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- Parade at
1542 - Henry VIII introduces large ‘kettledrums’.
1610 - First drum march performed for Prince Harry.
1660 - Kettledrums in general use by the English Army.
1742 - References to side or snare drums made in the Regiment of Footguards.
- Henry Potter & Co established
by Samuel Potter in
1819 - Barnett Samuel born in
1832 - The company that would become Barnett Samuel & Sons established.
1838 - Samuel Potter dies, his son Henry takes over the business and relocates
1856 - John E. Dallas born.
1884 - Arthur Octavius Windsor begins instrument manufacturing.
1887 - Arthur Windsor establishes an instrument factory in
– Hawkes & Sons (
- George Potter, son of Henry
Potter establishes George Potter & Co in
- Barnett Samuel & Son
- John E. Dallas begins instrument
- John E. Dallas moves to 415
1876 - Henry Potter dies.
- Barnett Samuel & Sons
1882 - Barnett Samuel dies.
1892 - Arthur Windsor forms Windsor & Taylor with Arthur J Taylor in March.
1901 - Arthur Taylor leaves Windsor & Taylor and the company is renamed Arthur O. Windsor.
Barnett Samuel & Son is incorporated
as a Limited company and opens it’s own piano factory in
1905 – John Grey & Sons Drums launched by Barnet Samuel & Sons Ltd.
Deans & Son makers of Beverley Drums begin operations.
1906 - John E. Dallas becomes John E. Dallas & Sons.
- JE Dallas & Sons moves
to 202 High Holborn,
1918 - Henry Potter & Co bought by George Potter & Co.
- Rose Brothers established
1920 - A. V. Morris joins Rose Brothers in October and company name is changed to Rose, Morris & Co.
1921 - John E. Dallas dies, JE Dallas & Sons becomes a private limited company in August.
1922 – Premier Drums founded on 22nd October by Albert Della-Porta and George Smith.
Production begins in a basement in
– Fred Della-Porta joins Premier. Premier
factory moves to
1925 – Premier cease supplying JE Dallas with Drums and market products under their own name. JE Dallas transfer production to AF Matthews.
1926 - JE Dallas & Sons moves to
– Hawkes & Sons begin making
1928 – Premier move to new premises
First edition of ‘The Drummer’ magazine published by Premier in December.
Barnett Samuel & Son Ltd bought by Decca, John Grey & Sons sold to Rose-Morris.
- Rose, Morris & Co moves
to larger premises at
1930 – Hawkes & Sons merge with Boosey & Co on 30th September to become Boosey & Hawkes.
1932 – Barnet Samuel bought by Rose-Morris.
A further factory was established at 14 Sun Street,
1933 – Premier move production to Standard Road, Park Royal and open a new office in Golden Square, London on 2nd October.
1935 – Carlton Drums launched in November replacing Jedson Drums.
– JE Dallas & Sons moves to
1937 – Olympic Drums introduced by Premier.
1939 - Publication of ‘The Drummer’ magazine ceases at issue #36.
Late-30’s – George Potter & Co and Arthur O. Windsor cease production.
1940 – Premier factory in Park Royal,
Arthur O. Windsor ceases to exist after
1940 - Rose, Morris & Co’s Sun Street factory bombed and the
– production of Reno Drums begins in
1945 - Musical instrument manufacture resumes at Rose, Morris & Co’s Sun Street factory.
O’Brien begins drum manufacture in
1946 - Clifford Della-Porta joins Premier.
1947 – JE Dallas & Sons now located
1948 - Rose, Morris & Co establish Rose Music
1949 – Beverley launch the Genius mounting system following the demise of their Console production.
1953 - Rose, Morris & Co move all operations to one premises, soon occupying no’s 79 to 85.
1955 – Beverley introduce New Standard and International Series lines.
Production of Reno Drums ceases in Altrincham, assembling
mid-50’s – Boosey & Hawkes market Edgware and Stratford Drums, budget versions
1956 – George Smith (Premier) retires.
A.V. Morris dies.
1958 – Beverley Drums purchased by Albert Della-Porta. Production moved to the Premier factory.
Premier launch Everplay plastic heads.
Eddie Ryan starts work at Boosey & Hawkes making drums.
Natal Percussion starts production.
Late-50’s – JE Dallas introduced mid-range brand; President Drums and entry level; Gigster Drums.
early 60’s – Premier resumes ad-hoc magazine publication, now called ‘Talking Drums’ (#37).
1960 - Rose, Morris & Co sold to Grampian Holdings.
1961 – Boosey & Hawkes begin production of ‘English’ Rogers Drums.
1963 - Premier’s Everplay drum heads renamed Everplay Extra.
1964 - Rose, Morris & Co moves to new premises at
1965 – Albert Della-Porta (Premier) dies.
The Natal Percussion Company formally established.
mid-60’s – Boosey & Hawkes cease Production of Edgware and Stratford Drums.
1966 - Premier receives the Queens Award to Industry in recognition of it’s ‘outstanding achievements’.
‘Talking Drums’ published (#38).
1967 – Boosey & Hawkes introduce Ajax Nu-Sound Drums
Production of John Grey Drums ceases and Rose-Morris revert to marketing their drums under the RM brand.
1968 – Production of ‘English’ Rogers Drums ceases.
Premier’s expansion plans estimated to cost £300,000.
‘Talking Drums’ published (#39).
1969 – George Hayman Drums made by Dallas-Arbiter introduced in February.
#40 ‘Talking Drums’.
1970 – George Hayman Drums become Hayman Drums.
Rose-Morris launch Shaftsbury Drums.
George Smith (Premier) dies.
Selmer appointed Premier distributors in
Boosey & Hawkes cease production of Ajax Drums and begin marketing and distributing Beverley Drums still made by Premier.
#41 ‘Talking Drums’.
– Eddie Ryan Custom Drums opens for business in
1972 – Fred Della-Porta (Premier) retires.
Alan Gilby and Kenny Clare develop the first “Resonator” drums.
#42 ‘Talking Drums’.
– Fred Della-Porta receives OBE at
Premier launch the ‘Kenny Clare’ Resonator range.
#43 & #44 ‘Talking Drums’.
1974 – Dallas-Arbiter partnership ends.
First monthly issue of ‘Drums & Percussion’ published in April.
Premier’s expansion plans now estimated to be £950,000. Work begins on the new
Rose-Morris launch Shaftsbury acrylic kits.
Promuco Drums begin production.
#45 ‘Talking Drums’.
1975 – Drums & Percussion’ reverts to quarterly publication in January.
Hayman Drums cease production,
JE Dallas closes.
Arbiter Autotune Drums launched
Last issue of ‘Drums & Percussion’ published Autumn/Winter.
#46 & #47 ‘Talking Drums’,
1976 – Hamma Drums launched.
Super Olympic Drums introduced by Premier and the ‘Kenny Clare’ sets become simply Resonator.
Production of RM and Shaftsbury Drums ceases.
#48 & #49 ‘Talking Drums’.
1977 – Beverley 8000 Series drums introduced.
Staccato Drums launched.
Premier move production to purpose built facility on
#50 & #51 ‘Talking Drums’.
1978 – Premier Soundwave Drums replace Super-Olympic, Premier rename their core range; Elite.
#52 & #53 ‘Talking Drums’.
Simmons SDS-3 drum synthesizer launched.
c.1979 – Hamma Drums cease production.
1979 – Beverley Drums cease production.
Kenny Clare Drums launched.
#54 ‘Talking Drums’.
Eddie Ryan Custom Drums moves to Covent Garden,
Arbiter Autotune cease production.
1980 – Olympic Drums rebranded as Premier Club.
#55 & #56 ‘Talking Drums’.
1981 – Simmons SDS-5 e-kit and SDS-6 sequencer launched.
#57 ‘Talking Drums’.
1982 – Premier launch
Royale range to replace Club. MTI appointed as distributors for Premier
Melanie Fantoms launched.
#58 ‘Talking Drums’.
1983 – Premier launch Crown range and Black Shadow Resonators.
#59 ‘Talking Drums’.
Simmons SDS-7 and 8 launched replacing the SDS-5.
Premier board of directors resign in October and company goes into receivership ending over 60 years of family ownership.
1984 – Production in UK of Staccato Drums ceases.
New management team form Premier Percussion in April.
Premier launch the Projector range and Royale APK range.
Kenny Clare Drums cease production following Kenny’s passing in December.
1985 - Premier Royale APK becomes Premier APK.
Simmons SDS-9 launched.
Richmo Drums launched by Alan Gilbey.
1986 – Premier Crown cease production.
Andante Drums established in November.
1987 – Premier merges with Yamaha in October. Lacquer finish APK introduced known as APK Excell.
Eddie Ryan Custom Drums moves to Hornchurch, Essex.
Simmon SDX launched.
Hayman Drums relaunched by Arbiter, only a handful of kits are made and sold.
#60 ‘Talking Drums’.
1988 - Premier rename APK Excell – XPK.
#61 ‘Talking Drums’.
c.1988 – Premier Royale line ends.
1989 - ‘Talking Drums’ (#62).
Early 90’s - Noonan Drums established
1990 - Premier replace ‘Talking Drums’ with ‘News from Premier’ newsletter.
Simmons SDS-2000 launched.
1991 – Premier relaunches Olympic brand.
1992 – Premier/Yamaha partnership ends in November.
Hardcase cases launched as a subsiduary ao Amber Plastics.
Premier launch the Signia range.
Premier replace ‘News from Premier’ with ‘Rebound Extra’.
1993 – Premier Resonator and Projector production ends.
1994 – Premier launch Genista range.
Simmons closes down.
1996 - Protection Racket cases launched.
1997 - Premier sold to the Verity Group of Companies.
Issue #1 of ‘Premier – News in Percussion’ magazine is published.
New “Hayman Drums” appear for sale but with no apparent lineage with the originals.
1998 – Premier launch Cabria range, APK production ends.
Arbiter ATS Drums launched.
Jalapeno Drums begins production.
1999 - Premier launch Astria and Vitria ranges. ‘Talking Drums’ reappears for one issue.
2000 - Premier launches Artist series and ends production of Signia, XPK, Astria and Vitria.
2001 - Production of Arbiter ATS Drums ends.
2003 - KD Drums established in August
2004 - DM Drums founded in February.
Highwood Drums formed in July.
2005 - Ivor Arbiter dies on 26th July.
Jobeky drums begins production.
2006 - Staccato Drums relaunched.
Animal Custom Drums established.
2007 - Premier Music International Limited (PMIL) acquires Premier Percussion Limited in September.
AD Drums and Acid Drums established.
2008 – PMIL close the
Guru Drums launched in September
2009 – Arbiter Group closes in January.
Founder of Andante Drums, Sam Hodgen passes away on 4th February.
DM Drums closes in February.
August, PMIL enters bankruptcy. The company placed into
liquidation but significant
RW Salt appointed as UK/Eire distributor for Premier drum kits in October.
Carrera Drums officially launched on 31st October at the inaugural Jobeky UK Custom Drum Festival.
Acid Drums cease operating.
Second Skins Drums begins production at the on the 24th November.
2010 - Pimpco Drums launched in March.
Gatton Drums established.
Alan Gilby founder of Richmo drums passes away on April 10th.
Marshall Amplification buys Natal Percussion from The Music Shipping Company.
the Genista range in August and appoint
Universal Percussion as their distributor for
Hayman Drums are relaunched for a third time in October and Premier appoint and Premier appoint Trius Vertrieb
Stardom Drums established.
Universal Percussion cease distribution for Premier drums on 17th March.
Premier Percussion acquire KD Drums
in December announcing that production from the new Premier Drum Company
will begin in 2012 at a new manufacturing facility in
2012 - Premier appoint Hanser Musical Group as an exclusive
distributor for Premier's drumset products
Premier launch the ‘ONE’ series of
Pimpco Drums ceases trading in November.
Compiled by Mike Ellis September 2007
Revised October 2007
Revised February 2008
Revised August 2010
Revised March 2011
Revised August 2012
Revised November 2012
With thanks to; Tam Rankin, Dave McCready, Geoff Nicholls, Dave Seville, Mick Conway, John Kaywood and Eddie Ryan.
This web site is dedicated to the history of vintage drums.
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