Growing up in Sunderland: From cream soda to sarsaparilla, the treats you used to get from the pop man

The weather is warming up and there are few things more refreshing than a crisp, cold can (or bottle) of your favourite fizzy drink straight from the fridge.

As we wave goodbye to the tail end of spring and get ready to embrace summer, we asked our Wearside Echoes members to share their best memories of the pop man – and what they used to buy. So whether you were a loyal Villa customer or yearned for your weekly delivery from Alpine or Sykes, families across the city still have their go-to soft drinks order committed to memory.

So crack open a can of your favourite and see how many of these you remember.

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‘Best in the world’

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Christopher Foster: “Cola, bitter lemon, lemonade, orange, dandelion and burdock, limeade, cream soda, grapefruit, cherryade, sarsaparilla and good old ginger beer. I delivered them door-to-door every week, happy days.”

Phil Weaver: “Sarsaparilla for us and dandelion and burdock for my Nana.”

Gary Pearn: “Sarsaparilla … cream soda and ginger beer.”

Inside the Villa Pop in 1998. What was your favourite flavour from the 'pop man'?Inside the Villa Pop in 1998. What was your favourite flavour from the 'pop man'?
Inside the Villa Pop in 1998. What was your favourite flavour from the 'pop man'?

Caroline McAllister: “Villa sasp or cream soda.”

Bill Hawkins: “Sykes ginger beer, stone bottle – lovely.”

Maureen Brown-Canavan: “Villa sasp best in the world.”

Ian Gibbins: “Orange and cream soda. Orange used to strip your palate clean.”

Cooling off with a lemonade from the pop man. But what was your first pick?Cooling off with a lemonade from the pop man. But what was your first pick?
Cooling off with a lemonade from the pop man. But what was your first pick?

Paul Brumby: “Villa sarsaparilla, dandelion and burdock – glass bottles which I'm sure you used to get 10p for giving bottles back.”

Doug Wilson: “Loved pineappleade.”

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Kathleen Allan Naisbett: “Sykes’ ginger beer, cream sod, sarsaparilla and orange.”

Paul Stephenson: “Alpine pop ruled.”

Cheers to your favourite refreshment from the pop man! Pat Nixon and Martin Fenwick at the Villa Pop bottling plant in Southwick on in April 1997.Cheers to your favourite refreshment from the pop man! Pat Nixon and Martin Fenwick at the Villa Pop bottling plant in Southwick on in April 1997.
Cheers to your favourite refreshment from the pop man! Pat Nixon and Martin Fenwick at the Villa Pop bottling plant in Southwick on in April 1997.

Lesley Mfon: “Alpine pop! Cherryade, dandelion and burdock, limeade.”

Kza Cawthorne: “Sasp, ginger ale and pineapple and they were in glass bottles which you handed back.”

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