John Sherry is celebrating his 50th year as proprietor of Autobitz at his shop in High East Street, Dorchester. Dorset born and bred, John started out in 1968 with business partner Ian Cornwell, who later opened their second shop in Bridport, but has since retired.
The shop began life in the Tudor Arcade, and was there for 21 years before moving to its current premises, where there is far more room to store the extensive range of motor and cycle parts.
John says trade is good, but it has been more difficult in the past 10 years, with the prevailing financial climate and fewer people now able to repair their own vehicles, though he does deliver to garages, despite competition from larger businesses.
The shop is a magnet for classic car enthusiasts and, as the owner of a, sometimes badly-behaved, MG Midget I use Autobitz quite regularly, safe in the knowledge that if a bolt has stripped its thread or a nut has gone missing, John will always find a replacement among his extensive stock.
Always service with a smile, and a discount for MG Owners’ Club members! Now a sprightly 72-year-old, when asked if he had any thoughts of retiring the reply was “No, but my missus, Jacky, does!” He says one of the best things about Autobitz is his long-serving staff, Ben, Carol, Chris, Gavin, Martin and Steve. John is justifiably proud of his business, and long may it continue!