BLACKBURN can claim to have the largest ‘one-fifth’ scale remote control car supplier in Europe ­— and it is all down to one man’s hobby.

RCModelz, Whalley Banks, is based within Fonezone one of Blackburn’s longest-running businesses.

It is one of three businesses which are run by Nazir Jogee, along with son Mohammed.

Mr Jogee said: “We make custom-made remote-controlled cars and supply the parts to customers across the world. It was a hobby that soon turned into something much more."

It stocks a wide range of hobby products from likes of Traxxas, Tamiya, Kingmotor, 30 Degrees and Rovan.

Mr Jogee and his wife first established Jogee’s second-hand shop in Furthergate which moved to Whalley Banks in 1983.

The shop then went on to become what is believed to be the first mobile phone shop in Blackburn in 1996 – FoneZone.

Mr Jogee said: “Back in 1996, the ‘in thing’ was the big Motorola MR30 and the old Nokia 5.1 and demand increased as time went by. They weighed a ton and had these huge aerials and they were really popular. Customers used to upgrade their phones with flashing aerials.

“The phone shop has come a long way since then. It now sells both high end and lower end phones, computers and tablets and offers repairs which are carried out by in-house technicians for these products.”

In 2009 a hobby soon turned into a business and the shop RCModelz was born and is based within the FoneZone store.

Mr Jogee said: “You wouldn’t think it if you walked in but we are Europe’s largest supplier of these type of remote control vehicles.

“Prices range from anywhere from £120 to £1,000. We get requests from across the world for our products.”

In 2017 the Whalley Banks old Post Office was due to be closed but the family took it over, helping to keep a important community service open. It is located next to Fonezone.

Mr Jogee, 64, said he is not thinking of retiring just yet but his sons help manage the business on a daily basis.

He said: “I enjoy coming in to the shops and meeting and greeting customers, some of whom I have known for many years. Kids who use to come in with their parents now come in with their children.

“The area has changed a lot during my time and people may remember there being the Robin Hood pub next door.

“I do recollect it being a lot different back then. A lot cleaner and safer, the council have tried to improve the area but it is neglected, we have the most amount of bins in the whole of Blackburn, at the front of our shops which attracts fly tippers who park up and keep overfilling the bins.

“The businesses are doing their best during a difficult trading period. The only thing is now to keep safe, keep social distancing, adhere to government guidelines and make the best of what we have in these tough times.”