When Mr Monkey went to the Imperial War Museum North, he couldn't help noticing that there were a number of snowmen loitering around MediaCityUK.
Intrigued, he examined an information panel on the plinth of one of the snowmen, and found that he was looking at part of the walking with The Snowman trail, set up by Wild in Art (who had everyone running around looking for bees in Manchester all summer) to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the publication of Raymond Briggs' The Snowman.
Mr Monkey found out that he could get a trail guide from the reception desk at The Lowry, so he popped in and collected one. Then he set off to follow the trail, only he didn't actually follow the route properly. For some mysterious reason or other, Mr Monkey didn't do the trail in the right order at all, starting at number two, going on to number six and staying in the wrong order until he finished at number one. He has listed them in the right order below, because he's not totally irresponsible.
Artist: Jodie Silverman
Sponsor: Lowry Outlet
The first snowman in the trail stands next to the Christmas tree on the ground floor of the Lowry Outlet.
Mr Monkey ended his version of the trail with this snowman, as it meant he could make Mr Rik go and buy some things for him.
Mr Monkey was impressed by the way in which the tree is a sort of white absence in the design, and prefered the partridge on the back of the snowman to the one on the front.
Artist: Megan Heather Evans
Sponsor: Print Search
The second snowman stands to the left of The Lowry, near the ramp to the Millenium footbridge.
This was the first snowman Mr Monkey looked at, and he hadn't realised that it he was supposed to look at the backs of the snowmen as well as at their fronts.
Mr Monkey thought that this was a nice, simple and cheerful design.
Artist: Lei-Mai Lemaow
Sponsor: Visit Salford
The third snow snowman stands with his back to the water near the south end of the Detroit Bridge.
Mr Monkey had to go round the back of this snowman to find the third hen. Looking at this snowman, Mr Monkey realised that he hadn't got a beret in his World of Hats and began dropping hints to Mr Rik. Mr Monkey admired this snowman's bright orange hat and stripes, though he wouldn't have bothered with the white dots himelf.
Artist: Kim Hubball
Sponsor: Lowry Outlet Makers Market
Snowman number four stands on the footpath across the road from the Harbour City Metrolink stop, grinning at passing trams.
Again, Mr Monkey had to scamper around the back of the snowman to find the final bird. He was really liked the cheerful designs, inspired by Scandinavian folk-art (though possibly not in traditional colours), and he was pleased to see that the birds were indeed calling.
Artist: Adam Pekr
The fifth snowman stands at the MediaCityUK end of the bridge behind the MediaCityUK and the Lowry areas of the Quays.
Mr Monkey thought that five gold rings might have been a little boring, and was pleased to find out about the symbolism of the design. The four most obvious rings are a diamond ring and industrial roller chain, both representing Salford's economic development, a spinning wheel for Salford's silk spinning past, and lifebelt in case anyone fell in the water. The fifth ring, which took Mr Monkey some time to spot properly, is a Christmas wreath around the snowman's neck.
Artist: Jenny Leonard
Sponsor: Sixt rent a car
Snowman six stands on footpath running around the outside of The Lowry, facing the building.
Usually the geese a-laying are supposed to be laying eggs; these geese have obviously gone somewhere sunny and are lazing around in a pool. Mr Monkey particuarly admired the snowman's orangey beachball head.
Artist: Laura-Kate Chapman
Sponsor: N Brown
The seventh snowman stands in front of on the footpath outside IWM North.
Mr Monkey suspected that there were more than seven swans decorating this snowman, but he never got the same number twice when he tried to count them. The information panel on the plinth claims there are 21. Mr Monkey wasn't sure if the swans were friendly or scary - you never can tell with swans - but decided they must be friendly, because they were Christmas swans.
Artist: Donna Newman
Sponsor: Social 7
Snowman number eight stands near the Salford end of the MediaCityUK footbridge, but not so close that cyclists will run into him.
Mr Monkey spotted more Scandinavian influence in this design. He thought the milkmaids all looked very cheerful, though they're all a-skating rather than a-milking. Either they're on their way to do some milking, or they've spilt all the milk during their exuberant swishing around on the ice.
Artist: Lizzie Rose Chapman
The ninth snowman stands between BBC Quay House and the Heart apartment block, near the statue of Upsy Daisy from In the Night Garden.
Mr Monkey thought that the ladies doing the dancing were a rather small part of the design, but there's the right numbers of them and they all seemed to be enjoying themselves in a very effective winter landscape.
Sponsor: Wild in Art
The tenth snowman stands on the path between the small carpark behind BBC Dock House and the small football ground with high fences. This wasn't quite where it was shown on his map, and Mr Monkey only found it by joining forces with someone who was equally perplexed.
After he'd seen this snowman, he met some people who were looking for it it exactly the same wrong place as he had at first, and gave them directions. He's a helpful monkey, sometimes.
Mr Monkey isn't sure exactly how realistic these lords are - the info panel says they're all fictional - but they seem cheerful, diverse, and surprisingly spry. Mr Monkey enjoyed the snowy background too.
Artist: Lois Cordelia
Sponsor: University of Salford
The eleventh snowman stands at the mouth of the street between BBC Dock House and the University of Salford.
Mr Monkey was hoping for a bagpiper or a smallpiper, but all the pipers had mouth blown pipes. Mr Monkey was impressed by the variety of pipes and pipers, and liked the addition of fragments of musical scores.
Artist: Jessica Perrin
The twelfth and final snowman stands near the steps down from the end of the tracks at the MediaCityUK Metrolink stop.
Mr Monkey was very taken with the cheerful drummer that finishes the snowman trail. He was impressed by the holly leaf pattern on the drummer's tunic, and the snowflakes on the frogging and epaulettes, but was a little worried that the drummer didn't seem to have any drumsticks.
There are something in the region of 40 little snowmen, designed by local schoolchildren, on display in the Lowry Outlet, The Lowry Theatre and The Open Centre. Mr Monkey hasn't seen them because they weren't there when he visited.
walking with The Snowman is on display until 6th January 2019; the little snowmen will be displayed until 13th January.Useful links :
Return to Mr Monkey's Manchester Events and Exhibitions
Copyright Rik Shepherd and Mr Monkey.