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School Belt

May 19 2002 at 1:57 PM

Shall we start of with a discussion about the belt. I got the belt at school and it hurt like hell. The worst time was for smoking, i was in tears for hours.

Anyone else get the belt at school?


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Yes me too

May 19 2002, 3:18 PM 

I can't remember all the reasons I got the belt, mainly because it was nearly every week at times LOL. There was this Techical teacher who sent me for a belt to another class. He then examined it, said it was longer than his and proceeded to put chalk on the tail ends. It was then "hands out, doubled!" and he gave me a stroke. He then examined my hand and said something about not quite right, rechalked it and moved away a little then thundered down another one. Examined my hand again, said nearly there, rechalked and gave me a third stroke. Again examined hand said "spot on" then told me to take belt back! Always did want to meet that man in later years......mind you might have still been in jail now LOL !!!!!!!!
Mike. (AKA Jockie)


RE: School Belt

May 19 2002, 9:34 PM 

I know that Mike is a haggis basher from North of the Border, but Alison are you also from the north?
The reason I ask is that in the Midlands and Southwards I don't think the belt was used in schools, was it?
Mike: Please don't take offence!


Re: RE: School Belt

May 19 2002, 9:40 PM 

yes, I am from scotland and found out to my cause that belt really hurt whilst at school. ouch



May 19 2002, 11:22 PM 

Alison, being from england and not scotland, i assume you are talking about the tawse?? Was this administered to the hands??


the belt in the midlands

May 21 2002, 8:59 AM 

True (that the belt was mainly a Scottish phenomenon), but there were one or two exceptions to the rule: parts of Tyneside, and Walsall.

Walsall in the West Midlands was a centre of the leather industry and, presumably to support the local economy, schools there used the belt instead of the cane. However, unlike the normal practice in Scotland (and Newcastle), in Walsall boys got it on their bottoms, not on their hands.

This was also true in Gateshead, with explicit sexual discrimination: boys strapped on the backside, girls on the hand. For a 1978 news report on this, see the second item on the following page of my website:

Colin Farrell



May 22 2002, 7:43 AM 

Silly me! However could I have forgotten the Peoples Republic of Walsall.
Many thanks for the information Colin. I did not know that the belt was used on boys bottoms.
I once wrote in a History essay that Hitler's troops entered Walsall in September 1939. The teacher was not amused.

sean Mc

School belt

May 22 2002, 7:21 PM 

Hi everyone
We had the belt here in Ireland as well , it was usually called the leather, was not split at the ends like a tawse and was given on the hands.
I would love to hear and share experiences of the belt, which I first got when I was 8 and last when I was 16.
Sean Mc


School Belt.

May 23 2002, 12:57 AM 

I too got the belt many times. I was fascinated by all the different types of belts used at school.


School Belt

May 23 2002, 1:39 AM 

The belt (or strap) was used here in Australia too. It was the sort described by Sean - a couple of pieces of leather stiched together and applied almost exclusively to the hands.

The strap was usually given across the hand, although some teachers strapped along the hand instead. Most classroom punishments were one or two whacks, although more serious misbehaviour meant more.

I was a well-behaved boy (OK - a bit of a whimp! ) and I only copped it a few times, with two strokes being the most I got.

But I certainly remember the effect!




May 27 2002, 5:13 PM 


Way down south we only had the slipper and cane, how did you get the belt?




May 27 2002, 6:56 PM 

I think we have to be carefull here about the vtems that we are using. Belt, strap and tawse are not the same thing.

The belt, was as its name suggests. As a rule it would be doubled over and applied to hands or bottom. I am not sure if it was used in school very much, but do recall during the war mums sending their sons to school with the belt, or inviting me to call round home as their fathers were off in the war. It was, in my view a hard thing to use without a lot of practice. I got it from my father, and certainly used it on boys, but in a "parental" context rather than headmaster.

The strap was a short piece of leather, sometimes two sown together. The ends were not cut and was widely used in the Midlands. Most teachers kept a strap, which as a rule was about 12 inches long. The strap was nearly always applied to the hand.

A tawse was about the same length, but was split at the ends. It was used mainly in Scotland, but in certain parts of England. I always thought it was used only on the hands. My grandson has done research and can prove, that in Scotland, it was used on the bottom, and boys were required to take it bare.

Hope that helps sort out the meanings.




May 27 2002, 9:12 PM 

Hi george, do you mean the belt was a doubled over trouser belt ? at home.

also did girls ever get the belt on the bottom when at school ?


Re: Re: BELT

May 28 2002, 1:29 PM 

Hi george, as you were a headmaster I was wondering whether you ever slippered girls ? and also to ask whether a female teacher always had to be present when a male teacher spanked, slippered or caned a female pupil ?



May 28 2002, 9:13 PM 

The belt in school was a doubled over trouser belt. If it was cut down to make it short it was called a strap. The trouble with the belt, both at home and school, unless the user was skilled in its use, bvery painful slaps would land on the outside of the buttock rather than across the centre, and more fleshy part of the buttocks.

The belt in my view was not really a suitable impliment to use on a childs bottom, even with the buckle cut off.
I am not saying offenders were hit with the buckle but it was not unknown for the buckle to strike a child when being belted at home. Its rather a horrid thought.



belt on girls

May 28 2002, 9:16 PM 

I was only a head at all boys schools. This position did not arise. I do know in the junior school it was common for the male head to require a girl to lift her dress for the belt or strap. When this was the case a female HAD to be present. It was often school ruling or if church funded, church policy. Am not so sure in the Secondary School, but I hardly ever heard of a male hittng a girl. The girls were struck by a female, often the dreaded Senior Mistress.




May 29 2002, 7:58 AM 

My Uncle Gary went to school in Dublin in the 60s I think. He got the strap on the hands in the classroom, but after school it was across the bare bum. I think he approved because he was liable to use this method himself!


All meant the same in Scotland

June 4 2002, 2:25 PM 

The terms belt, strap and tawse all meant the same in Scotland.
Actually Tawse was the posh or seldom used word and it really depended where you went to school what it was called.
In the Borders and parts of the Highlands it was called the Strap whilst most folk in Central Belt called it a Belt (LOL...strange but true!)
I was recently told about a belt made by Hunters in Falkirk which was not split into tails. Most though had 2 and sometimes 3 tails. The belts generally were between 21 and 24" long.
There were exceptions of course ranging from about 12" to around 28". I have seen up to 6 tails on belts.
Although the very stiff (board-like) 3 tailed Lochgellys were fearsome beasts, the thin 2 tailed ones (often wielded by older male and female teachers) were the ones to be avoided if at all possible.
Mike. (AKA Jockie)
PS. Erm, Dorothy Hen......Haggis is fer eatin no bashin!!......OK Dearie?

James Thomson


December 26 2002, 7:35 PM 

Hi Alison,

Am new here and from Scotland too. Would love to chat via e-mail about old times.



Tawse discussion forums

December 27 2002, 9:33 PM 

You may be interested in two groups (about 1,000 members each) which feature quite a few recollections and photos:-

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