I was at school in the era when CP was rife. I have already written about my grammar school canings but thought it useful for readers to understand punishments in primary school.

At age seven I moved to primary school where punishment was much more formal than my infants school. We had the same form teacher for the year but did get other teachers for specialist subjects. There was also a new experience for me as we had male teachers.

I would like to be able to tell you I had learnt to behave, but I certainly hadn’t. I got the ruler on the hands a few times before being sent to the Headmistress for the cane. That was in the second year and I cannot remember what it was for. I do remember it was one stroke on each hand and it hurt like hell. It was very formal. I was sent to the secretary with a note. The secretary used her intercom to tell the Headmistress I was there for the cane. It was at this point I realised I would not get let off. The secretary sent me up the stairs to the Headmistress and I was shown in. The cane was already on her desk. I got read the riot act before she pronounced my punishment. Boy did it hurt, so much more than the ruler.

I visited her once more in the last year at age 11 and got two strokes on each hand. I remember there were four of us in a group caught playing snowballs which had been banned. We all got caned together in her room and I was third in line. I was petrified when I saw the first boy get four strokes. That made my first caning pale into insignificance; it was so painful.

I also got the strap on the hands from a new Scottish lady teacher for talking in class as well. One whack on each hand in front of the class. We knew when the teacher was getting fed up because she would take the strap out of the drawer and place it on the front of her desk. Silly me did not heed the warning, though, and continued chatting. It was a long walk to the front of the class knowing my classmates were all staring at me. Even worse was the walk back past some giggling girls.

Did I deserve my punishments? I probably did as I knew the rules and still broke them. Did I respect my teachers? Yes I did. The teachers never held a grudge after. I met my old Headmistress some years later and she was charming and so pleased to see me.

PJL