I’m a mature male aged 70. Back in the 1950s growing up, spanking was a normal everyday punishment. Almost every kid in our road got spanked when they were naughty. Some were over-the-knee, some touch your toes, some bent over chairs or sofas. We witnessed many spankings. In fact, if one was due we gathered outside the house to listen. Often remarks were made about it being hand, belt, slipper, or cane, and whether it was bare bottom or not. We often offered sympathy to the victim after as they sobbed holding their bottom looking out of their bedroom window.

Only my mother physically punished me and my two younger sisters at home, and never severely or brutally. My father only needed to glare at us or slightly raise his voice to get us to instantly change our behaviour. I had one sister 2 years younger, Fiona, who rarely got in to trouble, but another 3 ½ years younger, Katie, who was always up to mischief. Punishment was mainly instantaneous and wherever my mother could sit down quickly, somewhat privately. Sometimes the kitchen, or lounge. If my sisters were around, that was OK, but otherwise, we were spanked in private.

After my first year at University, I returned home for the summer holidays. I needed money as, although these were the days of grants, I had spent all of my grant and had no cash. My parents lived in a semi-rural house, so obtaining unskilled work wasn’t easy. I did, however, pick up gardening and odd-job work from the area. One such job was with a retired couple, Joe and his wife. They lived about 2 miles away, but that didn’t seem far on my bike. Joe was in his late 70s and had a large garden that was becoming