** UPDATE: Rame Parish Council has confirmed there will be an emergency appraisal of the Institute and clock tower on Saturday morning **
AN ICONIC seafront clock tower has been condemned by structural engineers and is in danger of collapse.
Villagers in Kingsand have been told not to go near the landmark clock tower and adjoining Institute building for fears over their safety.
The news comes after a meeting earlier today with councillors, emergency services and structural engineers after claims the building looked “unstable”.
Dave Mutch, Rame Parish Councillor and Kingsand resident, said he’d never seen weather like it in 25 years.
He said the building was in a “sorry state” and that it “did not look good”.
“The building has now been condemned and we have limited access,” he explained.
“There has been a lot of damage to the building and to the foundations on the south east corner. From inside the building you can see daylight; you can see the sea.”
He said the powerful waves had not only eroded away the building’s foundations but they had also smashed through upper windows, sending water pouring through the building and into the basement below.
Mr Mutch said it was inevitable that valuables - including paintings, a tapestry and village archives would have been damaged by the water.
“Structural engineers have said it is not safe to go into the building so we cannot go and retrieve the valuables,” he said.
The clock tower was erected to commemorate the coronation of King George V and is attached to the institute building.
It is home to key artefacts and also contains a large cross-stitch tapestry picture of the two villages which was made by residents to commemorate the golden jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II
Mr Mutch, who is in charge of health and safety on the parish council, said a new emergency plan for the village had just been completed - and had been immediately put to good use.
He added: “The response from the emergency services, Southern Electric, South West Water, Cornwall Council, the police and the coastguards has been fantastic.
He said five other properties in the village had also been evacuated.