Readers may recall the posts entitled ‘Adult School’ contributed earlier this year by a man calling himself ‘Dot’. Here follows a genuine account written by a female journalist of a visit to the ‘Muir Reform Academy’. I shall send it in sections.
I had almost forgotten that I’d agreed to attend a day at the Muir Reform Academy. Although the day’s events were a foregone conclusion, i.e. I’d get hit a lot, I wanted to see what the other pupils made of it. The night before, I feverishly ironed name tags into all of my clothes, determined that I would do everything to avoid punishment. I had found the proper knee-length socks in Woolworth’s, but I was still short of the navy blue knickers so I settled for a black roll-on. If it was coming down, it wasn’t coming down without a fight.
The Academy had relocated [from Hereford] for the day to a penthouse flat in a Bedford tower block. I arrived there and, as instructed, rang the intercom and asked for a ‘Mrs. Smith’. This turned out to be Gladys, a rotund fifty-five-year-old who showed me into her fluffy pink bedroom, where I changed into my uniform.
‘Am I the only girl today?’ I asked Gladys, thinking if there were any other women here, I wouldn’t sit next to them as they’d have to be completely demented to come to the Academy of their own accord.
‘Oh, no,’ said Gladys, showing me onto the roof terrace where two other pupils were standing, ‘Marjorie will be coming along soon.’
Only two other pupils had arrived before me. Dennis was sporting the full Muir Academy uniform of grey flannel shorts, long grey socks, the school tie and a blazer with a badge showing the Academy’s emblem of two canes crossing the initials MA. All very authentically schoolboyish if you ignored the fact that Dennis was well over seventy and had varicose veins the size of a ship’s rope. The other pupil was Chris, an attractive, self-employed businessman in his early thirties. His uniform was the same as Dennis’s with the addition of a school cap, worn at a rakish angle, and a snake belt. As I came on to the terrace, he was aiming his catapult at the tenants on the balcony of the neighbouring block. I was so embarrassed. I wanted to shout over to the other block and tell them we were council-employed actors doing a community performance of ‘Blue Remembered Hills’.
Bottom of the Class (Part 2)
August 31 2003, 11:09 AM
Conversation with Dennis and Chris was initially stilted until Chris warmed up, recounting the fabulous times he had spent at the school over the last three years.
‘Hastings was brilliant,’ he said. ‘I really learnt a lot about William the Conqueror and the Battle.’
He explained that there had been some problems with the Hastings venue. It was in the middle of a residential close and the pupils had to sneak around so as not to scare the neighbours. This hadn’t prevented them all from going, fully dressed in their uniforms, on a nature ramble in the woods.
Mark arrived next and I was relieved to see that, like me, he wasn’t wearing a blazer. He was a balding, middle-aged chartered accountant who had only been to one proper schoolday before. He would have liked to have come more but his wife was totally unaware of his activities and, as Miss Prim [the ‘Headmistress’] usually left a mark, could only come when his wife and children were away on holiday. Mark was followed soon after by Peter, a plump civil servant who arrived sweating and panting, having run all the way from the train station. These men had travelled from as far afield as Manchester and Yorkshire to attend the school.
My worries about what type of woman Marjorie would be were allayed as soon as I clapped eyes on her. Marjorie was blonde, around forty-five years old, wearing a Burberry skirt, black stockings and a white blouse. Why was I not worried? Well, you would have had to have been a one-eyed bat with a cataract not to have known that Marjorie was a ‘special girl’.
The arrival of Matron caused something of a stir with Chris and Dennis, the memory of her last assault on their persons still fresh in their minds. Matron was in her late forties with a curly perm and a deep suntan. She was wearing a blue nurse’s uniform, unbuttoned enough to reveal ample cleavage and short enough to show off her stocking tops. Dennis smirked and nicknamed her Mrs. Squires. I thought he meant Dorothy Squires but apparently he was referring to Squeers in ‘Nicholas Nickleby’. My failure to retain even the most basic English Literature facts boded ill.
Gladys was playing school housekeeper for the day. She came out to talk to us while Matron and Miss Prim got the classroom ready. Gladys was game for anything.
‘Nothing shocks me,’ she said. ‘A few weeks ago I rented out the flat to a film company that was making a blue movie. I had a lovely day, sitting here with a bottle of wine watching them.’
This didn’t surprise me as, when I had been changing in her bedroom, I had noticed a whole stash of porno tapes slipping out from under her bed.
Bottom of the Class (Part 3)
August 31 2003, 3:52 PM
ASSEMBLY 10.00 AM
We were summoned in by the bell.
Gladys’s lounge had been turned into a classroom with six desks, a blackboard and the Rod Rack. Luckily, in transporting the schoolroom from Hereford, they had forgotten the birch, but in its place was a tawse called ‘Black Adder’. Instinctively, I aimed for a seat at the back. It wasn’t to be.
‘Get to the front now where I can see you’, shouted Miss Prim.
Miss Prim then read out the school rules. She explained that four demerits equalled six of the best and told us that we had to stand every time she or Matron came in the classroom. We stood to sing the school hymn. This was an old Shaker song sung very slowly to the tune of ‘Lord of the Dance’.
When we finished it was time for uniform inspection. My unlawful knickers were skirted over, but along with Mark, I was chastised for not having a school blazer. We had to stand in front of the class and take turns in bending over a chair while Miss Prim gave us six slaps with a paddle. We had to count each one and thank her for the correction. We also collected a demerit each. The others looked slightly disappointed that their uniforms were beyond reproach.
POETRY 10.30 AM
Miss Prim read out two poems, one about a Mr. Nobody and the other about a child who would be nice to her mother if their roles were reversed. Our task was then to write a poem on either subject. I knocked off an appalling piece of doggerel which scored five out of ten. Most of the others got the same so there was no punishment. Only Marjorie got full marks and she was awarded a star which was placed on a chart on the wall. I didn’t begrudge her that one victory, poor cow, when she’d already lost the battle with her Y-chromosomes.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE 11.00AM
We had to write down the reference books for each subject Miss Prim read out. For example, where would you find the definition of a word? Answer – a dictionary. As simple as this may seem, I only got fifteen out of twenty, although I disputed some of the answers. Peter got them all right and the creep proudly put the first of many stars next to his name. Mark, on the other hand had done appallingly and was called to the front.
‘What happens when you come last?’ asked Miss Prim.
‘Last in the class gets six of the best!’ we all chorused.
Dennis was fidgeting. Miss Prim told him to stop but he wouldn’t. Called to the front, he was given a hard slap on the back of his legs which couldn’t have done his varicose veins any good. Bellicose veins, I thought, biting my nails. Miss Prim saw me doing it and gave me another demerit. It seemed a piffling crime but then I suppose the whole object of the exercise was to be punished.
MATHS 11.30 AM
What chance did I have against a chartered accountant? Actually, Mark didn’t do that well but I came bottom in percentages with twelve out of twenty-seven. Peter got another star which I, beginning to get into the role, peeled off as I bent over to take my punishment.
‘Last in the class gets six of the best!’ shouted the boys and Marjorie, eager no doubt to see my roll-on pulled down. Miss Prim didn’t oblige, merely lifting my skirt. She commented on my non-regulation knickers.
‘They were dyed in the wash, Miss,’ I said as her hand came down.
Bottom of the Class (Part 4)
August 31 2003, 7:06 PM
BREAK 12.00 NOON
Gladys brought out coffee and the kind of E-number laden snacks favoured by hyperactive children. They were revolting and I sneaked off for a cigarette even though tobacco was banned. I wasn’t caught, but Chris was punished for stealing a carrot magnet off Gladys’s fridge.
LATIN 12.15 PM
The only Latin I know is ‘coitus a mamilla’. I had taken the metalwork option at school, so I asked Miss Prim for a special dispensation. My plea fell on deaf ears. Dennis squirted me with his water pistol. I was going to retaliate by shouting the words ‘Nursing Home’ at him but Miss Prim obviously had eyes in the back of her head as she whirled around from the blackboard and caught him red-handed.
‘Out here, you horrible little boy!’ she growled. ‘I’m going to get Matron to deal with you.’
Matron was beside herself. Stern but excited, she pulled down Dennis’s shorts and pants, bent him over her lap and gave him a sound walloping with her hand.
We had to give the definition of Latin words and, amazingly, I managed to get all but one right. Peter got another star. Mark, bottom again, was given a thrashing on his bare bum with a Victorian malacca cane. At this stage I was wondering what the sexual excitement was for these men and Marjorie. I sneaked a peek at their crotches while they were being spanked to see if they were sporting erections. Nothing. Although I’m sure there was the beginning of a bulge when Dennis was seen to by Matron but it was probably just another vein.
Our lessons were interrupted by the sudden appearance of the block caretaker on the roof terrace. We were told to keep quiet until she had gone. (Gladys later told me a little bit about the caretaker. ‘She’s on a meat-free diet, that one,’ she said. I told Gladys that I didn’t understand why the caretaker’s vegetarianism was worthy of a mention. ‘No, she’s a lesbian,’ said Gladys.) Miss Prim instructed the boys to take off their ties and roll down their socks when they went to lunch so as not to bring undue attention to themselves. What Marjorie was meant to do was anybody’s guess. I didn’t think the caretaker would have been fooled either. Unless she mistook them for Morris dancers.
ART 12.45 PM
We were given a drawing of a Victorian schoolroom to colour in. While we were doing this, Miss Prim gave us a brief history of a Victorian school and the various ways in which discipline was maintained. The boys cooed in awe. I coloured most of my picture in brown on the grounds that I didn’t think that there was that much colour in a Victorian schoolroom. I was bored and glad when it was time for lunch.
Bottom of the Class (Part 5)
August 31 2003, 10:05 PM
LUNCH 1.15 PM
‘Line up behind each other. Six inches apart between the boys and girls,’ commanded Miss Prim.
We lined up outside the kitchen for our packed lunches. Chris, who by this time had gone into total regression, was shouting loudly about how smelly girls were. I gave him a swift punch to the kidney which shut him up and then kicked him in the shins to drive the point home. Matron watched on approvingly.
For lunch Gladys provided cheese spread sandwiches, a yoghurt and another batch of her nightmare snack food. The conversation was strange. Sometimes we kept in character, teasing each other over the lessons (Chris was jumping around, waving his cap and scaring the neighbours again), and then we would slip into our grown up personas. Mark explained that part of the attraction of the school was giving up adult responsibility. He found being in management extremely stressful and coming to Miss Prim for a day got rid of all the tension. It was the same story with everybody. Nobody admitted to being turned on by coming to the Academy – everybody was there merely to relieve stress. Hadn’t any of them heard of a Newton’s cradle? Far from relieving my stress, I felt that the day’s events so far had probably doubled my blood pressure level.
Lunch eaten, I sneaked off for a smoke behind a plant pot. No sooner had I lit up, than Miss Prim was leaning over me, demanding to know what I was doing.
‘You know you’re not allowed to smoke, especially without permission. That’s twelve of the cane for you after lunch and another demerit.’
Peter hadn’t seen me reprimanded and when he started smoking, I kept silent so that Miss Prim would catch him too. She did.
After lunch, I argued that my punishment was unfair as I had not been informed of this rule and probably wouldn’t have smoked at all. Or rather, I would have a made a much better job of not being caught. I still had to have the twelve strokes. It was agony. Unlike the other instruments, the cane concentrates the pain in a specific area. I struggled to get out of her grasp.
‘Matron,’ called out Miss Prim, ‘Come in here and hold this girl down.’
Matron wedged my head in her bosom and held me tight. I considered using the safe word, ‘pax’, but I knew if I did, I would be out of the game.
Miss Prim showed no sympathy. ‘Perhaps if you had the regulation knickers on it wouldn’t have been so painful.’
September 1 2003, 7:16 AM
In my school in the 60s it was the custom to appoint two pupils as 'policemen' while the others got on with their work. It was the job of these policemen to catch pupils who talked (even , e.g. to ask another pupil for a ruler). Each time this happened the miscreant's name went on a board headed TO BE CANED FOR TALKING IN CLASS. If the teacher noticed that the policemen missed any instance of talking their name went on the board. In the last period at the end of the week every pupil (usually half a dozen) with his or her name twice or more on the board received a stroke of the cane for each occurrence. Both boys and girls were caned on their bottoms bending over in front of the class. Single entries were carried over to the next week. I was caned eight times under this system (once getting five strokes) and it was very painful and humiliating.
It was good training for trappist monks. But it did have one good result for me. I asked a girl who had received three strokes to show me the weals. She readily agreed, and soon after she became my first real girlfriend.
Bottom of the Class (Part 6)
September 1 2003, 7:03 PM
ART (CONTINUED) 2.00 PM
Sore, I returned to colouring in my drawing. I was rudely interrupted by a plastic scorpion landing in my lap. The culprit was Dennis. He had also stolen Peter’s exercise book and Mark’s ruler. Miss Prim selected a new cane from the many that she had at her disposal and Dennis’s trousers came down again as he bent over Miss Prim’s desk. I reminded her that Dennis was meant to get six more for ripping out the pages of his exercise book. All the others started to chant ‘grass’ at me, but I thought I had probably done Dennis a favour. Marjorie giggled which led to her first punishment. We were denied the opportunity to see what Marjorie had up her kilt, as Miss Prim chastely spanked her over the top of it.
ESSAY WRITING 2.30 PM
Using the drawing, we had to write an essay incorporating parts of the picture, such as the schoolmaster and the children standing at the front of the class. I had now got the hang of what these exercises were about and used our class as the main basis of my essay. My wit was at of the level of calling the teacher ‘Master Bates’. But Matron and Gladys were called in to listen to it and, at last, I received full marks and a star. Strangely enough, it felt good.
READING 3.00 PM
We had to read aloud from a storybook aimed at eleven-year-olds. I read out a story about beavers which was as close as we came all day to anything remotely sexual. I was told off for gabbling, but I just wanted it over and done with.
GRAMMAR 3.30 PM
An exercise on homonyms was a bit more taxing but I didn’t fare too badly. As usual, Peter got a hundred per cent. This time it was Chris’s turn to get the six for being last.
GENERAL KNOWLEDGE 4.00 PM
A test on inventors and their inventions. I came last. I did better on familiar sayings and a general knowledge test. Mark came last. Poor Mark, I thought as he was caned. Then I corrected myself. Lucky Mark, I thought as he was caned.
Bottom of the Class (Part 7)
September 1 2003, 10:15 PM
FORM PERIOD 4.30 PM
Miss Prim counted up the demerits we had accumulated. I had three and was, therefore, spared the cane. But I was put on a defaulter’s list which meant you had to go into Gladys’s bedroom and be knocked around the plush by Miss Prim and Matron in private. Again, I begged ignorance. Miss Prim let me off, but she must have been wondering why I had come.
As each boy, and Marjorie, went into the bedroom, I felt ecstatic that I had escaped this last punishment. The sound of hands against bare flesh reverberated all around the flat. Each pupil, in turn, came out sweating and red-faced. By now, I had my feet up with a cup of coffee, talking to Gladys about what ‘normal’ was; I had no idea anymore. Matron emerged, flushed and victorious, and had to rush off for her train as she had another of her boys visiting that night.
HOMETIME 5.00 PM
At last we were allowed to change and I could have a cigarette with fear of retribution. Even when Marjorie had changed, he still looked a bit odd as he was wearing shorts which showed off his depilated legs. Chris was back to reminiscing about Hastings and the hazelnut sticks Miss Prim had used on him. It was, said Miss Prim, one of those times when Matron had needed to change her knickers.
Miss Prim took me aside and asked me how I’d enjoyed my day. I told her it was fine aside from the cane. The pain from it was almost unbearable. She commiserated with me and confessed to having a similar problem.
‘My husband doesn’t know that I can take the birch endlessly. If he used the cane I’d be begging for mercy.’ As I said goodbye she promised to show me how much easier the birch was on my next visit.
Embarrassingly, I had to get the train back to London with Peter. I kept the conversation neutral all the way home, feigning a huge interest in the machinations of the civil service. As we parted from each other at King’s Cross, Peter told me that the first thing he was going to do when he got home was look at his marks in the mirror. He didn’t need to add what he intended to do then.
The whole day had been a big masturbatory fantasy for everyone but me. I was learning the lesson that it was nigh on impossible to step into somebody else’s fetish and expect to gain some sexual excitement from it.
re: Bottom of the Class
September 2 2003, 7:50 AM
Gillian Dyke Bitch,
Where do you get your stuff from?
I think you must write it yourself and attribute it to other people. Fritz Kreisler did that, you know.
spanked by miss prim
April 12 2004, 8:24 PM
I was interviewed by miss prim,about ten years ago.The interview was quite something.As I could not travel to Hereford,Miss Prim intrviewed me at my flat in London.After I picked her up at the train station.I took her back to my home.Once there Miss Prim asked me about my self.I Had already read the school pospectus. So I knew what to expect, but Miss Prim told me all about the classes.Then Miss prim warned me that we were about to start.A traveling robe cover which she had brought with her was opened up.Toretrieve her canes,and strap.Miss Prim then asked me to recite the rules for recieving the cane.I got this wrong.This earned me a sound spanking.I had to try again.I was not word perfect, so down came my trousers ,and pants.This time it was six with the strap. Unfortunantly I messed up the count when I should said six thank you miss I said ouch! instead.This meant that we had to start all over again.Miss prim hit me much harder this time,but I managed to keep count.My backside was on fire.Miss prim warned me to make sure that I studied the rules for caning,because I would be in serious trouble if I did not know them in future.I was alowed to sit down for a while.Miss prim asked me to write a short piece about William Shakespear.She did not like what I wrote.As I criticised him for not being able to spell. prperly.This earned me a severe six of the best across my trousers.It hurt a lot,but I managed to keep count this time.Miss Prim warned me that in class I could be put on defaulters,and recieve an even harder caning on the bare.Another test followed this time arithmetic.I got six out of fifteen wrong.This time I had to take my trouers,and pants down for six with the strap.Again I made sure that I got the count right.That six was not too hard,but it still hurt.By now I was worried,because the senior cane had not been used,and I expected that next.Miss prim let me off of the final test because it was French,and I dont speak french.Instead I was asked to tell her of an instance when I had misbehaved at school,and escaped punishment.I related an incident when a metalwork teacher saw four of us smoking behind a shelter in the second year playground.He called us into his classroom.However we had managed to get rid of the evidence,each sucked a mint on our way to his class.We only just got away with it.Miss Prim said oh no you did'nt
and she sentanced me to six of the best with the senior cane. Miss prim told me to bend over she warned me that it would be severe.I counted each stroke out loud I was scared in case I missed count.Miss prim laid all six strokes on hard. By thetime she had finished I had had enough.Miss Prim warned me about the perils of smoking at school.After the lecture Miss Prim said that punishment was over.AS I had set every thing up ready to make us acup of tea.We sat and discussed school over a cup of tea,and a biscuit.Miss Prim recounted a caning which she had at boarding school aged 17.When she was caught out of bounds kissing a boy from a near by school.When she recieved asevere bare bottom caning from a male deputy head.Iwas told that i had passed the interview.Miss Prim told me to contact her in acouple of weeks to arrange attendance at afour day boarding school.She warned me that punishments could be quite severe at school.As it is meant to be realistic.Eventualy I took Miss Prim back to the train station,and promised to call,and arrange a visit to The Muir Reform Academy.Unfortunatly I got cold feet,and did'nt go in the end.I have enjoyed reading the above postings,perhaps I might arrange a visit to a day class soon. Thank you gillian
Bottom of the Class
June 18 2004, 7:10 PM
The journalist is K**** C*********
Re: Bottom of the Class
June 18 2004, 7:30 PM
Was he in 'Dances with Wolves'?
Oh no, silly me - it's a female writer we're looking for, isn't it?
Ah, I know! She sang 'We've Only Just Begun' and then died of anorexia - right?
June 18 2004, 9:59 PM
So that is how it is done....
May 14 2006, 1:48 PM
Can any body tell me is the Muir academy still going or has it closed
Re: Muir Academy
May 14 2006, 7:38 PM
When you've been on this site long enough, you'll realize that the academy never closes. It's open twenty-four hours a day. Bare-arsed canings over a vaulting-horse for everyone, boys and girls. Lotta is the oldest pupil. Keeps failing her exams and coming back for another try. My advice - leave now or you never will.
May 15 2006, 9:08 PM
Don't think it can still be going matron and Miss prim would be well into their seventies by now .
Re: muir adademedy
May 15 2006, 11:34 PM
Re: Bottom of the Class
October 17 2011, 10:18 AM
I think it may have now moved
December 21 2011, 12:28 PM
were you trying to avoid punishment if you wanted to go to this establishent for the day - if it was me I'd want to see how much trouble I could get into! I love your description of the day though!
Re: Bottom of the Class
December 21 2011, 12:46 PM
It is considered bad form to revive old threads when you haven't got a hope in hell of receiving a reply from the originators.
Was not Eben E. Rexford very near the mark when in 1873 he had it thus?