Rainbow house brightens up lockdown

Phil Hadley, of Little Thetford, brightened up lockdown for his family and neighbours by transforming the front of his home.

Phil Hadley, of Little Thetford, brightened up lockdown for his family and neighbours by transforming the front of his home. - Credit: PHIL HADLEY

A Little Thetford man brightened up lockdown for his family and neighours by transforming the front of his home.

During the first lockdown in March 2020, Phil Hadley and his stepdaughter Emma made a colourful rainbow for their house as a "little project.

Phil Hadley's rainbow house

Phil Hadley, of Little Thetford, brightened up lockdown for his family and neighbours by transforming the front of his home. - Credit: PHIL HADLEY

"Emma loves helping me around the house with DIY tasks and loves building things, so we both enjoyed constructing something of real significance.

"And it certainly kept us out of mischief - and safe at home - for a while," he added.

The rainbow was received "really enthusiastically by the wider village" - so much so that Phil's home became widely known as 'the rainbow house'. 

For Valentine's Day, Phil Hadley added a Cupid's heart to the rainbow on the front of his house

For Valentine's Day, Phil Hadley added a Cupid's heart to the rainbow on the front of his house - Credit: PHIL HADLEY

"Oh, and it proved a really handy landmark for Amazon and takeaway deliveries," he said 

Thinking the first lockdown would be "quite short and that would be the end of it", the rainbow was only intended to be on display for a few weeks.

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Instead, with subsequent lockdowns announced, the rainbow spent almost all of the year on display - despite it not being designed and built with longevity in mind.

For Christmas, Phil Hadley added an illuminated star to the rainbow on the front of his house

For Christmas, Phil Hadley added an illuminated star to the rainbow on the front of his house - Credit: PHIL HADLEY

It was down briefly in September when children first went back to school.

But, after "realising we were all in this for the long haul, it was clear there was good reason to put it up again shortly after".

For Remembrance Day, Phil made a large wooden poppy to adorn the rainbow, while he added an illuminated star at Christmastime and a Cupid's heart ahead of Valentine's Day. 

for Halloween, Phil Hadley had an idea about a wicked witch stealing the colours of their rainbow

When it came to decorating the house for Halloween, Phil Hadley had an idea about a wicked witch stealing the colours of their rainbow - Credit: PHIL HADLEY

"The continuing pain of lockdown compelled me to design and make a motivating message for the village - ‘all in this together’."

After a year of lockdown, Phil felt it was time for the rainbow to eventually come down. 

"But we are The Rainbow House," he added, "and the village has joined with us in pulling together during the pandemic, so we didn’t want to let go of that hopeful symbolism." 

The giant rainbow may be gone but Phil Hadley commissioned a new door number

The giant rainbow may be gone but Phil Hadley commissioned a new door number - Credit: PHIL HADLEY

The giant rainbow may be gone but a new door number has been commissioned as "a more permanent (but somewhat subtle) reminder of these last month".


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