‘Tyre man’ toppled
Generations of Australians growing up in Sydney’s north have fond memories of the “tyre man” who sat perched on the hill above the beachside suburb of Manly. The tyre man, a dummy atop a pole ringed by close to 100 tyres, maintained his vigil over Manly for more than 80 years; local newspaper the Manly Daily reports that the tyre man is, alas, no more.
The iconic figure’s deteriorating condition made him a potential danger to passers by, and therefore on 7 August a contractor was employed to remove him from his tyre pole on Sydney Road. A neighbouring resident told the Manly Daily that an application for a heritage grant had been lodged with the local council, however it was declined as tyre man wasn’t listed on the council’s heritage register. “I love the story of the tyre man that’s why we worked so hard to restore it,” she said. “If the council said they’d pay for it to be restored or moved, we’d be happy.” Other local residents also expressed their reluctance to see tyre man depart, telling the paper it was a “shame” and describing the figure as “a real landmark.”
In case you’re wondering why someone would erect a dummy on a pole ringed by tyres, the story began in the late 1920s or early 1930s. Tyre man was put in place by Eddie Sinden, who established the Sinden Tyre and Rubber Company in 1927. He remained there even after the firm departed from the site and continued to watch the changing townscape below.