A POEM which gave people hope during the coronavirus lockdown is now inspiring people to visit the county in which it was written.

The Rainbow Children, by Gemma Peacock of Shotton Colliery in County Durham, is part of a new campaign from aimed at encouraging people to visit following the closure of the tourism industry during lockdown.

Inspired by a walk through her local countryside, Gemma wrote the poem to reassure her young children at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown.

After sharing it on her own Facebook page for friends and family to see, it quickly became a social media sensation and went on to be viewed by thousands across the world, and was read out on television by North-East celebrities including Ant and Dec.

It is now part of the ‘Worth the Wait’ staycation campaign launched by Visit County Durham, which showcases some of the experiences visitors can have following months of lockdown.

Gemma’s heartfelt words are accompanied by video footage that promotes highlights of a trip to County Durham, from the great outdoors and fascinating heritage, to culture and family fun as well as food and drink.

Gemma and her family also make an appearance in the video.

Gemma said: “I am honoured that Visit County Durham are using my poem to inspire people to visit. I am very proud of where we live but we do sometimes take it for granted. We have learned to love and appreciate the beauty of our own coast and countryside during lockdown, and it is fantastic that my poem is being used to encourage more people to discover our incredible county.

“I only expected family and friends to read my poem online when I wrote it in April, but now it has reached thousands and I’m pleased that it has helped people through the lockdown.

“And I couldn’t be more proud that it is inspiring people to come and visit the beautiful county we love so much.”

Councillor Joy Allen, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism, said: “Gemma’s poem became a social media sensation and really captured the nation’s mood during lockdown, and the stunning shots it is accompanied by in the video prove County Durham truly is Worth the Wait.”


The Rainbow Children by Gemma Peacock

The history books will talk of now, 

That time the world stood still, 

When every family stayed at home, 

Waved out from windowsills,

At those they loved but could not hold,

Because they loved them so,

Yet, whilst they did they noticed,

All the flowers start to grow

The sun came out, they can recall,

And windows, rainbows filled, 

They kicked a football in their yards,

Until the night drew in, 

They walked each day but not too close,

That time the world stood still,

When people walked straight down the roads,

That once the cars did fill,

They saw that people became ill,

They knew the world was scared,

But whilst the world stood still they saw,

How much the whole world cared,

They clapped on Thursdays from their doors,

They cheered for the brave,

 For people who would risk their lives,

So others could be saved,

The schools closed down, they missed their friends,

They missed their teachers so,

Their Mam’s and Dad’s helped with their work,

They helped their minds to grow,

The parents used to worry that,

As schools were put on hold,

Their children wouldn’t have the tools,

They’d need as they grew old,

But history books will talk of them,

Now adults, fully grown,

Those little boys and girls back then,

The ones who stayed at home,

They’ll tell you that they fixed this world,

Of all they would fulfil,

The Rainbow Children building dreams,

They’d dreamed whilst time stood still.