It was 1974, and I was 12 years old. It was considered to be the normal thing to be physically punished by our parents for wrongdoings. For me, it would usually be dad’s belt which was referred to as ‘The Strap’, and for my sisters it would be ‘The Brush’ which hung in the hallway, and would be administered by mum. It was a Sunday afternoon and I was playing out with friends when somebody suggested we cross the railway line and go onto a neighbouring estate. I was hesitant because my parents had always warned me not to go near