When county councillors meet on Tuesday next week, it will be 50 years since Hertfordshire County Council met for the first time.

To mark the landmark anniversary they are being invited to turn back the clock with a special exhibition.

Archivists have already pulled together a selection of photographs and items – including minutes and agendas – from the council’s past 50 years.

There are even items relating to the previous council, known as the Council of the County of Hertford – including the leather-bound, handwritten minutes of its first meeting in 1889.

“For us it is really important to be able to show the long history of the council – all that has been done over the years and the services that had been delivered,” said head of heritage services Julie Gregson.

“It’s always important to look back, to reflect on our history and see where we have come from.

“These documents are really important as part of the democratic heritage.”

On Tuesday (May 21) county councillors – and former county councillors – will have the opportunity to view all the items after the annual meeting of the county council.

Ms Gregson says she hopes it will be “a great celebratory day to look back and reflect on the council’s history”.

But she says she’s also hoping to use the anniversary to collect new memories for the archives from current and former county councillors too.

Hertfordshire County Council replaced the former Council of the County of Hertford in May 1974.

The change came in the wake of the Local Government Act 1972, which had introduced the two-tier system.

Councillors had been elected to the new Hertfordshire County Council in 1973 – and had acted as a “shadow council” for the first year.

They held their first official meeting – at County Hall, in Hertford – on 21 May, 1974.