Carlton-Jedson drumset with Beverley console
This is the oldest kit that we snapped at last year's National Drum Fair, consisting of UK-made drums by Dallas mounted on a Beverley Eminent wheeled console from the 1930s.
Beverley, situated in the historic Yorkshire town of the same name, was a major manufacturer of consoles, supplying to other drum companies throughout the 1920s/’30s.
Ace swing band leader Alan ‘Sticky’ Wicket is this month’s owner, and he told us how he bought the console in 2015 from pioneering UK collector ‘Sir’ Alan Buckley.
“I was aware that it was quite rare, but it was the chrome finish and the Art Deco design which really attracted me. Alan also supplied suitable drums and fittings for me.”
Although the drums are a varied collection, they all come from the same manufacturer, J E Dallas and Sons (aka ‘Jedson’). In fact, Sticky says, one of the toms is “a 13"x15" Jedson with tap-tuned top head and ‘applied’ bottom fitted head. This was a peculiar system which avoids tacks that Jedson seemed to use and that I was not previously aware of. It is fitted with a Premier Swingster tom holder”.
The other drums are all Dallas-built Carltons. The Carlton name was taken from a West End London hotel and first appeared on Dallas drums in 1935. There’s “a 13"x10" Carlton with tap-tuned top head, tacked-on bottom head and Carlton holder. And a Carlton 27"x12" bass drum with 10 separate tuning tube lugs. All these drums are re-finished in plain black and date from around 1935”.
Completing the line-up is a Carlton ‘The Prince’ 14"x6" model snare drum with chrome-on-brass shell. The Prince has dual parallel action snares, top and bottom, which can be flicked on and off by striking the elongated release levers with a stick.
Returning to the Eminent model console, this has a traps tray and typical pre-war percussion effects. Sticky says there’s “a set of period Carlton temple blocks with original mounts. Also a ‘lowboy’ foot pedal, which is from the 1930s and also from Alan’s collection and thought to be British-made. It came complete with original cymbals.
“The remaining cymbals are all vintage and a mixture of Turkish, China-type and a couple of unknowns. The cowbell, woodblock, sticks, brushes and beaters are all of the period, as is the stool, which I believe is an American Leedy, missing its back rest.”
Sticky has a long history in rock and jazz, but these days he is more often to be seen behind his 1940s Slingerland Radio Kings, driving along his own Swing Orchestra. So has he managed to gig this kit yet? “The NDF this year was the set’s first outing,” he reveals. “I have not used it on a gig as yet, but I would love to if an opportunity arose.”
In association with the UK National Drum Fair