During my first year at secondary school we had a very nice young form teacher called Miss King (not her real name), who we all loved in spite of, or maybe because of, the fact she was unfailingly strict. She had a slipper which she was not afraid to bring out to whack a naughty girl’s bottom with. I was one of the first, together with a friend, to receive the honour of bending over for a whacking which combined a springy slipper with a very athletic arm and left you with a bottom on which you felt you could fry an egg.

During the first term, several girls had to bend over for Miss King’s slipper, but during the second term came an incident where we all as a class did something to earn her displeasure. That term we had a student teacher who frankly hadn’t a clue about teaching or keeping order. We invented an insulting nickname for her and generally played her up as only kids can, until one day she ran out of the classroom in tears.

Miss King, even though she probably knew the student was hopeless, was predictably furious with us for our misbehaviour and told us we were getting a special detention at the end of the week at which we needed to bring our gym kit. She taught us for PE and it seemed quite logical that a class detention with her would be doing PE. When the evening came after school, two girls had forgotten their kit and they were made to stand in the corner of the gym with their noses to the wall. The rest of us were involved in running laps and some pretty strenuous activity. Of course, we were young and found it quite fun, especially with Miss King.

However, after half an hour, Miss King stopped the activity and told us to put out some long benches, which we did. She told us to line up in front of the benches and out came her slipper, much to our consternation. She told us our behaviour was disgraceful and we were all going to get three whacks of the slipper.  We then in turn had to put our hands on the bench in front of us while she went down the line in a marvellously athletic vein, whacking each upturned bottom, something that produced cries of anguish and tears from many of the girls. Then, after we had received our whacks, we had to step over the bench and sit down on it with freshly spanked bottoms and our hands on our heads.

When Miss King had finished with the line she called the two girls over who had forgotten their kit. They had to bend over with their skirts up and both received three whacks plus two extra for forgetting their kit.

You can guess when we showered and changed there was quite a lot of comparing bottoms for their redness. By that time we had mostly got over it and there was quite a bit of giggling. We were all in it together so there was no shame in having a red bum.  There was one girl absent from the detention from whose mother Miss King had received a letter saying she had a legitimate reason for not attending. I think she thought she got away with it but Miss King had an elephantine memory for such things and next gym lesson she got her three whacks, something which we thought was fair but was not appreciated by the girl concerned.

After that disciplinary exercise, the student teacher did rather better although I just hope she didn’t go into teaching for her sake and for all those of her students. She may not have found other teachers as sympathetic as Miss King.