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Description

Booklet commemorating the visit by HRH Duke of Edinburgh to the Rhondda to present the Charter of Incorporation to the Borough of Rhondda, 28 April 1955. It includes a history of the Borough which mentions two Jewish companies that relocated to Treforest Industrial Estate in 1939; Messrs Polikoff and Flex Fasteners. Listed among the donors who gave gifts on the incorporation of the Borough are several Jewish businesses - Jacob Beatus Ltd, Flex Fasteners Ltd, Alfred Polikoff (Wales) Ltd, and Mendle Brothers Ltd.

Beatus Cartons was founded in 1940 by Jacob Beatus, a Jewish businessman from Nuremberg. In 1936, Jacob fled Germany due to Nazi oppression, leaving his carton factory behind. All he brought with him was a small cutting and creasing machine. The factory was located at B.5 Treforest Industrial Estate, Pontypridd. They produced toys and games made of cardboard, folding boxes, and advertising novelties. Moritz Saalheimer was another Jewish businessman associated with the business. He was a successful industrialist who made toy in a factory in Nuremberg. In 1939 Moritz fled Germany. In the post war period, Moritz took a development fund from the government, started a partnership with Jacob and helped set up his factory. Additionally, Jacob Beatus became a significant member of the Jewish community in Pontypridd. In 1955, he was elected as the President of the Pontypridd Synagogue congregation. In 1963, he acted as the Chatan Bereshit. In 1970, he made contributions to the Jewish Home for the Aged, Cardiff. Overtime the business grew very successful, employing over 200 people. After the 1950s, the business was requisitioned and moved to the Valleys, 28-29 Hannah Street, Porth. The business still exists today under the name Beatus Cartons. It is the only Jewish refugee firm that has remained in the area. It is still owned by the Beatus family, still located in Porth, and still in the business of making carton and cardboard packaging.

Flex Fasteners was founded by R.E. Benidict and E. Bernstiel They produced zips, slide fasteners, small metal pressing. The factory was located at Dinas Road, Dinas, Porth.

Alfred Polikoff (Wales) Ltd was founded in 1939 by Russian Jewish businessman Alfred Polikoff. Initially, Alfred produced garments in a partnership, with Joseph Pezaro, in London. They described themselves as ‘Skirt Manufacturers, Ladies Costume and Blouse Manufacturers and Gentlemen’s Tailors.’ However, the partnership was dissolved in 1908 and Polikoff went on to build a clothing factory in Hackney. In 1937, Alfred Polikoff (Wales) Ltd was financed by a Treasury loan of £40,000 under the Special Areas Act, a purchase of £55,000 in shares and a loan of £20,000 from the Nuffield Trust. They produced garments, sewed, and pressed (used to share same premises as Burberry, the Treorchy factory later became known Burberry), made clothes for civilians but also worked for the War Department making military uniforms. The business originated in Hackney, London but a factory was set up under the Special Areas Act at Ynyswen, Treorchy (Rhondda). The business was acquired by Great Universal Stores, along with Burberry, in 1948. In the 1980s it was taken over by G.H.S. Fashions.

Mendle Bros. was founded by Julius and Moritz Mendle. They produced plastics and goggles for Air Force. The factory was located at the Treforest Industrial Estate, Pontypridd.

Depository: Rhondda Heritage Park.

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