The triumphant, forty-metre, cock-shaped icon that is Newcastle’s Queen’s Wharf Tower is set for demolition, and this weekend is the last chance anyone’s going to get to climb to the top of the larger-than-life phallus.
Newcastle Council made the announcement last year that they wanted to tear the dick down, claiming it’s “no longer the attraction it was once was” and “is not an appropriate reminder of the Queen’s bicentenary visit to Newcastle in 1988.” They even threw out an expression of interest to see if anyone might want to buy the tower and take it away to be re-erected somewhere else but that, tragically, received little response.
The structure—which has long been “the butt of jokes”, according to the City of Newcastle—will be demolished in four sections. All in all, the process is expected to be done and dusted within a matter of days.
Many Novocastrians are already mourning the loss of their city’s greatest monument, with one Twitter user lamenting: “[I] can’t believe they’re knocking down the penis tower this week, rip Newcastle’s greatest landmark”. Another quipped “Inevitably some cock will stand up for it” alongside the hashtag #saveourbigpenis.
One person who’s not taking it too hard, it seems, is the tower’s original architect, Kevin Snell. Speaking to the Newcastle Herald last year, Kevin insisted his “ego’s not threatened” by the council's plans to remove his penis, but rather that he’s “very, very surprised [they’ve] dished out the money to maintain it all this time.”
Part of the reason for his nonchalance may be the fact that it’s gotten him into so much trouble in the past.
“Over the years I’ve got calls … saying what was I thinking building this big dick sticking up out of the city,” he admitted. “And I sort of give them a very serious explanation of why it’s shaped like it is.
“An erect penis is an extremely efficient structure. I think they’re taken aback that I state the obvious.”