I attended an independent boys school in South London during the sixties and early seventies. Corporal Punishment was very much part of daily life and in the prep school a few masters used the slipper and I received my fair share of punishment. These whackings were given in front of the class with the recipient bending over the form desk.
In the senior school the Headmaster and two other masters (music and history) punished boys with the cane, usually between three and six strokes for sometimes quite trivial wrong doings. In the senior school I received the cane three times, once from the Headmaster and twice from the music master – and endured a memorable beating with a plimsoll from the PE master.
The history master was fond of using the cane, and any boy that had earned such punishment was told to remain behind at the end of the lesson before being instructed to bend over a desk in the front row for usually six strokes. Fortunately I managed to avoid this particular master, unlike many of my classmates.
There were several offences that earned a mandatory caning from the Headmaster, including stealing, bullying, trancy and smoking. I was caned by the Headmaster for smoking, which was a quite straightforward affair in that I had to report during morning break and wait in the secretaries’ office to be summoned, after which the Head took no more than a minute telling me what he thought of smoking before instructing me to remove my jacket and loosen my tie and to bend over and touch my toes. He then in quite quick fashion delivered six painful stokes to the seat of my trousers taking no more than a minute.
The PE master punished me a few times with a couple of whacks with a plimsoll bent over during a gym lesson in front of all my class-mates which was not at all unusual.
More memorably was the time I was sent to the changing rooms for repeatedly mucking about. He set the rest of the class a gym drill before coming into the changing room, and telling me he was absolutely fed up with me before slipping his large plimsoll off and instructing me to drop my gym shorts and bend over a low backed chair. Six whacks to my bare bottom followed and I remember being taken aback by just how painful his plimsoll was, given by this very athletic man. The plimsoll is very different to the cane covering a larger area and really making ones bottom ‘throb’.
However it was the music master who was known as the ‘whacker’, and looking back it was clear he got his kicks from caning schoolboys. I managed to earn myself two canings from him, the first when he punished three of us together.
We had upset some chairs during morning assembly as he was playing the organ and unluckily our first lesson after assembly was with him. All three of us were ordered from the classroom to the next-door room where he told us he was going to give us each six of the best.
My friend went first and was told to remove his jacket and drop his trousers and bend over the table. We watched in horror as he delivered six very hard strokes quite quickly.
It was then my turn and I was very embarrassed to drop my trousers before bending over. I soon found out just how painful the cane is when applied to my bottom with only my pants as protection.
The second time I had to see him was as a result of some disruptive behaviour during one of his lessons and I was told to report to him at the end of the school day. This time I was alone and unlike the previous time there was clearly no rush. The music master lectured me about my behaviour and told me that after today he was sure that I would not want a repeat of what was about to happen.
Again I heard the immortal words, I am going to give you ‘six-of-the-best’ which was followed by an instruction to take off my blazer and completely remove everything below the waist. I knew this was a possibility as others in my year had received bare bottomed canings from him. As I stripped off he even told me to remove my socks!
I was soon undressed as he had instructed and was told to bend over and touch my toes with my legs slightly apart. I was left in this embarrassing position for at least a minute before I heard him pick up the cane and approach me from my left side. Having already been caned by him I knew what to expect when he touched my bottom with the cane and gave me my first stroke, which I remember as being incredibly painful – more so than my two previous canings. It was all I could do not to jump up, but I knew that would result in an extra stroke.
Unlike the previous time when we were holding up a lesson, he took his time and wandered around behind me between strokes clearly looking at my bottom. I was touching my toes for over five minutes as he caned me very slowly, methodically and extremely painfully.
After the final stroke I was told to stand and face him as he lectured me further before finally being told to get dressed. At the time I did not particularly suspect his motives – we just accepted that getting whacked was a painful part of school life. But now it is obvious that this was a man who went out of his way to get his kicks by caning teenage boys on the bare bottom.
Other masters must have suspected him, but in the late sixties everyone clearly turned a blind eye. We also discovered years later that he rarely entered details of canings he had given in the punishment book kept by the Headmaster’s secretary.
What do I think looking back? I have an interest in CP and perhaps that is ‘routed’ in being thrashed at public school. I remember having strangely pleasurable feelings later in the day after the PE master had given me six strokes with his plimsoll on my bare bottom.
The cane, at the time, was simply too painful for any pleasurable feelings – especially in the hands of the music master. However, despite now knowing that he was getting his kicks and was way ‘out of line’, there is something about what happened that day that brings back nostalgic memories that I wouldn’t want to change.