I attended a co-educational boarding school in the early seventies. Corporal punishment was a regular event. Boys would receive the cane from the headmaster for serious offences and Girls the bath-brush from the senior mistress.

Being a co-educational boarding school there were a lot of rules to prevent boyfriend/girlfriend relationships from progressing too far. The girl’s dormitories and the area around the outside were out of bounds for boys and the boy’s dormitories and the area around the outside were out of bounds for girls. Being caught in either place would earn you a caning or a bath brushing. In the five years I attended the school there were two incidents where boys were caught in a girls’ dorm late at night visiting their girl friends. In both cases the boys and girls were given six strokes of the bath brush on the spot in front of the rest of the dormitory and suspended for two weeks.

Finding anywhere private or quiet to meet on school grounds was virtually impossible. Teachers coming across couples kissing and cuddling were fairly understanding and just said: “That’s enough you two,” and sent them off in different directions. However being caught with clothing in disarray or involved in some heavy petting would elicit a much sterner response.

It was the during the winter term in November that myself and my girlfriend, Niki, came up with the bright idea of using the wet room to meet. The wet room contained two lots of floor to ceiling drying racks usually strewn with damp games kit, a sink, a washing machine, some old kitchen stools and a radiator. It had a small frosted window and a single bare light bulb. The room was about ten foot wide and fifteen feet deep. You entered into a clear space about five feet deep then the drying racks concertina-ed in from each side wall. The washing machine was to your left and the sink to your right. Our plan was to both turn up with some of our sports kit which we would spread over the drying racks and, should anyone come in, we would have a legitimate reason for being there. The other plus was that the building was off the beaten track, not far from the girl’s dormitories and a fair distance from anywhere else.

At around seven in the evening we met in the wet room as arranged, went round to the far side of the drying racks so that we would hear and see anyone come in before they saw us, hung up our sports kit and proceeded to enjoy ourselves. About ten minutes later another pupil came in, collected some clothes and, completely oblivious to our presence, switched off the light as they left. We never thought to turn it back on again and resumed where we had left off.

All was fine for about another twenty minutes. It was completely dark by then and we still hadn’t switched the light back on, when in walked Miss Johnson the games mistress. Miss Johnson was good fun during games and cross-country, five feet six inches tall, lean and solid muscle. She was also a senior mistress with a fearsome reputation amongst the girls. If she was on duty after ‘lights out’ the girl’s dormitories were absolutely silent. As soon as she entered, she switched on the light and called out something like: “Right you two, out you come, I know you’re there.” Pause. “Now please.”

We didn’t have time to sort ourselves out so out we came looking somewhat tousled, buttons undone, clothing askew. We could hardly claim we were just collecting sports kit especially as when Miss Johnson came in the light was off and you could hardly see.

She told Niki to go and stand next to the washing machine facing the wall with her hands on her head and that she would be back in a short while. Then, walking outside, she stood me in the freezing cold facing the now shut door. Then she went. Back she came ten minutes later carrying a pink plastic bath brush and bringing a prefect with her. Leaving the prefect outside with instructions not to let anyone in, she led me back into the wet room.

She told Niki to take her hands off her head and turn round. Niki looked at the bath brush somewhat apprehensively. Miss Johnson then told us off. The short version was that, she wasn’t going to send me to see the head, she didn’t think enough was going on to warrant a suspension but it was definitely more than ‘just’ a kiss and a cuddle and it couldn’t be let go without punishment. Then she placed one of the stools in the middle of the floor and instructed me to: “Face your girlfriend, bend over that and grab on to the legs. Don’t move until I tell you.”

Stroke one caused me to suck in my breath and brought tears to my eyes, as did stroke two on the other cheek. It was far worse than being slippered. After two strokes it felt like I’d been slippered six times on each cheek. Strokes three and four had me yelping and wriggling causing Miss Johnson to remind me: “Two more to come, stay still or I’ll make it four.” I gritted my teeth and stopped moving. I didn’t believe it could get much worse but strokes five and six proved me wrong.

We were then told to swap places and I had to watch Niki receive her six. At least I had trousers and pants on. Niki’s skirt was lifted and her knickers didn’t really cover her cheeks at all. I don’t think Miss Johnson held back and gave Niki the same punishment as she had given me. Niki was openly sobbing after the second stroke and screamed out when strokes five and six fell. I think watching Niki being punished was harder than being on the receiving end.

Finally we were both sent back to our dormitories.

Not surprisingly we weren’t the first couple to think the wet-room would be a good hideaway and as I found out later, it was normal practice for passing members of staff to look in and call out: ‘I know you’re in there, come out,’ on the off chance that someone was and then if no one answered look round to make sure.

You might think that an experience like that would put a dampener on further liaisons but hormones are powerful things and this wasn’t the last time they got me into trouble.