I received my first caning in only my second week at Grammar School. It was in 1963 and I was 11 years old. It was a History lesson and I hated it. The schoolmistress suddenly told us that we were to get a test on the lesson and handed out a question sheet to us all. Needless to say I performed very badly. She marked our answers very quickly and handed them back to us. She then announced that anyone who got less than 6 marks should see her at the end of the lesson.

The lesson ended and we were dismissed except anyone who got less than 6 marks. Everyone left except for me. I reported to Miss M and she asked me why I had got such a low mark. I tried to bluff my way out of it but she said I had not paid attention. She then told me to go to the school office and collect the cane and book. My heart sank and I tried pleading to no avail. I walked to the office and the secretary took some brief details before handing over a crook handled cane and a book. I was horrified because I had not seen a cane close up and it seemed longer than I had envisaged. I walked back down the corridor and got teased by some kids who knew that the cane was soon to be used on me.

I entered the classroom and Miss M stood up. She took the cane and the book from me. She opened the book and I watched as she wrote my name in it. I recall that she then picked up the cane before telling me to remove my blazer and bend over a desk in the front row. While I removed my blazer I noticed Miss M flexing the cane. When I was bent over Miss M adjusted my position and then stood alongside me. I felt the cane touch my bottom and made one last plea but she merely lifted the cane and it soon hit my bottom hard. I remember that it did not hurt initially but soon I felt a burning sensation. Miss M gave me two more hard strokes before walking away. She signed the punishment book before telling me to stand. I had tears in my eyes and wanted to rub my bottom. Miss M then told me that I would get six strokes next time and told me to return the cane and book to the office. I was teased by other kids as I walked back down the corridor.

I handed the cane and book into the secretary who smiled and suggested I should wash my face before going out to the playground.

I was the first pupil in my class to be caned at Grammar School and had lost my ‘caning virginity’ less than two weeks into my time at the school. It was a harsh introduction but thoroughly deserved. I had not been paying attention and deserved my punishment. One final point is that Miss M kept her promise and I did get six strokes later that year from her.