AS George Lazenby was fastening his cufflinks as James Bond in 1969, Wyre Forest's own Mr Bond was on a mission of a different kind.

James Bond was popping on his cycle clips and riding his moped to work as the first ever county archaeologist for Worcestershire.

He was just 24 years old when he was taken on to create an archaeology service at Worcestershire County Council.

James was a geography graduate, yet to pass his driving test and living in a caravan on Hartlebury Common. This was his first job.

Half a century later, the service is celebrating its 50-year milestone and all those who have helped create the modern thriving department that now exists.

James Bond, as the 001 of the department, could never have known how the service would develop.

Since 1969, more than 85,000 records of archaeological sites, historic buildings and landscapes have been created.

These are used by people who need or want to understand the landscape of Worcestershire or are just interested in where they live.

The archaeologists have been part of Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service since 2012 and continue to undertake a range of work to protect, manage, record, interpret and promote the history and historic environment of Worcestershire.

Back in the 1960s - a time of rapid change - there were fears for archaeological sites as town expanded and excavations increased. Councils began hiring county archaeologists to carry out vital work.

James, who later moved to a terraced house in Stourport, said: “Most of the first generation of county archaeologists appointed through the 1960s and 1970s were based in planning departments.

"Worcestershire was unusual in attaching the post to a museum which formed part of the county’s Education Department.

"It had real advantages in allowing a much more positive connection with the general public.

"This was an exciting time when every exploration produced new discoveries.

"I made it my priority to begin collecting and collating information on archaeological sites and historic buildings on a card index and plotting them on paper map.

"I loved the variety of the Worcestershire landscape and retain particular fondness for places which sparked off interests which have engaged me throughout my subsequent career.”

Victoria Bryant, manager of the Archive and Archaeology service said: “James is a vital piece of our story, setting up the foundations for the modern service we see today.

"As we celebrate our work and all we have achieved in the past 50 years, our thanks go to all those who have led and worked for the service over five decades.”

To read more about Mr Bond and his successors, go to