The Rainbow Trail

I have mentioned this before in a couple of comments but I thought it deserved a post. rainbow by path

As you can see it is about rainbows, or at least rainbow shaped designs, on trees.

This is probably the Rainbow with the most professional look showing a doctor revealing himself to be superman. doctor/superman rainbow

The rainbow contains the seven traditional colours which you will see is not true of all the ‘Rainbows’. child rainbow

But since these are probably made by children I will forgive them. As a child I did know all the rainbow colours in the right order but could never remember whether red was at the top or the bottom!

I notice, now I am taking photographs, that with sun and rain over a few weeks they have suffered a bit. They aren’t the originals of course; they are printed copies on weather resistant material.

The first fifty were put up on Southampton Common and I am happy to think that I have visited them all.

Another fifty were put up on other trees around the city in different parks. I have not visited all those myself but you don’t have to if you have a TEAM. the team

The story is this.

My daughter came down form Aylesbury for a socially distanced walk on The Common just after the rainbows had been put up. Having noticed them we then realised that the stories and poems on boards lower down the tree were accompanied by a QR code.

A QR code reader revealed a website and the fact that each rainbow connected to a word and a number.

Having collected about fifteen words and visited the website we discovered a Google Map with the location of all the rainbows and the fact that the words when put together would give a poem and if you completed the poem you could apply to be on the Wall of Fame.

[You can find the Wall of Fame  – HERE and we were first! which was the aim. My daughter is quite competitive and, I suppose, so am I to an extent. There are now three families on there. The Rainbows will be up till the end of August.]

But back to the story.

I visited the Common a few more times over the next couple of weeks until I was only six short of the fifty but unsure if I would be able to visit all of the remaining trees in their various locations before the end of August, as some of them were a bit far for me to walk (given my Chronic Fatigue issue).

But then my daughter suggested that the whole family should come down for the day and split up so as to visit all the missing ones. She and I went on the Common for the remaining six and then saw a few more in the City Centre Parks.

The slightly sad thing is that some of the sheets containing the QR codes had been ripped off. I had reported this to Jack who had set up the trail and he was replacing the sheets and had also given a link to the missing word online when he knew they had been vandalised, so we were able to find all the words.

Here you can see evidence of the vandalism

This one had been pulled down but was still there. board on the ground

Here. as with most of the vandalised ones I have seen, the sheet containing the information had been torn off. paper torn off

And here is one I photographed in the parks over the weekend where the board is missing altogether, board missing

I had intended to have visited many of the remaining trees myself by now but had, if not a full Chronic Fatigue relapse, at least a large energy downturn and have been needing to stay at home and rest a lot.

I did however visit the Common and take photographs of some of the rainbows before my energy downturn and, now my energy is picking up, visited the City Centre Parks to take some more photographs this weekend.

This is the one where I normally enter the Common. NHS in heartsAs you can see it is a tribute to the NHS which is a theme of several ‘rainbows’. NHS on rainbow

But also Key Workers get a mention here –thank you key workers

And this one list many key workers. with key worker list

I don’t expect you can read what it says but the words in each row are repeated, two rows for each colour, and are (red ) NHS – PROUD  (orange) TEACHERS- VERSATILE  (yellow)  EMERGENCY SERVICES – BRAVE (green) SHOP WORKERS – DEDICATED (blue)  REFUSE COLLECTORS – JOYFUL (purple) TAXI DRIVERS – RELIABLE (red again) DELIVERY DRIVERS – STOIC.

I found finding the rainbows and reading the stories and poems beneath uplifting. Most of them were written by local residents though a couple were taken from books. It is only the rainbows on The Common that have them, the other rainbows just had the QR codes.

Here are a couple of particularly uplifting rainbow designs. hope

(The word (if you can’t read it) is HOPE.)

And this one.

girl at dawn
This will enlarge if you click on it

This was found in a little sheltered spot just off the path. Someone had been building a sort of bivouac. clearing

and hereAlways be Kind

I said that some of them had been vandalised. When I came back to take my photographs I noticed that some of the vandalised ones had been moved and so here, where there had only been one before, there were now four. Here are three of them. three together

And one of the rainbows.

Star Wars tribute
This will enlarge if you click on it

This is rather fun, obviously a Star Wars Fan.

Another one I thought was quite fun is here.jigsaw rainbow

Made up of jigsaw pieces.

All the rainbow designs can be found HERE if you want to see them all but the stories and poems are only to be found on the trees.

Interestingly, the poem my daughter said was her favourite rainbow poemwas on the tree which had the rainbow I decided was my favourite. favourite rainbow

I thought it was just so happy and it made me feel happy.

I wasn’t sure about sharing the poems, copyright and all that, but I think you can see that the lines of the poem above are written in rainbow colours.

It relates all the colours of the rainbow to things in Southampton, Red of course has to relate to the fact that the kit of The Saints, Southampton’s football team, is red and white. Orange relates to the Common in Autumn. Yellow, in more prosaic fashion, to Ikea! Green is for grass and this time Houndwell Park is mentioned. Blue comes from the logo of the Seacity Museum. The author sees Indigo in the waves of the Solent which suggest a bit of poetic licence I feel. And Violet comes from the spotlights at the Mayflower theatre. A rainbow of Hope.

Just a few of the hundred rainbows. I am not sure how many people have bothered to collect the words, though I have told a few people about them,  but I hope that the sight of the rainbows and reading the stories and poems has made lots of other people happy.



17 thoughts on “The Rainbow Trail

  1. Lovely to see a photo of you with your family. What a wonderfully heartfelt uplifting project. Congratulations on getting there first. So sad there are people who want to destroy things – one has to wonder what their lives must be like – sending rainbow love to all of them hoping they eventually experience a change for the better.

    Liked by 1 person

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