Power To The People: The Infamous Wickham Pole Has Finally Been Removed
A lone power pole left standing in the middle of a Newcastle street after a roadwork stoush has now been removed.
It hit celebrity status like no other, playing host to selfies, breakfast radio gags and even two commitment ceremonies.
But sadly, the Foundry Street pole is no more.
Ausgrid crews removed the baffling make-shift roadblock and replaced it with another pole, a little more off centre.
"The issue 'pole-arised' the community until this morning when contractors arrived to safely remove the pole, ending its national celebrity status," Ausgrid said in a good-humoured statement on Monday.
"Ausgrid has been working with council to remove the pole and a replacement pole has been safely installed adjacent to the roadway.
"We would like to thank the community for its patience and good humour," it concluded.
The drama unfolded in October when works were carried out to widen the road before the pole could be removed.
Newcastle Council put up safety barriers, signs and special lighting to alert drivers of the glaring pole standing at least a metre from the kerbside, but it was vandalised within the week.
A blame game then broke out with the council, union and Ausgrid all taking part.
City of Newcastle CEO Jeremy Bath claimed that pushing ahead with the widening was "the only way to get Ausgrid to temporarily lift its ban on live works", adding that the alternative was to watch and wait.
The Electrical Trades Union slammed the comments, explaining that the ban was in place because a power worker had been electrocuted in April, just months before.
While Ausgrid said it was disappointed the council has created a safety hazard for drivers.
Some social media users labelled it "ridiculous" and "embarrassing" while others thought it was "hilarious". One Twitter user even set up a twitter account specifically for the pole.
The good news is, the power pole has now been safely removed and the blame game is seemingly over.
But according to local celebrant, Kez Tippett, who conducted not one but two commitment ceremonies while the pole was erect, it's public responses like these that make the city so special.
"In 12 months time we could be doing the same thing at a different location," she told the Newcastle Herald.
"You know what Newcastle's like, icons pop up all the time."
RIP Foundry Street pole. You had a good run.