I went to a grammar school in the 1960’s and received my fair share of slipperings and canings. But there is one which sticks in my memory more than the rest and a resultant second caning later.

In my first four years at the school all teachers used the slipper, and the cane was reserved for more serious offences. That changed in my last year when a new headmistress was appointed. She stopped teachers using the slipper and deemed that minor offences would earn a detention and serious offences would be reported to her. More than 3 detentions in a term or 6 in a year would also warrant a visit to her office. She also stopped caning girls on their hands and decreed that all canings would be on the bottom over one item of clothing only.

I was 16 at the time and I finally got caned by her in the second term of my fifth year. Some of the girls challenged me and my friends to a game of strip poker during one lunchtime. We sneaked to a room where we thought we would be safe and the action commenced. We were so engrossed that we failed to hear an approaching teacher. I am not sure who was most shocked, the lady teacher or us, when she opened the door and came across semi naked pupils. She ordered us to get dressed and follow her.

We were taken to the headmistress’s office and told to wait outside. After a few minutes the teacher who found us came out and we were invited in. The headmistress read us a long lecture before advising us that we were all to receive 6 strokes of the cane for playing strip poker and a detention for being out of bounds. We were to serve our detention the following day after school. The headmistress then sent 2 of the girls and the boys outside and kept one girl in her office. I lined up immediately after the two girls as I did not want too long a wait for my fate.

It was not long before I could hear the cane swishing and it was followed by cries of pain from the girl. She finally came out with tears running and rubbing her bottom.

Then the second girl went in. She got the same punishment with the same result. By now the 4 of us were very frightened especially when the second girl came out with tears streaming down her face and rubbing her bottom.

The third girl went in and I listened intently to the swishing cane which was followed by her cries of pain. It was not long before she came out with tears running and rubbing her bottom hard.

It was then my turn to enter the room. I was ordered to remove my blazer and stand behind a chair. The headmistress then told me to drop my trousers and bend over the chair back. I was ordered to hold the chair legs and the headmistress adjusted my posture until she was satisfied. I felt her lift my shirt up and soon felt the cane touch my bottom. The first stroke soon followed and I felt a pain like I had not felt before. Five more strokes followed with each one appearing to be harder than the previous. I was crying out after the third stroke and tears were running down my face.

Finally I was told to stand up. I was ordered to get dressed and eventually dismissed. I quickly left the office rubbing my bottom profusely as I went.

This was by far the hardest caning I received at school and my most embarrassing. The new headmistress had certainly left her mark!

One side line to this caning was that it added to my detentions and I got caned later in the term for having accrued three detentions that term. I attended the detention after school and was recorded as present by the teacher taking the detention. I was then told to go and report to the headmistress along with another boy.

I knocked on the headmistress’s door and we were summoned in. She knew why we were there and the cane was already on her desk. She told the other lad to wait outside. I was ordered to remove my blazer and stand by the chair in the middle of the room as I had done previously. The headmistress then told me to drop my trousers and bend over the chair. She told me to hold the chair legs and adjusted my posture exactly as I remembered it. I was very nervous as I waited for my caning because of my first visit to the headmistress. I did not have long to wait before my shirt was lifted out of the way and the cane touched my bottom.

The first stroke followed quickly and I felt the pain exactly as before. I managed to avoid crying out as I was determined to prove I could take it. The headmistress continued and five more hard strokes followed. I was then told to stand and get dressed before being told to return to my detention. I left the room past the other lad and reported back to my detention. It was hard staying still while writing out chapters of a book for the remainder of the hour’s detention. Eventually we were dismissed and I walked slowly and painfully home.

PJ