Firm became global success after war
V&E Friedland Ltd, electrical engineers, was a Jewish-owned business that moved out of London to a “safer area” during the first part of 1940 at the direction of the Air Ministry because the firm was required to manufacture sensitive parts for Merlin engines.
The business had been established in Berlin in the early 1920s by Victor and Efim Friedland.
Business opportunities and the rise of anti-semitism compelled the family to move to London in 1932 and then to relocate to Lowerhouse Mill in Bollington.
Eighteen workers moved up from London, lodging locally, and, by May 1941, there were more than 70 employees.
The business diversified into plastics and expanded into a former billiards hall on Derby Street, Macclesfield, in 1944, and in 1946 Friedlands moved out of Bollington into Lower Heys Mill. Later, Friedland Doggart became internationally known for its chiming bells, as well as for its Frido footballs and Sasha dolls.
The forthcoming exhibition will have on display rare ephemera and memorabilia lent by the Friedland and Doggart families, including such products as a war-time blackout lamp and a Russian-language catalogue for door chimes.
Pictured above is a rare and previously unpublished Friedland-Doggart family photograph, taken during the Second World War.
The exhibition – ‘Celebrating Jewish Life, Art and Enterprise in Macclesfield During World War Two’ – commemorates the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Macclesfield Synagogue at 62 Chestergate, now Charles Roe House, where the exhibition will be held. The exhibition will run from Sunday March 23, to May 2, Wednesdays to Sundays, 11am to 4pm, with an invitation only preview on March 20.
●● From left: Efim Friedland and his wife Zita, brother Siegmund Friedland, American cousin Mark Shapiro and John Doggart, who was married to Sara Friedland