I like many other pupils, I was not enthused by one of my art teachers. She wasn’t particularly pretty, she was overweight and wore horrible long floral dresses with ankle socks and flat leather sandals which she could slip off to wallop the bottom of anyone she deemed to be needing it. Its use was frequent, packed a potent sting and was not solely for boys, as numerous girls, including myself, found out.

In an all-girls art class, I was messing about with two girls opposite. We were throwing a cleaning cloth back and to until I got spotted, just me, not the three of us as it should have been. It didn’t take a genius to work out what was coming; a sore bottom was on the cards for me.

When told to, I placed my blazer on her desk and stood in front of the blackboard while she fastened my skirt to the back of my jumper with a large spring clip. The ‘getting prepared’ ceremony now over, I had to bend over and wait as she lectured the others on how girls should behave before removing the right sandal from her foot.

I’d seen other girls slippered in this manner but this was new to me and boy! When that first smack landed on my left cheek I could feel the tears welling as the sharpness of the sting took effect. The smack of leather across my knickers must have brought joy to the others as they watched me wriggle and squirm and they probably couldn’t wait to see the effect of the next five that were still to come.

The next smack landed on my right cheek with much the same effect as the previous one, only by now the tears were all too obvious. From this point on, the sandal landed on previously visited flesh and multiplied the intensity of the punishment so much I couldn’t remain in position, much to her disdain and perhaps adding to merriment of my classmates watching my predicament.

After six whacks, a girl knew she had met a expert in extracting the maximum possible pain and humiliation. My greatest regret was I had had a one in three chance of not being singled out. True, I did deserve it, but so did two others. I’d been unlucky and got caught and suffered the consequences on my own.