Humberside

J Arthur Rank's Hull birthplace renovated

Renovated Rank house
Image caption Many of the home's original features have been restored during the renovations

The home where film producer J Arthur Rank was born has been restored after standing derelict for over a decade.

Lord Rank's birthplace, in Holderness Road, Hull, was taken on by a social housing company which converted the property into apartments.

Many of the Victorian home's original features were preserved during the work, carried out by local apprentices.

The reopening was marked by the sounding of a giant golden gong, as seen at the start of every Rank film.

A campaign to save the house was started by BBC Radio Humberside presenter David Burns, who received an email from a listener complaining about the rundown state of the property.

'Living memory'

It was opened by Lord Rank's grandson Joey Newton, who praised the community campaign to restore it.

"I really hope it will be a living memory to my grandfather," he said.

Image caption A Rank Films gong was sounded to mark the reopening

Rank was born into a family of Methodist flour millers in 1888.

He moved into film production as a way of promoting the Christian message.

The Rank Organisation grew to dominate British film production in the 1940s and 50s, operating the Odeon cinema chain and building Pinewood Studios.

He became Lord Rank in 1957 and set up a charitable foundation before his death in 1973.

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