I was born in 1948 into an upper-middle class household in Surrey. Father was a banker in the City, while Mother took care of the house and family.

During the 1950s corporal punishment was used in most households and I was punished by Mother on a number of occasions; anything from a smacked bottom, smacked legs (at the time an almost standard punishment for girls), slipperings and, as I got older, in extremely rare circumstances a caning.

Apart from a few impromptu smacked bottoms or legs, Mother would make the punishment formal. She always used the word ‘chastised’ and the slipper or cane was the ‘instrument of chastisement’. I would have to go to my room and await my mother’s arrival, usually carrying her trusty slipper. I had to bend over the bedroom chair, my skirts were raised and I was slippered across my knickers, around 4 or 6 smacks was the norm. It was rare to be taken across Mother’s knee and absolutely unheard of for Father to administer punishment.

I went away to a minor girls boarding school at the age of 11, in 1959. I don’t know whether Mother and Father chose the school because it was strict, but it certainly seemed to have a punishment regime similar to that which I was used to at home.

I’d received my first caning from Mother during the summer before I went away to school. My 14-year old cousin, Harriet, and I had been larking about while Mother and Aunt Jacqueline were talking, and a crystal vase got broken. Both adults were livid, and after a short discussion Auntie said that if she had been at home Harriet would have got a caning. Mother responded to say that while she had a cane in the house she’d never used it on me because she thought I was too young. Aunt Jacqueline said that with Mother’s agreement she would assist in punishing both of us.

We had to bend over together, and Aunt Jacqueline and Mother gave us alternate strokes of the cane, three each. I was crying and got sent immediately to bed, while Aunt Jacqueline made a weeping Harriet stand in the corner until it was time to go home.

And so to school. I was a reasonably well behaved girl but with a slight streak of disobedience and I was slippered on a few occasions by the housemistress. I managed to avoid a visit to the headmistress until my fifth year, when I and two other girls were caught out of bounds and summoned to the great woman’s study. I went in first and, to my horror, there was a cane on her desk. What followed was the time-honoured ritual, fairly common at the time (this was 1964).

The headmistress ordered me to bend over her desk, then she took great care to arrange my skirts around my waist, placed the cane on my bottom and brought it down with the all-too-familiar swish. A split-second later, my bottom felt like it was on fire and I let out a strangled half-scream. Two more strokes followed and I somehow managed not to scream out loud.

I left the head’s study with my hands under my skirt on my knickers rubbing my poor bottom, and outside the two other girls (Lynne and Katherine) looked terrified. I didn’t wait around as Lynne was called in, but later that day we compared cane marks in the dormitory. All the other girls wanted to look, of course, and we became minor celebrities for a few days.

My last caning at home was memorably strict. At the age of 17 I had been with some other girls and we’d decided it would be very cool to go into a pub and buy gin and tonics each. I was, of course, under age, and while the pub didn’t seem to notice Mother happened to be across the street on her regular shopping trip as we staggered out.

When I got home, Mother was still out shopping, but I knew I was in big trouble. I heard the front door close and a few seconds later Mother was looking at me with an expression of contempt. She ordered me to my bedroom and I knew I was for it. A few minutes later, she entered carrying her ‘instrument of chastisement’. Not the slipper this time, it was the cane I’d first tasted at the hands of Mother and Aunt Jacqueline six years ago. Hardly unexpected.

Mother ordered me to bend over the bedroom chair, then she lifted my skirt and slip. At the age of 17 I was of course old enough for stockings; no tights in 1965. I normally wore a suspender belt but for some reason that day I was wearing a light control girdle, a ‘roll-on’ as we used to call it. Mother unfastened my back suspenders and raised my roll-on away from my bottom.

What followed was the worst caning of my life. Harder than either Aunt Jacqueline or the headmistress, as my irate mother gave me the full ‘six of the best’. I was crying after two stokes, begging her to stop after four, and screaming after six.

The worst punishment of my schooldays, though admittedly at home, not at school. I couldn’t sit down properly for some days and slept on my stomach every night.

One would think that after such a punishment I would never want to see a cane again. But then I met my partner and we’ve played teacher and schoolboy/girl games on and off for many years now.

FW