Picking up our stroll of the high street in Dorchester once more thanks to historian Derek Pride, we arrive at 35 High Street West, which in 1895 was inhabited by John Pinnock, trading as a dyer.

In 1955 you could get your chippie tea there as it was Worth’s Fish and Chips. In 1962 it was known as the Black Angel Restaurant. The name was changed again in 1972 to The Gainsborough Restaurant. It was again re-named in August 1975 to the Blue Dolphin, then June 1979, The Happy Sole - all fish and chip shops.

The building was fire damaged in 1999 and reopened in August as Mediterranean Bistro. After a few weeks, it became the ‘Red Pepper’.

In March 2001, it became Good Fillas fast food shop and in June 2012, Coffee House and Kitchen.

Moving on to 36 High Street West. Back in 1895 this was Susan Pinnock, confectioner. In 1965 it was Leggs sweets and tobacco. From 1965 to 1971 this became Wallbridges sweets and tobacconist. From 1971 to 1984, the shop was Ungareites Dorset Chocolates, where you could pick up chocolates, sweets and newspapers.

From 1984 to 1998 it was The Dorset Maid, selling newspapers, sweets and general goods and then from July 1998 it was Where of Earth which closed in August 1999. From June 2000, it was All Things Chicken and from March 2001 Metz Cafe and Bistro and then in April 2003 it was Sienna Restaurant which is still trading today.

Next up is 37, 38 and 38A High West Street. This was a building formerly used by the Women’s Institute as a hall, with an area at the front used as a carpark.

The Kelly’s directory describes the building in 1895 as being Job Cook, cabinet maker at 37 and at 38, Walter Pouncy, picture framer and W.J.Dimmer, fruiterer.

It's not known when the building became used as a hall, but certainly by the 1950s. The hall premises led right through to Princes Street, where a small single storey building was the headquarters of the Dorset WI.

The premises became the Maenbury Night Club in 1963 changing its name to the Steering Wheel Club in 1964, run by Sam Fowler. There was also a Steering Wheel Club in Weymouth at 7 Maiden Street. As a night club the Steering Wheel in Dorchester became very popular with roulette and blackjack and regular live bands and groups, including Billy Fury who performed here once. At one time, a small light aircraft was suspended from the ceiling. It was the upstairs area which housed a large bar and the gaming tables.

The night club changed its name a number of times. It became The Tavern until early 1980 when it was closed following a fire. It was closed for a time for extensions and alterations. The small car park at the front was closed off with buildings to the right and left with a through arch to the former night club. The added buildings were numbered 37, 38 and 38A. In 1983, the club reopened as The Buzz Inn, then its name changed to Stings, Klimax, The Lounge and Liberties.

An Indian restaurant, The Spice Centre took over No 38 on 25/6/99 and in January 2009, The Spice Centre took over the former night club area.

Electro Copy occupied the new premises at 37 for a short time; from July 1991 - to August 1992. Perks and Co, Chartered Accountants, took over in Oct 92. C.M.C.Recruitment moved in from May 1995 - July 1998, then Loc Out Locksmiths took over.

Music Box, musical instruments etc, was there from March 2002 but only lasted until October of that year. Number 37 was vacant until January 2003 when it became American Homes Estate Agents, then Frog Tree Villas in 2005. This closed in about May 2006. Then it was The Perfect Party Co until July 31 2009. It was House of Kings men's clothing until November 2010 when Top o’ Town Barbers opened.

In July 2012, some of the premises at 38/38A vacated by the Indian restaurant were taken over by Dorchester Slimdance and Wellness Centre.

*Email me using the address below if you have memories and photos of visiting the Steering Wheel or one of its later guises.