The Sunderland shoppers queued for days to grab a bargain in the 1970s and 1980s

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Some of you waited on the pavements for a week

They say that queuing is a British tradition - and it certainly was for these Sunderland shoppers who went to incredible lengths for a bargain.

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, Boxing Day meant a day of camping for some people.

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But this was camping with a difference as people would do it outside the stores of Sunderland to make sure they were first in line for the offers.

And it wasn't just for an hour or two. Have a look at the lengths this lot went to.

Seven days in the freezing cold

It was a proper vigil for brothers Steven, left and David Stoker in 1987.

They didn't just kip overnight outside Reproland.

They still had seven nights left to sleep on the streets when the Echo caught up with them.

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They did it so that they could give their mother two very special presents. The brothers were camped outside Reproland furniture store in Fawcett Street.

An early morning cuppa for brothers Steven, left and David Stoker outside Reproland furniture store in Fawcett Street.An early morning cuppa for brothers Steven, left and David Stoker outside Reproland furniture store in Fawcett Street.
An early morning cuppa for brothers Steven, left and David Stoker outside Reproland furniture store in Fawcett Street. | se

Party games and music

In 1986, Mrs Irene Gair of Tower Street, Hendon, was nice and early at Reproland with her son Gordon (13) and his cousin Peter Trusty (15). 

Getting comfy for the long wait outside Reproland in 1986.Getting comfy for the long wait outside Reproland in 1986.
Getting comfy for the long wait outside Reproland in 1986. | se

She was joined by plenty of other shoppers who played music and enjoyed party games while they waited.

A bitterly cold night outside Reproland but the music and the party games kept these people warm.A bitterly cold night outside Reproland but the music and the party games kept these people warm.
A bitterly cold night outside Reproland but the music and the party games kept these people warm. | se

36 hours for a £49 three piece suite

Patience was a virtue for Peter Dumble in 1981.

He queued for 36 hours with his 16-year-old son David. Their reward was a three piece suite from Joplings for £49.95, down from £299.

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The Doxford Park father and son were first in the queue when they arrived with sleeping bags at 9 o'clock on the Saturday night - for doors opening on Monday.

Peter Dumble gets his reward of a three piece suite for £49.95 instead of £299 at Joplings.Peter Dumble gets his reward of a three piece suite for £49.95 instead of £299 at Joplings.
Peter Dumble gets his reward of a three piece suite for £49.95 instead of £299 at Joplings. | se

A family experience from 1980

It was a family occasion for the Green family in 1980.

Here they are outside Joplings.

Mrs Green is pictured at the head of the queue with daughter Audrey and her husband Gordon behind. Mrs Green was waiting to buy a £500 three piece suite for £50.

Husband Gordon was after a new bed and Audrey some bedroom fittings.

A family occasion for the Green family at the head of the Joplings queue in 1980.A family occasion for the Green family at the head of the Joplings queue in 1980.
A family occasion for the Green family at the head of the Joplings queue in 1980. | se

In 1977, Jean Herron and daughter Margaret queued during one of the coldest nights of the year to be first into the Joplings sale.

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We caught them as they packed their bags, ready for a day of shopping.

Jean Herron and daughter Margaret who queued to be first in line for the Joplings sale in 1977.Jean Herron and daughter Margaret who queued to be first in line for the Joplings sale in 1977.
Jean Herron and daughter Margaret who queued to be first in line for the Joplings sale in 1977. | se

People often came prepared with their stoves, deck chairs or camping beds, such as these people outside Joplings in 1975.

We want to know if you queued for hours - or days - to get that bargain item you always wanted.

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