Death of Laurence Olivier | British Newspaper Archive


Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week at The Archive we are delighted to welcome two brand new newspaper titles, the Bicester Review and the Warwick Courier, to our collection, as we mark 35 years since the passing of legendary British actor Laurence Olivier on 11 July 1989. Meanwhile, we have added 320,851 brand new newspaper pages in all over the last seven days, whilst from Barnoldswick to Biggleswade, from Kirriemuir to Knaresborough, from Peterborough to Portadown, we’ve updated 21 of our existing titles from across the UK.

So read on to discover more about our new and updated newspaper titles this week, and also to learn how the death of actor Laurence Olivier was marked 35 years ago in July 1989.

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We’re starting in Oxfordshire this week with our first new title, which is the Bicester Review. Founded in the 1980s, the Bicester Review was a tabloid newspaper that appeared every Friday and served the marked town of Bicester.

The Bicester Review, which in 1991 became simply known as the Review, was distributed in Oxfordshire and nearby Buckinghamshire. Indeed, it circulated in Bicester, Marsh Gibbon, Launton, Chesterton, Kirtlington, Aynho, Fritwell, Ambrosden, Arncott, Bletchingdon, Weston-on-the-Green, Ardley, Stratton Audley, Souldern, Wendlebury, Fringford, Hethe, Croughton, the Upper and Lower Heyfords, and Caversfield.

We’ll return to the Bicester Review shortly to look at how the title reported on the death of Laurence Olivier, but for now we turn to our second new title of the week, which is the Warwick Courier. ‘Bringing you the latest’ from the ‘historic town’ of Warwick and its surrounding villages, the Warwick Courier was founded in 1990 as a sub-edition of the well established Leamington Spa Courier, which itself began life all the way back in 1828.

Sold every Friday in the market town of Warwick, the newspaper during its early years went by the name of the Courier, before switching to the longer moniker of the Warwick Courier in 1995. The title is still running to this day.

That’s it from our new duo of titles this week, but there’s still plenty of new pages to enjoy amongst our selection of updated titles. For example, we’ve added over 40,000 brand new pages to the Burnley Express, whilst over 37,000 brand new pages have joined the Shields Daily Gazette. Meanwhile, you can explore the over 34,000 brand new pages that we have added to the Luton News and Bedfordshire Chronicle.

Amongst our updated titles this week you’ll also find additions to a trio of our Scottish newspaper titles, namely the Falkirk Herald, the Kirriemuir Herald and the St. Andrews Citizen. Representing Northern Ireland with the addition of the year 2002 to its ranks is the Portadown Times.

11 July 1989 – The Death of Laurence Olivier

On 11 July 1989, 35 years ago this week, legendary British actor Laurence Olivier passed away at the age of 82. Our new title the Bicester Review reports on the passing of Lord Olivier a few days later on 14 July 1989 with the headline ‘Sir Larry’s Link With Addington.’

The Oxfordshire newspaper noted the flowing tributes following the death of the award-winning actor, whilst highlighting how ‘one local connection has emerged.’ The Bicester Review detailed how ‘the young Laurence spent some of his late teens at Addington.’

Addington is a village in Buckinghamshire, not far from Bicester, and the Bicester title related how the actor’s father, the Reverend Gerard Olivier, ‘was Rector from 1924 to 1930.’ So strong were the Oliviers’ ties to Addington, that Gerard Olivier ‘was buried in the churchyard, where the headstone is still visible.’ Indeed, you can find mentions of Gerard Olivier’s incumbency at Addington in the pages of our Archive, with this piece detailing the ‘welcome to the new rector’ in December 1924.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in our Archive we found a range of tributes to the Oscar-winning Laurence Olivier. The Scotsman on 12 July 1989 paid tribute to ‘Laurence Olivier – the greatest actor of his generation,’ whilst the Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette on 12 July 1989 described Olivier as a ‘colossus of world theatre,’ noting how he ‘never got over his stage fright.’

National newspaper the Daily Mirror on 12 July 1989 labelled Laurence Olivier as a ‘giant among actors,’ whilst reporting how ‘the lights went out at Lord Olivier’s beloved National Theatre last night, and all over the West End. Flags were at half-mast and actors made emotional speeches at the end of their plays.’

Finally, Dublin-based title the Irish Independent called Laurence Olivier the ‘greatest actor of our generation,’ bidding farewell to ‘the star of stars,’ whilst picturing him alongside co-star Marilyn Monroe and ex-wife Vivian Leigh.

Find out more about the career of Laurence Olivier and other British film stars, and much more besides, in the pages of our Archive today.

New Titles
TitleYears Added
Bicester Review1988-1992, 1996-1998
Warwick Courier1992-1995, 1998
Updated Titles

This week we have updated 21 of our existing titles.

You can learn more about each of the titles we add to every week by clicking on their names. On each paper’s title page, you can read a free sample issue, learn more about our current holdings, and our plans for digitisation.

TitleYears Added
Barnoldswick & Earby Times1989
Bedfordshire Times and Independent1989
Biggleswade Chronicle1981-1982, 1984, 1989
Buckingham Advertiser and Free Press1994
Burnley Express1988-1994, 1996-1998
Derbyshire Times1988-1989
Dunstable Gazette2003
Eastbourne Herald1996-1997
Falkirk Herald1988-1989
Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail2003
Kirriemuir Herald1989
Knaresborough Post1987, 1994
Leighton Buzzard Observer and Linslade Gazette1993
Luton News and Bedfordshire Chronicle1989-1990, 1992, 1995-1998, 2001-2003
Nelson Leader1991, 1995, 1998
Peterborough Advertiser1980, 1983
Portadown Times2002
Shields Daily Gazette1996-1997, 2003
St. Andrews Citizen1996
Sussex Express2000
Wolverhampton Express and Star1996-1997

You can keep up to date with all the latest additions by visiting the recently added page.  You can even look ahead to see what we’re going to add tomorrow.


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