Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Working in Cosham

I spent a short while in 1975 working at Cosham in Hampshire.

I had decided to leave the Classic Twin Cinemas in Westcliff, where I had spent three successful years as General Manager, and was investigating the possibility of working for a local authority.

In the meantime, the Rank Organisation, for whom I had previously worked for seven years, approached me to see if I would care to take over the management of their Odeon Cinema at Cosham.

Cosham is a suburb of Portsmouth. It is actually just on the mainland of England, Portsmouth itself being built on an island.

I didn't really know the area at the time, but I went down and had a look, and decided to take up the offer. I needed a job, of course, and a point in the area's favour was its proximity to the sea.

The cinema wasn't a very busy one, and suffered from being in an outer suburb. Most of the business was taken up by the City Centre cinemas, and even in Cosham there was an ABC in opposition. I improved business a bit, was not in truth there long enough to make a big impression.

While I was there, I worked at the Gaumont Southampton on one night. At that time, some cinemas had closed circuit television showings of big boxing matches, and usually drafted in other members of management to ease the burden on the actual manager of the building. I helped out at Southampton on the Mohammed Ali v Joe Bugner fight.

I had earlier, while at Westcliff, helped out at the Odeon East Ham on the "Rumble in the Jungle", when Mohammed Ali regained the title from George Foreman.

I also spent an evening at the same Gaumont Southampton working on a concert by the Bay City Rollers. My Area Manager had asked me to send my Assistant, but I decided to go myself. I was not very impressed by the Rollers, but they were very popular at the time, and I wanted to see what made them tick.

In the early Summer, I travelled to the East Midlands for the first time, for an interview with Charnwood Borough Council. The upshot was that I moved to Loughborough, and became the Manager of the Town Hall.

So I left the Portsmouth area after just a matter of months, but returned in the 1980s to manage the Empire Cinema at Havant.

If anybody reading this has any connection with Cosham, or the Portsmouth area in general (Born? Lived? Worked? Ancestors? Relatives?), I would be very pleased to hear from them.