A change of beat for drummer Bern

Well-known Chichester shop owner and drummer Bernie Smith is retiring
Well-known Chichester shop owner and drummer Bernie Smith is retiring

A POPULAR drummer and shopowner is retiring after a 40-year stint in the music trade.

Bernie Smith, owner of Bern’s Drums in Chichester’s St Pancras, has even recorded a one-off single.

“Prior to the shop’s success, Bernie had a very successful period as a professional drummer for Beau Brummell and the Noblemen and the Beau Brummell Orchestra which had evolved out of Johnny Devlin and The Detours, one of the most popular 1960s bands of the era from Bognor Regis,” said Patricia Smith, his wife.

“The band had recorded a one-off single, Sometimes, for Pye Records in late 1963, and appeared as newcomers on Granada TV’s Thank Your Lucky Stars alongside Manfred Mann and Adam Faith.”

Bernie’s entry into the retail trade came in 1973 when he became manager of a new music store, Southern Organs in Chichester, and then moving on to Knights Music in North Street three years later. After a successful expansion move to Bognor Regis, Bern’s Music in West Street, Chichester was founded in 1982.

Following the growth of Bern’s Music he went on to open Bern’s Drums and Percussion in St Pancras, Chichester, ten years ago.

Mrs Smith said: “Bernie is a highly-regarded and respected figure in the local community as well as in the UK music trade. He is known for his passion for music, his friendly and easy-going nature and commitment to providing the best service for his customers.

“He continues to play drums for the original band Johnny Devlin and The Detours who play annually at the Back to the 60s charity night at the Riverside Ballroom Bognor Regis – an event which has raised over £20,000 for local charities.

“His customers and staff, past and present, will miss him very much, and along with the family and many friends in and outside the music trade, send him every good wish for the future, all the very best for a long, happy and healthy retirement.”