A HISTORIC pavilion is in the process of being demolished after standing in Braintree for nearly 100 years.

A team pitched up on site at the Braintree and Bocking Recreation Ground this morning and began work on knocking down the John Ray pavilion.

The Trust in charge of its upkeep have chosen to demolish the building due to fears it would be too expensive to restore.

They are aiming to build a new pavilion in its place which they say it will be fit for 21st century use.

Aidan Kelly, who has long campaigned to save the original pavilion, has posted an emotional statement on Facebook ahead of today's demolition. 

He wrote: "Demolition of the 1927 William Julien Courtauld pavilion is due to commence.

"Anyone who knows me will know that I'm passionate about our local history and helping my community so I'm genuinely saddened that it's come to this.

"It's been three years since I set up this group with the aim of saving the building. In the end that wasn't to be but I am positive that something really good can come out of the demolition.

"The trust constitution has been brought into the 21st century and will soon see more trustees added who will hopefully have the knowledge and expertise to gather the necessary funding and support to build and new pavilion and sports facilities that the town can be proud of.

"So stick with us."

UPDATE 11.15am

Braintree and Witham Times:

This is the latest picture from the site. Much of the main pavilion remains in place but a small extension has now been all but demolished. 

UPDATE 3.30pm

Braintree and Witham Times:

Work is beginning to finish for the day. The demolition team have begun work on hauling down the main building but much of the pavilion remains in place. 

These before and after photos show the progress made today.

Braintree and Witham Times: Before work beganBefore work began

Braintree and Witham Times: After day one of the demolitionAfter day one of the demolition

Demolition work is expected to continue tomorrow.