Premier was established in 1922 when a drummer, Albert Della Porta, partnered with George Smith to establish a company. Then set up on Berwick Street of London, being soon followed by Albert’s brother Fred, who eventually became the first sales manager of the recently created company.
In the beginning, they manufactured drums for other companies like John E. Dallas (with the “Jedson” trademark), then starting with “Premier” instruments. First drum kits consisted of a bass drum, a snare, a stand, a cymbal and –sometimes– a small tom. The company grew into two factories, ending up in West London’s Park Royal. By 1938 they also produced brass instruments as well as supplying drums to the armed forces. The company even built a guitar called “Premier Vox”, in the early 1930s.
During World War II, the Government forced Premier to manufacture gun sights and electrical plugs and sockets for radar equipment. After the West London factory was bombed in 1940 the company moved to Wigston, where they occupied three small factories.
By 1986, Premier was one of the biggest factories in South Wigston, with 100,000 square feet covered and 180 employees. The company also exported its products to 120 countries.
In the Marching Band World, Premier drums have been used by many of the top marching bands including the Bands of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and their drums are still the best drum for Pipe Bands with many of the top bands using their HTS Series Drums.
Did you know Premier also produced at Bb Flute? We have one in our collection.