwilling to help, but because the village was so small there was nothing available.  Members of the company were allowed to sleep in the village hall on makeshift beds.  After the first time it happened portable camp beds were bought and carried with all the other paraphernalia.