Campaigners said their final farewells to the libraries they fought so hard to save.

Shutters fell for the last time at four libraries across Harrow – Bob Lawrence, Hatch End, Rayners Lane and North Harrow - on Saturday.

Books published before 2014 were sold off to former library users at £1 for three, while the newer books were boxed up ready to be redistributed to the remaining libraries in the borough.

Farah Sadiq, a long time library campaigner who fought to save the Bob Lawrence library in Edgware, said: “I watched the shutters go down for the very last time on Saturday and I'm sure that I won't be the only one who will miss this library that has enriched the lives of so many individuals.

“I watched as hordes of people purchased as many books as they could carry but had this book sale occurred a week earlier, then perhaps more books would have found good homes.

“There were only two librarians on staff. Tired, overworked and they had skipped their breaks simply because there was no reinforcements to manage the busy desk. At closing time they were in tears, frustrated and saddened by the situation.

“We wish we could have done more to save this library. Perhaps our best efforts just wasn't enough to save a learning resource and social hub for a truly highly deprived ward.”

The libraries were selected for closure following a public consultation launched by Harrow Council, which revealed that 71.48 per cent of responses objected to any closures taking place.

However the council say they had to find £83 million of cuts to their recent budget, and therefore voted to close the four libraries.

Kamal Shah led the campaign to try and save the North Harrow library, and is still working with the council on the group’s community business plan.

He said: “Seeing the library close was a bitter disappointment but unfortunately that seems to have been what was decided.

“I was there on the day, which was a bit sad, and the staff have now got to face the possibility of redundancies.

“But no books were sold on Saturday – they have been told not to sell anything off so hopefully that can still be a good sign for us and our business plan.

“I was hoping to hear back from the council this week but we have so far heard nothing about what will become of our bid.”

The North Harrow library remains the only library that the council have said may be feasible, but the group is still waiting to hear from councillors and officers.

Councillor Sue Anderson said: “We would like to thank all the people who work in our libraries for their hard work and dedication in difficult circumstances.

"We have been providing support for local community groups to submit proposals to run the libraries that are scheduled to close independently of the Council’s subsidy to ensure there is a long term future for Harrow’s library services; but there is no doubt that the current closures are a direct result of the reduction in Government funding for Harrow.

"Unfortunately local Conservative politicians have so far been unwilling to offer serious suggestions for dealing with this funding crisis.”