Leonard Henry Cosgrove – ‘Cos’
Thousands of people have visited Cosgroves over the years to find the perfect outfit for that special occasion, however few if any, will have known how the business started and developed into what it is today.
In 1949 Cos decided to leave his career in health service management and he bought a clothing business, based in Skipton from Mr Reeson. This mainly entailed selling clothes, including specific farming wear, from a van and visiting farms  in the Yorkshire Dales and beyond.
In 1970 he took over part of the Duckworth garage in the centre of Rimington, started a small shop selling mainly men’s clothing, and expanded into all of the building when the garage business closed. His activities caught the attention of Tyne Tees Television and in 1972 a film crew filmed him at work and they produced a 30 minute documentary.
He continued to operate from the van as well, however, for a number of reasons, in May 1975 he decided to discontinue that side of the business.


Duckworth garage enhanced 1000      Coz and van enhanceded  1000

Duckworth garage                                                                                                                        Cos and van

Cosgroves in garage 1000   Coz in shop1000  

Cosgroves in the garage                                                                                                           Cos and customers

Cos enjoyed writing letters. In November 1977 he wrote to the Guardian about his lively correspondence with various banks, one of which he hoped would be able to provide him with a banking service to replace his current bank, The Midland. This led to quite a correspondence from different sources.

 In April 1978 he wrote again to the Guardian about the problems with a recently purchased IBM golf ball typewriter the malfunction of which gave Cos plenty of opportunity to exercise his personal tenacity as well as his ironic tone! Again this resulted in significant correspondence.In November 1978 there was even a follow up visit from The Guardian, which resulted in an article.

Never short of imagination Cos used the shop to initiate a number of activities. Cosgroves Music Society started with a concert and dinner, held at The Stirk House in October 1982, and subsequently concerts were held at the shop itself. Fashion shows, ‘’At Homes’’ often with music, followed. The last ‘’At Homes’’ of 1987 was attended by BBC Radio Lancashire presenter Judith Roberts. Money raised at these events was given to charities.

Inauguaral Concert notice 1000   At Home concert notice

Inaugural Concert at the Stirk House                                                                                        "At Homes" notice

Ann Hacking at concert 2 1000   Judith Roberts at At Home  1000

Ann Hacking and Cos                                                                                                Judith Roberts, Cos and Dorothy Cosgrove


In March 1989 Cos organised a dinner to celebrate 40 years in business. The party went by coach to the Hark To Bounty Inn at Slaidburn. A poem was written  to commemorate the occasion click here

Cos 40 years  1000  Cos and bus 40 years  1000   Famuly at 40th  1000

Cos at 40 years in business       Cos and the coach                                                                                      Cos, Dorothy, Helen, Susan and Paul



The business expanded further when he opened a shop in Whalley to concentrate mainly on men’s wear, the Rimington site then focussing on ladies wear. The Rimington shop underwent a dramatic change in 2004 when the garage and associated buildings were demolished and a new shop and 2 houses replaced them.

Whalley shop cropped    Cosgroves today  1000

Whalley shop                                                                                                         New Rimington shop

Cos died iearly in 2004 and so did not see the new shop. However, Cosgroves still thrives and is the only shop still trading in Rimington in the 21st century. Cos would have been proud of that.