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schoolgirl bottom smacking in 60's70's papers

January 22 2006 at 7:24 PM

I remember reading on a cp forum...possibly this one that a contributor remembers a newspaper headline describing the 1970's protests by teachers, demanding more money. The headline was something like
'Teachers get paid to smack the bottoms of teenage girls and now they want more money?'

Does anyone remember this post or the headline first hand? It occurred to me that this Headline may well serve as a good example of historical unwitting testimony, as it suggests that people of the time would would have accepted the prospect of male/female bottom smacking as being something of a perk of the teaching job, albeit being said in jest (many a truth spoke in jest etc.)…And so far from fetishistic fantasy some suggest.

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Lotta Nonsense

Re: schoolgirl bottom smacking in 60's70's papers

January 22 2006, 9:55 PM 

Was there ever a British newspaper wide enough to accommodate that headline?

Uncle Pete

Re: schoolgirl bottom smacking in 60's70's papers

January 23 2006, 10:10 AM 

I don’t know about teachers getting paid to smack bottoms, but I do know why teachers are badly paid. It’s because the majority are, and always will be, women. They are doing it for pin-money while their husbands bring home a proper wage.


Re: schoolgirl bottom smacking in 60's70's papers

January 23 2006, 1:31 PM 

I don't know if it was strictly a headline (I agree it is a little long) so it may just have been a quote, but it was certainly quoted on this forum by someone who remembers it from their childhood. Although you could argue that the majority of teachers are women now, that wasn't the case in the 60's/70's. The article was referring to men having the job of smacking girl’s bottoms...and suggesting that most men wouldn’t need to be paid for that job.

I personally disagree with the last poster's sexist rant, teachers get paid less because unfortunately teachers, like engineers, and other once essential British professions, seemed to have lost its role in society. There was a time when education was seen as the most important aspect of the British upbringing, now it seems to be vocational training, and preparation for wage slavery and economic money making...a sad reality!


Teacher gender

January 29 2006, 11:31 PM 

Most of the teachers I had at primary school were female, at secondary school it was the opposite. I gather these days nearly all primary teachers are female mainly because of the fear men have of being accused of child molesting. I'm not sure if encouraging a bunch of little brats to behave themselves is too many men's idea of enjoyment anyway.

Anonymous Danny

ST Letter

January 30 2006, 1:14 AM 

Letter in the Sunday Telegraph, Jan 29th 2006

Errant Wrens

If Douglas Dickins (letter, January 22) is interested, I attended a Wrens' Naval Cadets training school in London, in the early 1950s. We were subjected to similar discipline, which did sometimes include being caned on the behind, though it wasn't bare but over our knickers. I don't think it did me any harm, but I don't think it did me any good either. What I do know is, bullying still went on, but we did tend to show more respect to authority and we were certainly not as rude as our modern-day counterparts, male and female.

(Mrs) Gwen Lawes, Cobham, Kent

This message has been edited by larry1951 on Jan 30, 2006 6:39 AM

Rangy Strider

Re: ST Letter

January 30 2006, 4:50 AM 

There's nothing like a caning on the poop-deck.

Lotta Nonsense

Re: ST Letter

January 30 2006, 12:50 PM 

And there's nobody called 'Lawes' on the electoral roll in Cobham, Kent.


Re: ST Letter

January 30 2006, 6:52 PM 

Did you go to Cobham (or the appropriate major town) to read the printed electoral roll? People can choose to be omitted from the public searchable electoral roll, there is a prominent box on the annual survey form allowing people to do so - around half the people in my street are omitted.

The letter was published, see

Lotta Nonsense

Re: ST Letter

January 30 2006, 7:23 PM 

I most certainly did travel to Cobham in pursuit of the truth re Mrs Lawes.

As proof of my visit, I submit the photograph below - which CP afficionados will recognise as Cobham Hall, an exclusive private school for girls.

If you look very closely you may see, through one of the windows, a girl in green knickers being caned by a fake headmaster who lives by a lake.

Cobham Hall


Bob T

Re: ST Letter

January 31 2006, 1:46 PM 

I didn't know you wore green knickers Lotta.


Another fantasist writes...

February 5 2006, 10:42 AM 

In today’s edition:

Bare bottom caning

Your correspondent who as a Wren was caned over her knickers had it easy (Letters, January 29). In the 1940s, it was a daily routine for cadets at the Royal Naval School in Portsmouth to be beaten on their bare buttocks.

Once, for carelessly discharging a clip of live ammunition, the commanding officer gave me 30 of the very best and I could not sit down for five days.

Mavis Parker, Quorn, Leicestershire


Re: Another fantasist writes...

February 12 2006, 12:26 PM 

The correspondence continues:

Baring it stoically

Poor Mavis Parker who, when a Wren cadet, was given 30 strokes on her bare buttocks (Letters, February 5). We really were horrifically naive in those days and as mere females wouldn't have dared to complain for fear of reprisal from every male around.

Tess Nash, Mawgan, Cornwall

Admiral the Lord Fisher, the father of the modern Royal Navy, banned corporal punishment before the First World War. The officer who beat Mavis Parker should have been court martialled. I think that even the most enthusiastic schoolmaster of the period would have considered 30 strokes excessive. The bare bottom says it all about the officer.

(Dr) B A G Kimmins, Staveley, Derbyshire

If you start a Letter of the Year Award, Mavis Parker must win, even with 10 months still to go.

Graham Weeks, Barcelona, Spain

Is there any advance on 30?

Derrick Gilliam, Gresford, Clwyd


Re: Another fantasist writes...

February 12 2006, 7:08 PM 

Dr Kimmins is naive and ill-informed. The "corporal punishment" that was banned before the first world war was only the flogging of adult seamen with the cat. Boys in the navy went on being birched up to WW2 and caned (entirely officially) until the late 1960s.

The question is whether there was some equivalent for junior females in the armed forces. I rather doubt it myself. I can't imagine that we wouldn't have heard of it before now if there was. The letters quoted from today's paper suggest that many readers are sceptical. It would be interesting to know whether the letters editor has tongue in cheek or is just dim (or possibly simply too young to be able to make an informed judgment about the past).

Steve M

Re: Another fantasist writes...

February 12 2006, 11:30 PM 

Yes & with naval connections, I can assure you the maximum was 18 cats up to 1939 and 9 from about 1958/9.

Never on bare bottoms & I suspect most sailors would tell a woman, sorry man, like Mavis to tell this to the Marines! Any officer doing this to a Wren would have been slung out of the Navy in a trice-for a start, 30 strokes on the bare bum would have hospitalized the victim & the Navy would NOT tolerate its' women being treated like that, especially by an officer!

I'd suggest any officer who DID this would find the next live round discharged into his bollocks on the next dark night!


Re: Another fantasist writes...

February 19 2006, 7:53 AM 

In today’s edition:

The sisters applied the tawse religiously

Your correspondent asks whether there is any advance on the 30 strokes the Wren Mavis Parker received on her bare bottom when a cadet (Letters, February 12). I attended a convent school in Ireland in the 1950s run by an order of nuns which was big on "the mortification of the flesh". Beatings were always on the bare bottom with a 12in tawse.

Most of the sisters were enthusiastic thrashers, and it was difficult to get through a week without being beaten. We received six to 24 strokes for minor infractions (the older the girls, the greater the number of strokes) such as talking in class or being late. The maximum number of strokes which could be given was a barely credible 144, and was known as "getting the gross". I received it twice in front of the school, strapped to a whipping horse.

Afterwards we were left for an hour, still tied up.

Beryl Smith, London NW8

Flogging and birching were only suspended in the Royal Navy before the First World War, not banned as your correspondent suggests (Letters, February 12). They were not finally removed from the Naval Discipline Act until well into the 1950s and caning for boys, cadets, and midshipmen continued well into the 1960s as I can attest from frequent appearances on the receiving end.

(Cdr) Geoffrey J Sherman, Kilgetty, Pembrokeshire

Like Mavis Parker, I did my Wren training at the Royal Naval School in Portsmouth and made numerous visits to the staff sergeant's office to have my bare backside welted with the "knotty" - a big bamboo cane.

I was a wilful cheeky girl and usually deserved my regulation 12 strokes, often with six extras for "lip". I did manage to avoid the dreaded CO's 30 strokes given to Mavis Parker, but in one week received 12 strokes on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for smoking in the lavatories.

Doris Benson, Bristol

Lotta Nonsense

Re: Another fantasist writes...

February 19 2006, 11:55 AM 

From next week's edition:

When I was at convent school, it was very common for girls to be whipped and caned in front of the whole school but the worst punishment by far was 'Getting the Googol' which meant being tied stark naked over a vaulting horse in front of the entire school and receiving 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 strokes of the cane after which you were left tied to the horse until somebody decided to untie you.

The longest anyone was left tied to the horse was 86 years. The girl in question was tied to the horse, caned and then completely forgotten about until a telegram arrived for her from the Queen.

Worldwide Traveller

A comment from Yorkshire

February 19 2006, 12:26 PM 


Steve M

Re: Another fantasist writes...

February 19 2006, 12:27 PM 

From a fortnight hence's edition:

So Lotta thinks HER convent was tough, eh? Let me tell you back in 60's Ballyunlikely, not only did the holy sisters thrash the entire VIth form a la Googol at least once every term, the luckless miscreants were left nailed naked to the outside walls of the convent AFTER their wounds had been treated with salt, saltpetre and sand, by suitably whipped Wrens, imported especially by spacecraft from the nearest training school, which at that time was on Mars, as the Good Ship Venus, under command of Captain Hogwash, in nearby Hailie Improbable, had been closed, due to an outbreak of wine vasicular disease.

Rumour had it that this was a punishment visited by the Almighty because of a typing error in someone's schoolwork. This was unlikely, said Mother Superior, as the darling little matelots and mattelettes were only allowed to transcribe with the selected quill feathers from the crowns of the local colony of Sillymots, which in turn was a local name for seabirds daft enough to perch and nest on narrow ledges in their thousands.


Sister Dominiqueatrice(The Spanking Nun)


Re: Another fantasist writes...

February 26 2006, 9:07 PM 

In today’s edition:

As the retired headmistress of a girls' boarding school I am not a fan of corporal punishment (Letters, February 19), but those against its use in schools have never been able to answer two questions: what alternative punishment do children respect as much and what alternative punishment is not hideously time-consuming? The answer to both questions is none. Consequently, I support it for want of anything better.

Children respect fairness and clear rules. If they know, for example, that they will be beaten if they are late three times in a month, they will not, in my experience, generally be late three times.

As for whether girls should be beaten as well as boys, again my experience tells me that girls are if less violent more persistently disobedient and malicious than boys. There is no reason to distinguish between the sexes.

Jane Foster, Hereford

I served in the WRNS in 1949-1952 and am amazed at your letters talking of beatings. I never heard of such horrors and neither did my fellow Wrens, some of whom I am still in touch with.

I always felt that I was treated with the utmost respect.

Joan Gardiner, Hook Common, Hampshire

I also attended a convent school in Ireland in the 1950s run by nuns, but never once witnessed corporal punishment as described by your correspondent.

Helen Corcoran, Edgware, London

The ladies who have been recounting their experiences of chastisement, when Wrens or convent pupils, should think themselves lucky. Their discipline came free.

I have to pay the elegant young lady, on whom I attend, in her Chelsea flat.

Charles Morrison, Cobham, Surrey

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