CAMPAIGNERS appear to have failed in their last ditch attempts to save an historic clock tower.

The structure had been kept in one piece after it was removed from the top of the William Julien Courtauld Pavilion at Braintree and Bocking recreation ground.

Contractors have now completed the demolition of the pavilion, which they started knocking down on November 7.

The building has been torn down after it fell into disrepair and restoration costs were deemed too expensive.

The trust in charge of the pavilion was unable to pay the £2,000 costs to salvage the clock tower, meaning it then fell into the hands of the contractors behind the demolition.

A last-ditch fundraising bid was launched last week by campaigners to raise £3,000 to buy the clock back off the demolition team and £390 had been raised in just a matter of days.

But the clock now appears to have been sold to another buyer after it was removed from the recreation ground.

Aidan Kelly, who set up the fundraising page, has posted on Facebook to inform those who made donations that refunds will be provided.

He wrote: "Thanks to all who donated to the Justgiving page. We managed to raise £390 which I think is amazing.

"However it appears that the clock tower has now been removed. With this in mind I will take down the Justgiving page and arrange refunds as soon as possible.

"Thanks again for your support."

The John Ray Recreation Ground Trust hopes to build a new pavilion on the same site which will be fit for modern use.

The trust has sought to “clarify” its position regarding the clock tower after receiving criticism for failing to protect it from demolition.

In a statement, the trust said: “The terms for the demolition of the pavilion included the granting of all salvage rights to the demolition company. This decision was taken as it provided the best value for money for the trust.

“The salvage and retention of the old clock tower was considered, but after some investigation it was concluded that if the new building were to include a clock, by far the best and most cost-effective approach would be to design and build one to match the new building.

“The cost of salvage, transport and storage alone of the old tower out weigh the cost of a new one. When you add the cost of renovation, retaining the old tower could easily bring this cost to four or five times that of a new tower.”