This happened in Yorkshire in 1962 when I was 13.

On my way back from school, I would often cut through an old orchard. I had never seen anyone there although I knew there was an isolated cottage nearby. I was making my way along the path when it was blocked by a big older man who asked me what I was doing on this land. I was a nice, polite middle-class boy and explained that I didn’t realise it belonged to anyone, which was true, but he was really rough with a strong Yorkshire accent and said that wasn’t an excuse. The more I tried to explain, the more annoyed he got, and he told me he could do without my cheek and that he was going to teach me a lesson so I would never, ever go on his land again. By this time I had butterflies in my tummy and I felt very nervous. I was very worried about what might happen.

The man took me back down the garden to a large shed near his cottage. A younger man, perhaps in his twenties, was working on an old car and the older man said it was his son. The older man explained what had happened and his son said I needed a good bare bum smacking to make me learn my lesson. The younger man came over to me and started to pull my school shorts down. I was extremely embarrassed at what was happening as my own dad hadn’t smacked bare for 6 or 7 years. I said to him I would never, ever use the orchard path again but he ignored me and once my shorts were down he pulled down my underpants to my ankles. He was smiling at me and was clearly enjoying my intense embarrassment. He then tucked my shirt up into my vest and the older man put his arms under my arm pits, lifted me off the ground and started hitting me with the palm of this hand. He was a big man and it hurt a lot, but almost worst was the man’s son who was laughing at me getting a spanking from his dad with my private parts bouncing around in front of him.

When the man had finished, my bottom was burning and I was crying. The man gave me a good thorough telling-off, still with my shorts and underpants down and shirt tucked in my vest. By now, I didn’t really care what they could see as I felt like a naughty five-year-old, not a growing teenager.

Finally, they told me to pull up my underpants and shorts and tucked my shirt into my shorts. I could go on my way, but if they ever saw me again, they would give me a smacking so I couldn’t sit down for a week. I ran out of the shed and up the garden as fast as I could with a burning throbbing bottom, red eyes from crying and the overwhelming feeling of being a naughty little boy again.

I’ve never forgotten this event even now I am in my 70s, and of course I never cut through the orchard again.