After three years at the girls’ school from age 11 to 14, I spent the last two years of my education at the High school in town. Corporal punishment was used there, but it was almost always boys who got it. Sometimes girls did, for serious offences, but I was not one of them and my days of being spanked at school were over. However, at home I was still subject to the same regime.

The most common punishment I and most other girls received at the High School was after-school detention. I found myself kept in after school on numerous occasions and because I didn’t live in town, this meant missing the school bus home. At 5 o’clock, after a detention, I would have to walk to my dad’s workplace and ask for a lift. On the way home, I would have to explain to him what I had done to earn a detention, usually messing about in class.

If I had not been in any trouble recently, Dad would not consider any further action necessary, but if my detention occurred while previous misbehaviour was still fresh in his memory, I could expect to find myself over his knee getting my bottom smacked with the slipper.

One memorable occasion occurred when I was 15 and in the 4th year. I had had a bedtime spanking the night before and so getting a detention had not been very sensible. I went downtown to Dad’s workplace feeling apprehensive about what lay in store for me.

Another girl, a 5th year called Ruth, who had also had detention, walked with me as she was going in the same direction. I didn’t really know her, although she was quite friendly with my older sister Rebecca. We didn’t talk much as I was preoccupied with the conversation I was going to have with my dad.

The two of us went into the newsagents near the school where my friends and I used to go at lunchtime to buy single cigarettes. I wasn’t buying any that day, though. I was in enough trouble without risking being caught in possession! I picked up a can of Fanta and went to pay for it.

Meanwhile, Ruth was in the sweetie aisle filling her pockets with Flakes and Curly Wurlys.

The shopkeeper saw her and shouted, but she was off and by the time he had got around the counter and to the door she was halfway down the street. He was still at the door as I tried to leave with my drink, and he stopped me and demanded that I tell him her name.

I told him that I didn’t know, but he insisted that I must know who she was as we had entered the shop together. I continued to deny any knowledge of her, but he insisted that I was not leaving the shop until I had given him the girl’s name. He then told his wife to call the Police.

Being a sweetshop near a school, she knew the number off by heart and, as the station was on the same street, it was only a matter of minutes before the police car turned up.

By the time he was talking to the policeman, the story had become that Ruth and I had been in it together and I was there to distract him while she stole the chocolate bars. She had got away, but he had managed to catch her partner in crime. I was in tears, protesting my innocence and eventually the policeman told the shopkeeper that, as long as I was sticking to my story, there was nothing they could do. He didn’t go as far as to suggest that he believed me though. I was banned from the shop and I had been there so long that it was too late to get a lift with my dad.

The policeman gave me a lift home.

When I had not come home on the school bus, my mum had guessed that I had got detention again, so when Dad arrived home and I wasn’t with him they were worried that something had happened to me. When the police car pulled up outside our house, they were both out immediately to see what had happened.

The policeman told my parents the shopkeeper’s version of what had happened, while I protested my innocence, and I was again asked to give up the name of my accomplice, which I still denied knowing. Eventually, the cop went away, admitting defeat, but strongly suggesting that I would benefit from a good hiding. My parents agreed.

Mum was particularly aggrieved that the neighbours had seen me brought home in a police car. Neither of them believed that I didn’t know the name of a girl I had been in detention with, and although I know Dad was probably quite proud that I wouldn’t snitch on anyone, there was still the small matter of me having been in detention the day after a spanking.

I was taken upstairs to my bedroom and Dad placed me over his knee. My pants were pulled down to bare my bottom. Mum, because she wanted the neighbours to know that we were not the kind of family to tolerate visits from the constabulary, opened the windows so that my punishment would be broadcast to the neighbourhood, and Dad gave my bare bottom thirty hard whacks with the slipper.

It was not my last detention, nor was it the last time I had my bottom warmed with the slipper.