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Boy school spankings

October 23 2005 at 7:38 PM

Can anyone recollect school spankings in the 50's and 60's?

I attended a school in Wiltshire which was fairly strict. As a primary pupil one was often corrected by a bottom spanking from one of the masters.
Mostly short trousers down. Implements ranged mainly hand but a cane was used also.
Interested to know if this was common in that time around the south of england


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Lotta Nonsense

Re: Boy school spankings

October 23 2005, 7:53 PM 

It was extremely uncommon in boys' schools in the south of England in those days.

It is, however, quite common in the imaginations of homo-erotically inclined old men these days.


Re: Boy school spankings

October 23 2005, 11:53 PM 

Bill, don't worry about Lotta. She thinks everything is made up.


Re: Boy school spankings

October 23 2005, 11:56 PM 

I cannot speak to what went on in England in the 50's and 60's, but I know for a fact that in certain schools in Australia, boy were in fact spanked and caned bare bottom by headmasters, matrons and housemasters as a matter of routine.

Do you dispute that too Lotta?


Re: Boy school spankings

October 24 2005, 10:06 PM 

In ordinary UK local state primary schools in the 1950s, mild spankings over a boy's shorts were very common. My hunch is that spankings with shorts down in such schools were extremely UNcommon.


Re: Boy school spankings

October 25 2005, 12:05 AM 

In ordinary UK local state primary schools in the 1950s, mild spankings over a boy's shorts were very common. My hunch is that spankings with shorts down in such schools were extremely UNcommon.
And would that have been different in private (public) primary schools? The schools I am referencing in Australia were private schools although at that time, I understand that school CP was still allowed and practiced in government schools also. The practic of CP varied from region to region in Australia and in some regions CP is still practiced routinely in private schools although I am informed that none of it is bare bottom any more.


School caning in Birmingham 1950's

October 25 2005, 8:54 PM 

My experiences were at school in Birmingham (England) in the late 40’s and early 50’s (I was born in 1936 so you will get the timing from that). In junior school slaps on the back of the legs were used and the mistress of the most senior class was known to have a cane, as was the headmaster, but I can’t remember any authentic account of either using them, during my time there. However there was one occasion (I would be about 9) when a fairly new, inexperienced teacher, when supervising a group comprising a mixture of pupils from different classes (I can’t remember how this odd grouping came about, but it doesn’t really matter) decided that a group of three rather unruly boys deserved to be punished and attempted, in front of us all, to ‘cane’ them on their hands using a blackboard pointer. On about the second stroke the stick broke into two pieces with one part flying up to the ceiling. This produced an interested silence from most of the class but guffaws of laughter from the three culprits. After her second attempt with the shortened version produced a similar result she instructed one of the boys to go to the senior class mistress (Mrs Brookes) to ask if she might borrow her cane. Everyone was interested when he came back with the genuine cane. Unfortunately I don’t remember seeing her use it on them; I think she decided to postpone their punishment until the end of the lesson, so it wasn’t witnessed by the class, but I have little doubt that it was used.
Apart from this my real experience came later at my boys only grammar school where between 1948 and 1953 many masters, indeed I suspect most masters had a cane and certainly many were prepared to use them. Mostly behaviour was quite good, the school had a good reputation and I would not say that canings were frequent, but in each year at the school at least one boy in my form was subjected to such punishment. This was usually given at the end of a lesson or at break time, always given bending, over trousers. All recipients reported that it really hurt.
My own personal instance came fairly late when I was 14 in early 1951, and in many ways I think I was unluckier than most in that I ‘hit the jackpot’ so to speak in that my caning was from the headmaster. I don’t have time now to describe the experience in any detail at the moment but I can assure all that in Birmingham then the cane was not imagination.


Re: School caning in Birmingham 1950's

October 25 2005, 9:44 PM 

And would that have been different in private (public) primary schools?

It might well have been. I don't have any direct experience of private schools. One has certainly heard of such things allegedly happening in UK boys' prep schools (private, age 7 to 13 approx. so not quite analogous to state primary schools, but overlapping). But those would mostly be boarding schools - that, rather than public vs. private, may in fact be the key cultural difference.


Re: School caning in Birmingham 1950's

October 25 2005, 9:49 PM 

"Mostly behaviour was quite good, the school had a good reputation and I would not say that canings were frequent, but in each year at the school at least one boy in my form was subjected to such punishment."
Actually, that sounds an unusually small number for a state grammar school in the 1950s, much fewer than at mine in the 1960s. But all done over trousers, of course. What we were talking about earlier in this thread was trousers-down punishments. I have hardly ever heard of that in the state sector or indeed at private day (as opposed to boarding) schools.


Re: School caning in Birmingham 1950's

October 29 2005, 2:24 PM 

I think you are right that bare bottom canings were not on the agenda of any day schools at this time. However, over trousers may not be entirely accurate as my own experience can show so I will take time now to relate my own tasting of the headmaster’s cane, for which I was pretty much unprepared because I didn‘t think I was in any trouble out of which I couldn‘t talk my way.
I was 14 and naïve!
The first thing to happen was that a prefect appeared in the gym during our P T lesson and requested that I go to the headmaster’s study immediately - that means as you are in gym shorts and plimsolls. Although this was a surprise I happily went with him, he knocked on the door and entered signing me to wait outside. After a few seconds he emerged again and told me to go in. He departed shutting the door behind him.
The head was standing in front of his desk with his arms behind him. He spoke as I stood in front of him and told me I had let down both the school and my parents. I listened with little opportunity to say anything in my defence, still completely unaware of what was coming.
He then said “I am going to cane you” and simultaneously brought his hands from behind his back holding a cane which he flexed between his two hands in front of his chest at just about my eye level. In these next few seconds I had a surge of realisation of my total vulnerability, in only gym shorts which were very thin cotton in stark contrast to this cane, frightening, more than a centimeter thick and with a series of quite deep ridges at frequent intervals along its length. A few more seconds for the news and my feeling of helpless inevitability to sink in and then, “Bend over the chair” (which was conveniently placed just to one side of the centre of the room) “and don’t get up until I tell you.” My mind was in turmoil as I bent gingerly over. I had never had the cane or other corporal punishment before and I felt this was going to be bad - I just didn’t know if I could take it.
My bending was not enough for his purpose and I was brought back to reality with his request to “bend over further.” He helped me with a little push on my back until my elbows and forearms were pretty much resting on the seat and added “Keep still.”
I‘m not sure where I was looking but I seemed to be conscious that he had moved away from me and that everything was very silent for quite a time. Suddenly there was a long, loud Swiisshh followed by Craack of an impact which made me rock forward and gasp (out loud I think or maybe I shouted, it was totally involuntary) as an incredible pain flowed into, across and all through my behind. As I steadied, I felt myself breathing deeply, which sort of told me I was still alive and I remembered the order to keep still. A few silent seconds and Swisshh, Craack. The pain this time was more immediate and no less intense. Again I was breathing very heavily as this seemed to help in some way and I was now wondering how many of these strokes I was going to get. A third and a fourth just added to the burning agony, but by now I seemed so saturated with pain, almost anaesthetised by it, so that the following strokes hardly seemed to matter. In fact I didn’t know then and I don’t know now how many strokes I had, my brain just wouldn't count. I have always imagined it must have been the ‘classical’ six but I really couldn’t say for certain.
Eventually I was told I could stand up, which was painful in itself, and told I could go. I politely mumbled my thanks to the headmaster (I really don’t know what for) and limped gingerly out of the study, past the school secretary who was sitting at her desk in the outer office and slowly back to the gym changing room, dressing as speedily as I could before the rest of the form came out. Sitting at my desk for the rest of the day was extremely awkward although I tried not to show it. In one lesson my form master did enquire whether I was comfortable, so I reckon he must have known what I had suffered.
In contrast to what I read elsewhere canings were not boasted about in this school and I certainly tried to keep this as private as possible. It certainly had the effect of making me extremely careful during the rest of my days there and strangely enough I never really resented it. I suppose I probably deserved it and in those days you took what you were told was good for you, more or less without question.


sent for caning while in PE kit

November 3 2005, 9:22 PM 

This ploy featured in the TV film "P'Tang Yang Kipperbang" (1984) written by Jack Rosenthal (the caning scene had a mock cricket commentary voiced over by John Arlott, quite wittily done). It was set in a mixed grammar school around 1950. I think the message above is the first time I've heard anyone claiming to have experienced it in real life. (Being sent for to be caned in gym shorts, I mean, not hearing a commentary by John Arlott.)


Boy school spankings

November 3 2005, 9:51 PM 

I was educated in the Scottish State system in the 60's where the tawse on the hands was the traditional punishment.

When I went to high school I witnessed this punishment on virtually a daily basis. However, the teacher who worked in the metalwork shop used to smack pupils across the bottom from time to time. He did use the belt on the hands as was the norm but on quite a few occasions I did see him lecture boys for some misdemeanour and finish off by smacking his bottom with the flat of his hand - usually two smacks but sometimes just the one slap to let the lad know he was on to him.

I don't know if he adopted this method because it was normal for the class to be standing in the workshop as we worked with bench vices drills etc. so it was easy to get to a lad's backside to deliver a quick smack. Maybe he felt that it was not safe to belt a boy on the hands and then expect him to work with dangerous machinery and drills, a spanking however would leave the hands safe to work with machinery and sharp tools.

On one occasion he did take one lad to one side and looping one arm over the boys back he made the boy lean over his outstretched leg and bent the boy over his upper thigh. The boy wasn't fully bent over but it was clear that the teacher was intent on preparing his bottom as a target area for some punishment. The teacher administered a spanking of about 6 - 8 smacks - fairly well laid on but the lad was not in too much distress. The boy was more embarassed than hurt by the experience but I never saw this punishment repeated by the teacher but he did continue to administer the odd smack as boys were standing straight. I witnessed this punishment in first year (class aged 12/13 years old)

Research Assistant

Re: Boy school spankings

November 3 2005, 10:02 PM 

Thank you for your very interesting contribution, Anonymous at Would you please append a pseudonym.


IP Addresses

November 3 2005, 11:35 PM 

Is the moderator trying to clear the board of participants by publishing IP addresses?


Bob T

Re: IP Addresses

November 4 2005, 12:40 AM 

Anonymous contributions by contributing contributors is not allowed and the research assistant is pointing out that if you contribute anonymous contributions your IP will be added to your post. (I think Gillian would be proud)


Gym Shorts

November 7 2005, 2:47 PM 

I also attended a school where boys were taken from a gym lesson for punishment. A prefect collected another boy and I from a gym lesson. We were taken to the Headmaster's study but in my case I knew only too well why were there. There had been trouble on the bus on the way to school and discovered that a relation of a governor had also been travelling on the bus. She warned us that she would report us but we did not believe it.

We were easily identified by our school uniform and the bus service we had used so there was very little argument or discussion. The usual statement that we left the Head with very little choice but to thrash us soundly was spoken and in turn we had to bend over the back of a bent wood chair to present our thinly clothed bottoms for the traditional six of the best. I understand that the woman who had reported us had suggested that the least she would accept was six of the best on our bare bottoms. The Head refused but when he found we were in the gym he volunteered to thrash us in gym shorts.

I cannot complain. we had misbehaved in public which, we were frequently told, was not acceptable. But I was even more stupid. At this school the process involved a report card for anything more than the slipper in the classroom. This had to be signed by a parent and returned the following day on pain of further punishment of a similar nature. I owned up to my Mother that I had been caned and she signed the card for me. During questioning I let slip that it had hurt more than usual because of wearing only gym shorts. From then on gym shorts became part of my punishment regime at home.

My Mother was of Scots origin and favoured a leather strap for naughty children. Although she used her strap on my bare bottom from then on normal underwear and trousers were off limits after a strapping as I was only allowed gym shorts for the next few hours or longer. I also spent many unhappy hours standing in the corner with my gym shorts round my ankles like a black pool.


Re: Gym Shorts

November 8 2005, 11:15 AM 

Glad to find I wasn't the only one to remember this painful experience. About when would this have been and in what part of the country (presume England).
If I remember, Bill whose original post started this theme wanted to know particularly about the south of Egland. However, I rather suspect the nature of things didn't change too much throughout the country, although different schools certainly had significant variations.

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