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History Of Bonners Music

Bonners was started in 1976 by Peter Bonner (family name Whichello). The Whichello family were well known in the local community - having owned the building firm responsible for large housing developments in the Pevensey and Langney areas of the town.

Peter was a working musician by night - and in particular was one of the resident acts at the popular Kings Country Club in the seaside town of Eastbourne, East Sussex. He played Hammond Organ, saxophone and clarinet, and worked alongside famous acts such as The Three Degrees, Neil Diamond, Tom Jones, Dusty Springfield and Ella Fitzgerald., Peter felt he needed something to occupy his free time in the day and decided to start trading in musical instruments.

Peter rented a small shop in Ivy Terrace in 1976 from which he sold various instruments, and was also the first UK importer of the Philips Karaoke System. With the growing popularity of home organs from manufacturers such as Lowrey, Hammond and Yamaha, the business grew at an astounding rate and very soon more space was required. Peter had brought his son Gary in to help run the business and they agreed to swap premises with the dry cleaning company who was operating from the larger shop next door.

Bonners in the 1980's & 90's

Within a few years, the business was growing again and Bonners opened a short-lived Hastings-based operation in the Silverhill area, as well as a second shop in Grove Rd, specialising in acoustic pianos. Bonners remained in the corner shop at 2a Grove Road until 1986 when it moved to 31 Grove Road, bringing both the original music shop and acoustic piano shop under one roof.

Soon after this, Peter and his wife Christine (who was also an organist/singer) moved to Spain where they were resident musicians at the popular Val Pariso restaurant near Mijas and Fuengirola. Peter's son Gary took over the reins of the business until it was sold to staff member Martin Dodd in 1989. Peter returned in 1992 to assist Martin with the running of the business until his passing in 2000.

Year 2000 To Present Day

Later in the year 2000, Tony White & Myke Edwards who had both worked at Bonners since the early nineties purchased the business and have continually invested in the business both financially and emotionally to make it one of the most well respected and successful piano, keyboard & guitar stores in the UK.

In 2005 Bonners moved to their large 10,000sqft showroom in Eastbourne town centre and have since opened two additional stores in Surrey (Reigate) & Milton Keynes. With the growth of online trading, these additional stores provide large-scale showrooms for customers to visit and audition huge ranges of both pianos and keyboard instruments, in easy-to-reach locations with lots of on-site parking.

The Future.

In 2021 we will be taking our online presence to new levels with the introduction of the latest web platform technology, and later in the year our Eastbourne store will be moving to a larger, more accessible flagship location to continue the Bonners tradition of offering our customers a first-class service - whether via our award-winning showrooms, over the telephone or online. Whether you're looking to purchase your first guitar or upgrade your piano to a full-size Grand, we are happy to offer impartial, trusted advice and always competitive prices.