The various gas company house magazine published regular accounts from young men who had cadged a voyage on a collier - and returned to write up their experiences. The account below, from the South Metropolitan Gas's Copartnership Journal in the early 1900s. The author clearly had a pleasant trip - not always the case, the east coast could be a terrifying place!!
'I ain't no sailor bold, and I never was upon the sea' . I can no longer sing this with truth. I am one of those newspaper fellows …. who was tremendously rocked in the cradle of the deep off the Yorkshire coast.
It was nearly eleven o'clock when we got alongside Tyne dock, but still Captain Kennett had to pay his men, who were all anxious to get home to their wives and families living in or around Shields.