Back in January 1964 My girlfriend Susan S***** and myself, Brian H****** attended a coeducation Grammar school in Northern England. At that time corporal punishment was used on both boys and girls. At our school the Headmaster believed that not only should a child be punished but should also be humiliated, hence he had a section of the school notice board set out under the heading of weekly punishments. These included masters’ detentions and canings. It also contained the names of any child due to attend a masters detention on the following Monday from 4.00pm to 5.00pm.
On the Tuesday morning any corporal punishment handed out in detention would be listed, and remain so till the list was changed the following Monday lunch time. Anybody who received 3 detentions in a row was marked in red which meant an automatic 3 strokes of the cane in front of the detention class.
Until just before Christmas 1963 when I was 16 and Susan was 15 neither of us had ever been in any trouble at all throughout our 4 years at the school and were 2 of only 3 people in our year.
At the beginning of December I had been playing Rugby for the school and on the way home some boy at the back of the coach told a rude joke at which all those near him laughed. The teacher turned round and asked what the commotion was. Nobody answered him so he moved to the back of the coach. I was 6 rows from the back and he said that as nobody had owned up everybody in the back 6 rows were in a masters’ detention the following Monday. This was my very first punishment of any kind at either junior or senior school.
The following Monday after lunch I looked on the punishment board and saw my name there as being in detention that evening. I also saw that the member of the rugby team who actually said the joke had his name in red as it was his third detention. I felt a bit nervous as I had never seen a cane before and now I was going to see it used.
As we lined up outside the detention room at 4.00 pm we had to stand facing the wall hands on heads as the rest of the school went home. We were then called into the room and told to sit at one of the desks with the pen and paper on. As was usual in classes I sat at the front desk in front of the teacher. We were given our work to do and told it had to be finished, or we would be back the following Monday to finish it, and we were told we were not to look up till we were told to.
As we started our work the headmaster walked into the room and everyone jumped to their feet. He was carrying a cane with a crook handle about 3 feet long. After being told to sit and to carry on with our work he called out for B**** to come to the front of the class. He was told that as he had been in detention on 3 consecutive Mondays he would receive 3 strokes of the cane. The head then said as it was school policy to cane over 1 item of clothing only, he was to drop his trousers and to bend over facing the class.
I was still working when I heard a loud whoosh followed by a crack as the cane landed. It made me jump and I looked up to see the second stroke land and saw the agony on B****’s face and the tears in his eyes. I carried on with my work as I heard the last stroke land followed by a loud yelp from B****. Then the door opened and the headmaster was gone. Mr J****** then told B**** to get dressed and return to his place.
Then I heard Mr J****** shout out: “H******! On your feet.”
I stood up wondering what the matter was. He was standing in front of me and asked why I had felt the need to watch B****’s caning.
I said that I was shocked and just looked up for a moment as the severity had shocked me. He came around the desk and said I had broken the detention rules and would be punished. He took hold of my ear and dragged me to the front of the class and asked me when I was last punished in detention and I said that I had never been in detention before.
He said: “Well you are now and will be punished.”
He reached to the drawer of his desk and withdrew a leather strop about 2 feet in length and the last 12 inches split in 2. I was told to face the class, drop my trousers and to touch my toes and not to move. I felt the leather touch my skin then move away. I clenched my bottom as I heard a whoosh and then the pain as it struck right in the middle of my bottom. I let out a yelp at the pain. The second followed at the top of my bottom and before I could recover the third connected just below my underpants. The tears were falling as I was told to get dressed and return to my seat, sitting being very painful. During the rest of the detention several others were punished including 2 girls. The procedure was the same for everyone. At least I know now why all the girls were wearing skirts.
Just before the end of detention I finished my task and was told to sit with my hands on my head while he checked the work. After everyone’s work was done he came round and gave everybody a slip to say that they had served their detention which they were to give to the teacher who had issued them.
Before we were excused he called out 3 names, mine included, and told us to stand. He then came and gave us another detention slip for the following week and told us we had all missed out part of our work so we would be back again the following week.
The shame the following morning when my name was up there having received 3 strokes of the strap and another detention. At least Susan was sypathetic.
The following week’s detention followed pain free and the rest of that week was spent on choir practice ready for the Carol Service the following Monday, then it was Christmas break.
I spent most of the holidays at Susan’s as we were planning her 16th Birthday party for the 2nd Monday back at School. So we had to send out all the invitations and I had to arrange a special present for her.
As we returned to school on the Monday before Susan’s birthday we were talking and missed the bus, but knew we could still get there in time as we had done it before. After the weekend we had had snow which made walking difficult and running virtually impossible. As we got to the school gate the doors were just closing but we managed to sneak inside and were just hanging our coats in the cloakroom when we heard a shout of: “S*****, H******, where have you been?”
We explained to Mrs S****** that because of the snow we had been held up. She said nobody else had been and she was sorry but she had no alternative. Anybody late without good excuse meant it was a masters’ detention. So we were to report to the staff room at break and she would give us a slip for the following Monday.
Susan realised the date so she begged Mrs Spencer, explaining it was her birthday and that she was having a party. Mrs Spencer thought for a moment before saying that if the detention book was still in the staff room after assembly she would put us into detention tonight instead. We were both relieved at this. At break we went to the staff room and were told that we could serve our detention this afternoon but to check the punishment board after lunch to make sure the headmaster had said OK.
As we went outside I said to Susan did she realise that if she got into any trouble and did not do as she was told immediately she would be strapped and as she had come to school in her trousers she would have to take them down. She said: “Don’t worry, I have never been in trouble before and don’t intend to tonight.
After lunch we went along to the punishment board and everyone coming away was looking at us. There, at the top of the list, the only fifth years in detention were Susan S***** and Brian H******, my name in red. We both looked at each other and I said I have not had 3 detentions. So we both went to see the school secretary and explained that I could not have had 3 detentions as I was singing in the carol concert on the last Monday of last term. She then told me that as there were no detentions that night due to the carol concert I had actually been in detention for the last 3 and would therefore be caned.
Susan couldn’t apologise enough all afternoon but I told her not to worry about me but to make certain she did not get into trouble as I had noticed the outline of her panties and she was not wearing school panties.
At 4.00 pm we both arrived at the detention room and after being told to enter and to sit down were told the rules and given our work to do. There were only 8 in detention: 3 first years, 2 second and 1 third year plus us, so we were quite a bit older. As soon as we had started our work the headmaster walked in holding his cane. He told me to stand and said that after having had an exemplary discipline record it seems to be slipping so this caning would be a reminder to get me back on the straight and narrow.
I was told to go to the front of the class where I was asked if there was any reason I should not be caned and I said no as it was no use arguing. He then told me to take my trousers down and to bend over and to hold my ankles. Any attempt to stand would result in extras on the bare.
I then felt the cold cane tapping several times before it moving away for what seemed an age before whoosh and the cane landed. At first just a thud but then a line of fire across my bottom took my breath away then another whoosh slightly lower and the pain doubled. Finally the third landed. It appeared to be the hardest.
I had tried not to let the tears flow for Susan’s sake and also with all the younger children watching but I did not succeed. As I waited to be told to get dressed I could hear noises and realised Mr T***** had told the third year girl and one of the first year boys to stand and also I saw Susan standing. He was telling them all that as they appeared to be fascinated with my caning then perhaps they would come out to the front for a dose of the strap.
As they walked past me they were all told that they would receive 3 strokes across the bottom. As the first year was told to drop his trousers and to bend over I was told to get dressed and to stand against the wall hands on head and watch these 3 get the strap as they all watched me get caned.
He certainly did not hold back with the strap and then it was the turn of the third year girl who was wearing a skirt. She was ordered to bend over and Mr T***** lifted her skirt right up her back and her chocolate brown school knickers were taut across her bottom.
Then it was Susan’s turn. She looked at me as she stepped forward and was told that she had to drop her trousers. She tried to argue and asked if she could have it across the hands instead. She kept arguing and in the end Mr T***** said: “OK, you will get it across each hand, after you have had it over your bottom. Now remove those trousers or I will send for the secretary to hold you down and remove your trousers.”
Susan realised that she had no alternative and undid the clasp and zip and let her trousers fall. As she bent down her little pink nylon briefs came into view. Mr T***** picked up the strap and delivered 3 very severe strokes across her knickers. At the end she was in floods of tears and struggled to pull her trousers up again. As she went to leave she was told to stay where she was and he left the room.
He returned 5 minutes later with a very slender and small cane and said she wanted it across the hands, so be it. She was told to hold her hand out and as he brought the cane down she moved her hand away. Mr T***** said OK but it won’t happen again and told her to sit on his desk, which she did.
He told her to hold her hand 12 inches above her legs and then said if you move your hand it will be on the leg. With that he brought it crashing down across her little palm. She screamed in pain and then had to repeat the exercise with the other hand.
I was told to return to my seat and to carry on with my work. Susan was made to stand in the corner, trousers down and hands on head, for the rest of detention. At the end of detention and after we had been given our signed detention notes Susan was told that because she was wearing non regulation knickers she would be in detention again the following week and to think herself lucky she did not have to report to the Headmaster tomorrow for a formal caning.
She again tried to persuade him to let her serve her detention the following week as it was her birthday. After he refused she was really angry and was banging her books away when he came around and gave her 2 sharp smacks on each leg and told her yes, she could serve a detention in 2 weeks time as well as next week and that would mean she would also be caned.
And so came to an end Brian and Susan’s reign as Goody Goodies, as Brian got himself in detention so that he could be there when she was caned.