When Mr Rik went to the dentist, he drove past a giant frog in Romiley. A couple of days later, he found out that there were 21 frogs in Stockport town centre, and 17 scattered around different electoral wards in the borough.
Mr Monkey immediately insisted on a frog hunt. Finding the frogs in Stockport was easy enough as Mr Rik had been given a map when he went shopping, but Mr Monkey had to do a bit of searching to get a list of the frogs outside Stockport. Anyway, Mr Monkey found out that they were organised by One Stockport, and that he could download a list at the One Stockport website. He later found out that nicely printed copies were available at his local library.
Mr Monkey consulted several maps to work out where the frogs were and made Mr Rik take drive him around. They found out that, generally speaking, One Stockport frogs on streets were sitting near shops, and those in parks were near cafes if the park was large, or in places where well-used paths met in the smaller parks.
You can see Mr Monkey's visit to Stockport to find the Totally Stockport frogs at Mr Monkey sees Stockport's Gigantic Leap.
Ward: Bramhall North
Sponsor: Amaranth, Caro, Construction Q, Guinot, I Love Communities, Keller, Prydderch, RGI, Your Support Team
Tudor Frog is outside the Information Centre in the stable block next to Bramall Hall in Bramhall Park.
Bramall Hall is basically a Tudor buidling so Tudor Frog is dressed as a pair of Tudor nobles.
Mr Monkey thinks that Tudor Frog would have looked even more impressively Tudor if they'd been in front of the Hall instead of a brick wall.
Ward: Bramhall South & Woodford
Frog with a View stands outside the entrance to the Village Square shopping centre on Ack Lane East, Bramhall.
Bramhall prides itself on being a good place where the suburbs meet the countryside. Frog with a View is decorated with hills and fields for people to go walking in.
Mr Monkey couldn't help noticing that the frog itself didn't have the most inspiring view.
Ward: Bredbury & Woodley
Baker Frog is in Woodley Precinct, near PriceL£SS and Ladbrokes.
Baker Frog stands in Woodley Precinct to recognize Allied Bakeries who, during the coronavirus crisis, daily donated two hundred loaves of bread to Stockport's most vulnerable residents.
Mr Monkey is familiar with the delightful aroma of bread baking at Allied Bakery because Miss Carol used to work at the National Library for the Blind, which was next to the bread factory.
Mr Monkey admired Baker Frog's uniform, but wondered if a baker really should have loaves and buns on their feet.
Ward: Bredbury Green & Romiley
Sponsor: Romiley Board Mill
Theatre Frog is just outside Romiley Forum.
Theatre Frog is lurking outside Romiley Forum because the Forum the a multi-purpose centre for live theatre, music and other events, including workshops and performances organised by NK Theatre Arts.
Mr Monkey had the definite impression that Theatre Frog had borrowed the curtains from the Forum's stage to wear as an ornate cloak.
Mr Monkey also noticed that the trees around the Forum had strings of fabric frog faces wrapped around them. He suspects small children are involved.
Ward: Brinnington & Central
Sponsor: Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd
Glow Frog is in the shopping area behind First House in Brinnington.
The design of Glow Frog was inspired by the Brinnigton Lantern Festivals, held annually for at least a decade, in which various community groups made Chinese-style lanterns and came together for a parade in the dark.
Mr Monkey admired the way the designers of this frog avoided painting it a boring black and going for a dusk-like blue which allowed the silhouettes of houses to stand out. Mr Monkey also liked the framework of the small frog, once he'd found out that it was a frog-shaped Chinese lantern.
Ward: Cheadle & Gatley
Blossom Frog is in the eating area outside the cafe in Bruntwood Park, Cheadle.
Blossom Frog has a deceptively simple design based of slender trees and pastel blossoms.
Over the last year, 99 cherry trees have been planted in Bruntwood Park to celebrate UK-Japan relations, and Mr Monkey believes that Blossom Frog is covered in cherry blossom.
Ward: Cheadle Hulme North
Forest Frog is in Abney Park, Cheadle, just past the small car park off Newland Road.
Apparently Abney Park is very popular with children who like searching for woodland creatures, so Forest Frog has a selection of larger than life creatures crawling over it.
Mr Monkey thinks it is completely reasonable that the spiders, beetles and grasshoppers scurrying over a giant frog would be extra large, and make a the design very striking. That said, he was glad he didn't see any insects that large when he scampered around the park.
Ward: Davenport & Cale Green
Sponsor: H.G. Stephensons Ltd
Resilience Frog is in Cale Green Park, next the circular path in the centre of the park.
Resilience Frog is inspired by the challenges of 2020, and represents hope and new growth. The small gold frog reflects sunlight wonderfully.
Mr Monkey thought that the stick and ball was was something to do with throwing balls for dogs, but they are actually there to celebrate Stockport Lacrosse Club, which is based over the hedge from Cale Green Park and is England's oldest surviving lacrosse club (founded in 1875/6).
Ward: Edgeley & Cheadle Heath
Sponsor: Stockport County FC
Sunshine Frog is in front of Co-op Food on Castle Street, Edgeley.
Sunshine Frog was designed by local resident and their daughter purely to cheer people up on rainy days in Stockport.
Mr Monkey admired Sunshine Frog for its bright, colourful and cheery appearance, whether it's raining or not.
Ward: Hazel Grove
Hazel Frog is in Torkington Park, Hazel Grove, near the bridge over the Poise Brook where all the paths meet.
This frog, designed by a young local resident, is decorated as a grove of hazel trees, with a selection of oversized and very cheerful hazelnuts.
The small frog is called Bullfrog, which, along with the anvil next to the large frog's left rear leg, is a reference to Bullock Smithy, which was Hazel Grove's name before 1836. This was because in 1560 Richard Bullock built a smithy in a corner of what is now Torkington Park. The smithy became the Bullock Smithy Inn and gave its name to the surrounding area.
Mr Monkey loved this design, appreciating the lightness of the design, the cheerfulness of the nuts, and the historical reference.
Ward: Heald Green
Sponsor: Heald Green businesses
Mercury Frog is on Finney Lane, in front of Roger Dean Estate Agents.
Mercury Frog is nicely decorated with a number of Heald Green landmarks, mostly religious buildings or schools, but also the village hall, the railway station and a set of recycling wheelie bins that someone has left in a field.
The frog apparently takes its name from the early 20th century code for the Heald Green telephone exchange. It couldn't be HEA because Heaton Moor had already taken that. Someone noticed that Heald Green's initials were HG, which is the chemical symbol for mercury, so they named the Heald Green exchange Mercury, and all Heald Green phone numbers started MER (dialed as 637 because that's what phones were like then).
Mr Monkey liked the design's pride in local buildings, and he liked the bright rainbow too.
Ward: Heatons South
River Frog is on Didsbury Road in Heaton Mersey, outside the car park just past Early Steps Nursery School and opposite McColl's.
Mersey Vale Park is on land reclaimed from an abandoned bleach-works and railway sidings, and runs almost 2km alongside the Mersey (and the M60, but that's less interesting). River Frog's design is inspired by the bits of the park next to the river, with reeds growing by the waterside.
Mr Monkey liked River Frog but strongly suspects that real frogs don't catch fish with rod and line.
Mr Rik and Mr Monkey would like to thank the young lady walking in the park who told them that she had not seen a giant frog there, but that there was one within easy walking distance on Didsbury Road, and told them exactly how to get to it. Mr Monkey would like to point out that it was Mr Rik forgot that the One Stockport guide clearly said that River Frog was on Didsbury Road.
Park Frog is in Woodbank Park, where the main Fred Perry Way path from the Woodbank and Vernon park car park has a path split off towards the Woodbank Park playground.
Woodbank Park is a large park, linking Vernon to Poise Brook Local Nature Reserve, giving dog owners and walkers plenty of space for getting exercise during the 2020 lockdown, and Park Frog celebrates this.
The small frog is as close to being a dog than any frog is ever likely to get, and the large frog is decorated with scenes of visitors picnicking, walking dogs and children, and flying kites.
Mr Monkey was impressed by the cheerfulness of the art on the large frog, and surprised by how close he had to get to the small frog to see that it wasn't really a dog.
Ward: Ward: Marple North and Marple South & High Lane
Sponsor: Marple Indies
Canal Frog is on Market Street in Marple, outside J.H. Neals Fruit & Vegetables.
Marple is very proud of being home to a flight of 16 locks on the Peak Forest Canal (inspected by Mr Monkey in 2007 he walked the Peak Forest Canal from Romiley to Marple), which is why Canal Frog has been decorated with flowers in the Roses and Castles style used on most working narrowboats.
Mr Monkey was impressed by the traditional roses worn by the big purple frog, but also liked the contrast provided by the daisies on the small frog. He would really have liked a castle or two as well, for completeness's sake.
Industry meets Nature is outside Co-op Food Offerton, near the junction between Turnstone Road and Shearwater Road nearest Bean Leach Lane.
Industry meets Nature represents the redbrick heritage of Stockport's hatting industry set in the natural landscapes around the Goyt and the Poise Brook.
This was the first frog Mr Monkey inspected properly, and he enjoyed the contrast between the industrial and the natural parts of the design.
Mr Monkey was delighted to find that he could photograph the front and the back of Industry meets Nature at the same time.
Ward: Reddish South
Farm Frog is in a grassy area on the edge of the Reddish Vale Country Park carpark, at the end of Reddish Vale Road.
Reddish Vale Country Park is a large park which includes fishing ponds, a bridge between Lancashire and Cheshire (or Cheshire and Lancashire if you're walking back to the car park), a railway viaduct and probably more that Mr Monkey didn't have time to see. Just up Vale Road from the car park is Reddish Vale Farm, which has obviously inspired Farm Frog's design.
Mr Monkey liked all the animals cavorting around Farm Frog, especially the goat (he cannot, or will not, explain why), and was also impressed by the fence enclosing them, and by the denim overalls of the small farmer frog.
Ward: Stepping Hill
Florence Frog is outside the SPAR Hazel Grove at the Lyndhurst Avenue end of Arundel Avenue.
Florence Frog is a very simply designed frog honouring the nurses who worked so hard during the Pandemic (and before, as well, Mr Monkey thinks).
Mr Monkey was surprised to find her so far from Stepping Hill Hospital - about a kilometre in a straight line, more if you need to use roads and bridges - even though she's in the Stepping Hill electoral ward.
The One Stockport Frogs are on display until September 26th 2021, and you can find details of all the frogs at the One Stockport website.
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Copyright Rik Shepherd and Mr Monkey.