Nine photos from the early 1990s including Mr Bean

Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) signs books at Blackwells in Oxford, 1992.
Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) signs books at Blackwells in Oxford, 1992.

It was 30 years ago when actor Rowan Atkinson - best known as Mr Bean - called in at Blackwell’s to sign copies of his book.

The same year, 1992, Andrew Smith was re-elected MP for Oxford East and The Verve played at The Jericho Tavern.

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Other well-known faces found in our archive include Ann Ducker, former leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, and Sister Frances Dominica, who started the Helen & Douglas House hospice charity.

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Read again: Nine nostalgic photos from the early 1980s

But the most famous face from our 1992 selection of photos is Mr Atkinson, shown entertaining books fans at Blackwell's.

Earlier this year, it emerged that the 67-year-old Rowan Atkinson has moved into the "space age petrol station" property which was at the centre of a row with locals.

The actor bought 1930s Handsmooth House and its 16 acres of land in Ipsden, for £2.6m in 2006.

But he shocked locals when he installed a modern glass and steel mansion in place of the original home.

He has now moved into the property with his partner Louise Ford who is known to fans for playing Kate Middleton in comedy soap opera The Windsors.

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The Mr Bean actor bought Handsmooth House with his ex-wife Sunetra Sastry.

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Neighbours nicknamed it a “space-age petrol station” and some said the plans were not in keeping with the rest of the area.

The application was approved by South Oxfordshire Council despite having been recommended for refusal.

Speaking at a planning meeting earlier, Mr Atkinson agreed with the council's conclusion that the house would stand out from, rather than blend in with, the landscape, the BBC reported.

However, he said this was not grounds to reject the plans, but simply a description on how good architecture works.

Mr Atkinson, who said he had lived in the area for 28 years, said he understood the concerns but said his neighbours "need have no fear".

He said he did not want to live in a house that was "weird or futuristic" but one that is "simple, graceful and elegant".

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Ipsden Parish Council and the Chilterns Conservation Board were among those to raise objections that the building would be "conspicuous" and look out of character.

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However, some residents wrote letters of support for the design.

Mr Atkinson, who has joined the cast of the new musical movie Wonka being filmed in Oxford, also owned The Old Rectory in Waterperry.

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