Man on the Tyres Comes Down

Man on the Tyres

Man on the Tyres

Man on Tyres surrounded by trees

Man on Tyres surrounded by trees

As he looked from the back

As he looked from the back

During the 2011 Manly Arts Festival, I did a series of local sketches. The Man on the Tyres was one of them

I remember this iconic landmark at least 30 years ago. He was there across the road from where my Studio now is, atop about 80 tyres, peering down at us, wearing his top hat and red suit. And we’d all peer back at him, out of the car window as we whizzed down the hill and knew we were almost in Manly.

I’d forgotten completely about him till I started this sketch series, and John from up the road, whose house is directly opposite the spot, where Sinden’s Garage was, told me he was still there.

Wow. Really!  Sure enough, there he was hidden in the trees in the place he’d always been, on a cut down pole and no tyres. Trees all round, it was quite hard to see him. It was a bit tricky, but I did enough rough sketches to get a final one I’d be happy with.

Last week the council took him down. He’s lying down in a council space awaiting a decision on his fate.

This week, I saw pics in the Manly Daily of him in his hey day in the 1920’s. Amazing to see him up so high. Amazingly my Studio building is there too, and so is John’s house. There is a massive response to the fact that he’s gone. Even though most people didn’t realise he was still there, everyone wants him restored and given a new place. I think he should be standing above the Manly Art Gallery as a marvellous piece of history. He brings such happy memories back for people. You have to smile when you see that face.

So with the 2012 Manly Festival coming again in September, I’ll do some prints which will be available then.

©ErinHill 2012


  1. I love your work! Just now found you and glad I did. Such an inspiration! I was also in advertising, graphic design (still do a little freelance from time to time). I have two children still in school so I don’t think there is any way I could travel like you do, but I am finding more and more time at home, as they become more independent, to do my art. I will check back!


  2. Gill Lotter


    My daughter has chosen the story about the man on the tyres to talk about in her school speech. Great to see some recent pictures as we’re not from Manly and hadn’t seen him. Do you know what ” the man ” is made out of. We’re just trying to find out more information about him. We read that he used to get a change of clothes for special occasions and just wondered if you perhaps know the answer.

    Thank you Gill Lotter


  3. Hi,

    My daughter is doing her school speech on ” The man on the tyres” and we wondered if you know what his clothes are made out of? Great to see some recent photographs of him. We read that he used get a change of clothes for special occasions and wondered what his clothes were made out of. Thank you Gill


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