Redcliffe Pier

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

THE MAN WITH A SUGAR BAG

This post is for Taphophile Tragics, people who enjoy wandering through cemeteries. 
(I must admit that this was an email sent to me and I did not take any of the photos but I thought it would entertain some taphophiles over at Julie's meme.)


 People from Broken Hill will remember from their younger days this icon of the city. He used to go to all the public functions,  especially the picture theatres. He always carried a sugar bag to collect empty bottles and cans.
His name was Albert (Tapper) Torney.  Everyone thought he was a bit eccentric and kids would tease and hassle him. However, it was discovered that he was very talented. He only sold the empty bottles and some of the cans. 
After he died in (1998 aged 86) his large collection of model cars which he made from the aluminium cans was discovered. This goes to prove... “You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover”, or a sculptor by his sugar bag.

It looks suspiciously like someone has added the cans and bottles to this photo.








33 comments:

  1. Diane, Mr Torney was very talented. He not only created his model cars he helped keep the area clean by picking up all the cans. The cars are very cool looking. Great post.

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  2. Wonderful works of art from cans .....an amazing story Diane about a man who was so talented.

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  3. Incredible indeed.
    However, he had talents that were not used, as they should have been.
    Just remarkable on such a talented person, who did not do justice to his abilities.
    Cheers
    Colin (HB)

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  4. Amazing works of art, thanks for passing this story on.

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  5. Stunning creativity in these model cars! Even using the beer can labels effective to become arty swirls!

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  6. He was a very creative person, amazing what he did with some cans.

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  7. Love the vehicles - I wonder if they are commercially available, or are they collectors items?

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  8. Wow! It really does go to show that you shouldn't judge people because of your own misconceptions. fantastic post, thanks for sharing!

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  9. Brilliant aren't they. Such a pity that the road from Mildura to Broken Hill is spoilt with discarded bottles and cans.

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  10. these are amazing, when hubby gets home i will show him. he might want to try making one. and yes, looks like theydid add those cans, but it tells the story. your sugar bags must me bigger than ours, the five pound ones we have would hold 3 cans.

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    1. They are big sacks used for export or country deliveries.

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  11. They're terrific.

    I often wonder about the 'loners' who pick up bottles or objects and doggedly go on to do amazing things that their judgers and tormentors know nothing about. Thanks for sharing this lovely little story with us.

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  12. Amazing work - as soon as I touch the raw edge of an aluminium can I'm covered in cuts.

    Great story Diane.

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  13. WOW! Such talent. Why do people have to be so unkind to others who are different. This upsets me so much in our world.

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  14. Aren't these amazing works of art. Who would have thought that something so beautiful could be made out of old beer cans. Thanks for sharing this Diane. Brilliant!

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  15. These are wonderful. Though, it is a shame he didn't willingly share these with anyone.

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  16. I would love one (or two, or three...) of these magnificent automobiles!
    I am curious about these sugar bags, though (our sugar comes in 5lb heavy paper sacks)

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  17. They're rather fun aren't they? What a pity he didn't share his talent when he was alive.

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  18. This is unbelievable, this guy is extremely talented.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  19. Great story, a talented and I suspect very modest man.

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  20. The cars 'Tapper' made are incredibly beautiful. He definitely was talented.

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  21. Sono magnifiche queste piccole ma grandi auto !
    Il talento è ben visibile !
    Myriam

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  22. He was very talented! And quirky. I like quirky!

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  23. Those cars are amazing, Mr. Torney was a very talented man. We all have a tendency to sometimes judge someone by how they look or behave, this story is an excellent example of why we should not. Thanks for sharing this Diane.

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  24. Wow---those are great, Diane... I cannot believe the type of talent it takes to make those cars... Wow!!!!!

    Yes---you cannot judge a book by its cover is a correct statement... We humans do a really bad job when it comes to judging someone who may be different from us... That's really a shame...

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  25. Shame its photoshopped. I'd hoped people had left them on his grave in remembrance. Or perhaps lifted a can at his grave in remembrance. Those models are terrific.

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  26. 'One man's trash is another man's treasure' - Mr. Torney may have been eccentric but he was definitely talented as well.

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  27. Too bad he never took one of his cars around with him when he was collecting to show people what he was making. The models are little works of art.

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  28. What beautiful art by a talented man. And to think he was keeping his part of the world clean. Thanks for sharing, Diane. You tell the story so well. Have a great day. Jo

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  29. ooh, these are beautiful!! how much time and patience and craftwork goes into those...
    but so i understand he just made them, but didnt really do anything with them? as in selling or displaying or....?
    then he must really have liked to do just what he did.. :)

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  30. You sure turn up some beauties for Taphophiles. Those cars are beautiful and so precisely done.

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  31. Oh yes, what a talented tinsmith was Tapper. Although, the picture you paint of him scrounging the bins and the alleys for discarded tins and bottles reminds me of similar quasi-homeless men in the small country town in which I grew up. They cashed in their bounty for small-change.

    It is tempting to think of him as lonely, but the headstone tells us that he had an older brother who had a family, so maybe he was just shy.

    He most certainly was talented. I wonder where his creations are today?

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