Physics Lesson Our regular physics master was recovering from surgery. An elderly, frail, stooping teacher wearing a worn black suit had been brought out of retirement to replace him. The class hushed and stood as he entered the room and in a quavering voice our temporary teacher announced: “My name’s Smethers, rhymes with leathers. Leather’s tough and so am I.” A few quiet titters and smirks rang out between the usual class ringleaders of disorder. The physics lesson began with Ebenezer, as we soon nicknamed him, asking something we had been taught in primary school. “Does anyone know why the

The Gym Master The gym master was a retired non-commissioned officer with a string of qualifications and medals, and a very loud commanding voice. Our first form was made up of local boys from the East End and those who had won scholarships from further afield. Some of the tougher boys, familiar with beatings at home, had tempted fate and been sent to the headmaster’s office to bring back the cane and punishment book.  As part of the ceremony, a member of the class had to visit a nearby classroom and ask another master to witness the punishment. Those brave early

The Woodwork Master Due to the absence of a staff member, Mr P, the woodwork master, had taken over the lesson period in our form classroom rather than the woodwork room where he normally taught us. I don’t remember the offence but I was told to go to the woodwork room and select a piece of wood for a spanking on the backside. There was considerable choice of wood in the workshop used for carpentry lessons and I considered carefully which would cause the least pain. A wall of laughter met my return to the classroom, dragging a long heavy