(Continues from an earlier recollection)

The following Saturday, after I had committed the original offences of using bad language, objecting to having to wear uniform to go to Church and then having a poor attitude, I was told I would be punished for my disobedience. I had to serve the first of the two Saturday afternoon detentions (5 hours each) which I had been assigned.  This meant whilst the other students were, for the only time in the week, allowed to go into town unaccompanied and with some more relaxed if still smart dress, I was confined to one of the classrooms under the supervision of a teacher wearing a long tartan dress and long navy cardigan.

Unfortunately I didn’t take the task assigned of copying out 20 A4 sides of The Bible seriously enough and I was shocked when my work was reviewed by the teacher at the end of the five hours. It was not long after I had started attending the finishing School and didn’t realise this would happen. I tried to leave when the five hours were up, which did not meet the teacher’s expectations, and she made me stand facing the wall for 10 minutes whilst she checked my work. She was furious at my lack of effort. Her review revealed 110 mistakes in the 20 sides and on the spot she put me across the desk, lifted my dress and I got four strokes of the plimsoll. She then sent me to stand outside the Principal’s office.

After what seemed like forever I was taken into the Principal’s office where I had to stand in front of her desk with my Tutor also present. I had to stand in silence and be lectured on my failings, which made me feel, even though I was 19, like a naughty little school girl which was of course in part the purpose.  Suffice to say my punishments were increased for having failed to comply with those given for the original offence by my idleness in my detention work and fiddling with my dress and cardigan during my detention.

The Principal assigned my new punishments as I stood resigned to my fate.  I was grounded and given detention for the next four Saturday afternoons (5 hours each). Principal also bestowed a further sanction.  I had to wear the outfit I had objected to for Church attendance for the next four Sundays.

She informed me that given the severity of my transgressions she had informed my parents who were not impressed and were fully supportive of the punishments I was to receive. She added that I would of course write to them immediately to apologise, which I knew would mean yet further sanctions at Christmas time when I went home.

She completed by telling me that because my behaviour had been so irresponsible and immature she had decided my physical punishment would be appropriately childish.  I was to be spanked by Matron; she had decided it would be done in private but that I would be taken in front of the other students afterwards and they would be told what I had received. To give me time to reflect on my stupidity I would be spanked at 8 am the next morning before we all went to Church.

I spent the evening in my room with two other girls who were suitably sympathetic when I told them what was to happen to me. As you can imagine, I spent a very restless night thinking of the immediate humiliation I was to suffer and what was to follow for the rest of the term and during my holidays.

I reported at 7:30 am at The Principal’s office the next day wearing my blouse, tartan pinafore, knee socks and arran cardigan and stood, as I had been told to, facing the wall with my hands on my beret covered head. When I was taken in The Principal was sat behind her desk whilst the Matron was sat in the middle of the room on a wooden chair. I meekly apologised and the Matron then made me undo my cardigan before laying me over her lap with my arms outstretched.

Matron told me to remain still with my hands to the floor, otherwise I would receive extra. She then placed my cardigan and the skirt of my tunic over my back and I suffered the indignity of having my knickers pulled down to my ankles. She then proceeded to spank me across my backside. I don’t know whether it was the humiliation or the pain or both but I was soon reduced to tears.

Unlike the slippering there was no finite end to the spanking and it seemed to last forever. After a while she told me to stand and put my hands on my head.

Whilst the Matron stood up, the Principal told me off again and said: “You don’t seem like such a smart young lady now, do you Elizabeth?”

Then to my horror the Matron took me back over her knee, rearranged my clothing and started spanking me with a large hairbrush. It was agony as she reddened not just my already sore behind but also the backs of my thighs. When, eventually, it ended Matron pulled up my knickers and I was allowed to stand again with my hands on my head.

The Principal told me she hoped this would be the start of some much improved behaviour and I agreed it would be. I was then marched to the entrance where the rest of the students and teachers were ready to set off for Church. I had to stand crying whilst The Principal told everyone of my transgressions. The following four weeks were as humiliating and laborious as you would imagine from the regime I had had assigned. I did absolutely everything to comply and did my best to excel in deportment, cooking, flower arranging, typing, shorthand, public speaking, literature and needlework as well as my detentions.

Despite that, it did not spare me a further ‘reminder’ spanking from the Matron. Again, I found myself with my cardigan and skirt raised, my knickers around my ankles and her hand slapping me repeatedly across my bare behind.

When my four weeks of punishment were completed, the Principal decided that for the rest of the term I would be allowed back to the usual school timetable and freedoms with the exception that I would still have my clothing specified for me on the Saturday afternoon when we were allowed out unsupervised.

My parents ensured I was severely dealt with for my disobedience and misbehaviour when I went home for Christmas 1973.

LS