Book records Barrie’s glory days with the Rodbourne Rockets

Barrie Telling with the book put together by his son-in-law David White and, inset, in his racing days with the Rockets

Barrie Telling with the book put together by his son-in-law David White and, inset, in his racing days with the Rockets

First published in News

A LOCAL legend of Swindon’s cycling speedway was emotional after receiving a book remembering his sporting career.

Barrie Telling, of Stratton St Margaret, was presented with the gift for his 80th birthday last month.

Barrie had accumulated the memorabilia throughout his days with local team the Rodbourne Rockets, which he formed in 1949.

After being diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, he was advised to organise his possessions.

“I stumbled across the boxes in the attic, and decided to sort it all out. I wanted to do something to keep my mind off the cancer. Once I was diagnosed I had to tuck my bike away,” said Barrie.

He passed them on to son-in-law David White, along with stories written in memory of his cycling career.

“He asked me a few questions but then I heard nothing more about it. It was such a surprise – I was a little bit emotional,” said Barrie.

The book includes personal anecdotes, trophy tables, newspaper cuttings, certificates and many photos of the team in their heyday.

Barrie explained how teenagers his age had to make their own entertainment after the war.

Influenced by the opening of Swindon’s motorised speedway, he and his friends dug their own track in a derelict field and began competing.

The team were hugely successful, winning the Wiltshire Championships three times.

Barrie won many titles including the Silver Helmet Championship, but had to give it up after being called into the National Service in 1955.

David had 20 copies of the book printed, which Barrie has distributed to grandchildren, old team-mates, Swindon Library and the Rodbourne History Society.

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