Once, during a lesson when the teacher was away sick and there appeared to be no cover, we were playing a game of dares. There was a flat roof just below the window of the classroom and some girl dared me to jump out the window and run along the roof below.

Unfortunately, I was stupid enough to do it, but before I could get back the substitute teacher arrived and I was caught and sent to the head. When I reached the dreaded office the head impressed on me, first how dangerous it was, and second how I could have damaged school property.

My heart sank as she told me that she should make an example of me and give me six of the best.She then took a cane out of the cupboard and told me to bend over the desk she had for the purpose. Terrified, I obeyed. She folded my skirt up and I felt the cane tap on my tight knickers. There was a slight pause and a swoosh as the cane came down, a momentary delay and then a searing pain in my bum cheeks which felt they had been branded with a hot iron. I didn’t make a noise because it hurt so much I couldn’t catch my breath but the second one produced a yell from me and by the time the third landed, the tears were flowing readily.

I clutched the edge of the desk tightly as number four landed and howled and stamped my feet. The head told me to keep still and then followed strokes five and six, by which time my poor bum felt like a furnace and I was completely out of control. By the time the head told me to stand up I was a sobbing, wriggling wreck.

She asked me if I had learned my lesson, and I replied: “Yes!” very hastily through my tears while clutching my suffering bottom.

The head then told me I could leave and go and wash my face, and return to class. I made my way painfully and slowly to the girls room and washed my face. When I looked at my bum, there were six awful marks across it.

 I returned to the class an absolute mess. I was sure an example. Thankfully I had a teacher who was sympathetic to a girl with a burning bum and who ignored my shuffling and sobbing.

Of course, afterwards I faced the usual barrage of questions like ‘did it hurt?’ and other idiocies.

When I got home, I got no sympathy from mother as she said I thoroughly deserved what I got. Looking back, I can only agree with her.