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Six of the Best-who actually had the full six

August 13 2010 at 7:10 AM
Nathan 

 
The maximum number of strokes of the cane a school pupil could receive was six strokes. In my school day it was known as 'six of the best'. I was wondering how many of you actually received the full six and how it was given (all on the bottom, all six on one hand, three on each hand etc.); who administered the punishment? and other information?

 
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Declan

Re: Six of the Best-who actually had the full six

August 13 2010, 10:02 AM 

The norm in my school was for two strokes on the left hand. Repeat offenders got two on each hand , but I never knew anyone who got six.

One boy ( and there were probably others)got six smacks of the slipper. He was told by the PE teacher to collect a large gym shoe from the storeroom. He came back with the smallest one he could find, so the teacher upped the punishment to six.

At junior school there were regular severe slipperings of at least four, probably a few got six . One teacher used to reverse the slipper and smack you with the heel of it, thankfully I didn't get one of these, but it must have caused bruising, which a normal slippering would not.

 
 
Ben Howard

Re: Six of the Best-who actually had the full six

August 13 2010, 10:10 AM 

Hi Nathan,
I was caned 4 times in my school years and the last time in the 5th year i received the dreaded six of the best from the headmaster along with 4 mates who had been in trouble with me. We all waited nervously outside the heads study as instructed dreading the moment when the door opened and we all lined up in front of the heads desk for one hell of a telling off our eyes fixed on the cane that was placed on one side. After which we had to line up on one side of the room and one by one called forward to bend over the desk to be given 6 really good strokes,amazing how quick it seemed as the first two received their punishment. I was third in line and could feel my legs shaking and stomach churning as i waited my turn, it was scary to say the least.Although 15 i could feel tears welling up in my eyes and the pain of the strokes was agony for a 15 year old.It all seemed over very quick after the apprehension of the waiting etc and afterwards we all went down to the craft block toilets to see the results of the headmasters efforts. As to be expected 5 well marked stinging bums on display but we survived the ordeal and as my father said we got what we deserved and thinking back he was right of course, but what an experience with so many emotions.
Did you get a 6 stroke caning Nathan?

 
 
Nelly from Lochgelly

Six of the Best

August 13 2010, 11:19 AM 

It was the tawse, more commonly known as "the strap" or "the belt", they used at my schools. We had to hold out a hand, or hold out both hands with one on top of the other (usually known as "crossed hands" or "doublers")in order to be punished.

The belts the teachers used were made from very thick, hard and dense tan coloured leather, usually more than 1/4" thick, and about 2 feet long. The "punishing end" of the belt was slit into 2 (and sometimes 3) tails, and they hurt like hell.

A normal punishment was one or two strokes. Some teachers asked for the non writing hand to be presented for punishment, but most simply belted whatever hand the pupil held out. More serious, or repeat offences, might attract 3 or 4 strokes, with 6 being reserved for the most serious offences. I only saw "6 of the best" being administered twice. One was to a S2 boy who had been persistantly truanting and the other to a S3 boy who had beaten up 2 S1 boys in the playground. Both struggled to take their punishment, were slow to get their hands up for the next stroke, and delayed the next application by puffing and blowing, hands between thighs or cupping them to mouth and blowing into them.

The sting of the belt was intense to excruciating for about 10 to 15 minutes after it was administered and then started to diminish slowly over the next hour or so. It was something you never forgot.

 
 
Jenny

Re: Six of the Best-who actually had the full six

August 13 2010, 3:16 PM 

Hi Nathan

I had six strokes of the cane on three separate occasions - the second and third time I was caught smoking and once for being caught "out of bounds" wink.gif with my boyfriend. I usually describe the caning I got the third time I was caught smoking as "six of the VERY best" so I think that would meet anyone's criterion for "six of the best" sad.gif Whether the other two sixes could be called "of the best" is open to interpretation.

I also received quite a few sixes with the slipper and some of those could be called "of the best" too.

Slipperings given by the PE mistress were usually through my gym knickers but some (for example, "forgetting" PE kit) were through my skirt. Our skirts were never lifted for the cane or slipper but if they weren't long enough to provide coverage when we bent over (as mine often wasn't) we'd get it through our knickers.


 
 

Another_Lurker

Re: Six of the Best-who actually had the full six

August 13 2010, 10:32 PM 

Hi Nathan. You said above:

The maximum number of strokes of the cane a school pupil could receive was six strokes.

At your school in your time, perhaps. However this was not a universal rule, and there are reliable reports in this estimable Forum of more than 6 strokes of the cane being administered in a scholastic context.

You also said of 6 strokes of the cane:

In my school day it was known as 'six of the best'.

I was never caned at school but many people who were, and some of those who have had to administer the cane as part of their duties, seem to agree that there was a difference between 6 strokes of the cane and 6 of the best, the latter being substantially more painful as a consequence of the technique used to administer the punishment. Indeed, my esteemed fellow contributor Jenny makes this very point in her post above.

 
 
Carter

Re: Six of the Best-who actually had the full six

August 14 2010, 1:28 AM 

I got 'six of the best' four times at school. I got six strokes at least four other times. At my school, there really did seem to be a distinction - any six stroke caning was called 'six of the best', but there were times it was on an utterly different scale from any other caning.

The first time I got it, I was caught stealing money from the school library. I'd already had what I suppose I could call 'three of the best' (the first few canings I got at school were fairly tame affairs and I'd developed an idea that the cane wasn't that bad - so when my Headmaster caned me for the first time... . the first stroke of what was my first properly done caning came as a great shock I could not believe anything could hurt that much. I thought something had gone wrong and I tried to tell the Headmaster this tried to tell him he was caning me too hard. I was horrified when he told me that he knew exactly what he was doing and that if I didn't bend over again, I'd get extra strokes and when I continued to argue, he pushed me back down and told me I was now getting three instead of the two hed been planning on. After the third when he left me get back up, he told me very clearly that he knew exactly how much he'd hurt me and he could make it hurt even more and I should just try and imagine what six of the best felt like next time I thought about misbehaving.) When I was caught stealing (and I'd arranged things so another boy had been blamed for a previous theft and been caned for it) I knew I was in for it, and the Headmaster did not disappoint. It was excruciating. Six of the best across my underpants.

My second six of the best was similar, but in front of my entire form when I was reported to the school for shoplifting. My third was in private but followed police attending the school to search my locker.

The fourth one came at the start of my last year at school. My behaviour had improved a lot by then - at least I was no longer breaking the law, still got into a lot of little trouble though. The Headmaster took me into his office and gave me six of the best and told me that I would get the same everytime I broke a rule from now on. I think I'd had about half a dozen 'minor' canings the previous year, and he said that they obviously didn't have an impact on me, so from now on, any rulebreaking and it would be six of the best everytime.

I never got caned again. Anytime I thought about breaking the rules, I just remembered that.

But like I say, there were other times I got six, which just weren't that bad. I'm not saying they were enjoyable! Especially as I didn't deserve most of them. But there was a difference between just getting six normal strokes, and getting six that an expert was intent on making an impression on my backside.

When I give six, I try to do that myself. I don't think I'm as good at it as my Headmaster was, but as I said, that last one set me completely straight.

 
 
KK

Hierarchy of acceptability to students

August 14 2010, 8:30 PM 

Carter,

I am surprised at your crimes and more surprised still that you admit to them, even semi anonymously, here. You should be aware that students at your school have discovered this forum and posted here. You risk being outed at school.

When I was at school there was a hierarchy of acceptability of offences among the students which did not match the severity on the punishments. Dishonesty and sneakiness were generally condemned by all and there was no sympathy for the offenders. Caned thieves were very slow to be accepted back into the fold. Other offences caused the students little or no offence although we might think some boys were a bit stupid or inept to get caught.

 
 
prof.n

Re: Six of the Best-who actually had the full six

August 14 2010, 10:15 PM 

I was only caned twice , once four strokes, second time 'six of the best'.

Are 'the best' different? I would say yes. On receiving the last of the first four, I was told , this one is really going to hurt.....and that was no exaggeration. I was then told : -

'Come back again , and its six like that last one!' Perhaps the fist three weren't seen as achieving what they should

the crime as I've written elsewhere .......'general attitude'.

The sixer didn't come until the sixth form. Again I have written this in detail, but in brief , the head had found posters and literature 'libeling him' displayed in a teaching block. the ever helpful head janitor had provided names of those seen in the areas directly after last classes and he interviewed us all. I could have played three wise monkeys like everybody else , but I didn't. I told him I didn't do it . Accepted. But I knew who did , but couldn't tell him , honor code in the school.


He tried to persuade me . No deal . In the sixth you were suspended , if you preferred caning it was for you to say so. I did.


He offered to give me a one days suspension , timed on a half holiday the effect of which would have been I 'lost' one lesson - double maths. I said no it would be on my school record , cane me pleases instead. that meant under the agreement six of the best. He clearly didn't want to do it , saw it making me a martyr. However my reason for insisting was political . He had already caned two upper fifths for refusing to confirm who was there. I didn't know they had also been insolent and abusive..........they never said that .

After deliberation I insisted on the caning , He did it . I remember peering at his bookshelf , ( he insisted on touching toes, well in my case hands on knees sufficed .) top row and trying to memorize them to distract me from the pain. Not very effective. Anyway he gave me four really hard ones .I felt they were cutting right into me , far worse than I anticipated , and I had to wait between strokes, .....you think.....why did I get myself into this ! I was nearly breaking, and am sure I would have done with two more. But the last two eased off in my view, and I stood them quite well.

When the caning was over I shook the heads hand formally..He told me I'd taken it well, I should be proud, and then let me go to comfort myself .....omg but I stayed unmoved with him!!!. He held an MC . you don't let someone like that see you are in real pain.

But I never went back for another dose!

A fortnight later he offered me a full boarding scholarship for the rest of my time in the school. Was it related ? Dunno.

Frankly I was a bloody fool , making myself a political martyr for the sake of it . Idiot , proud idiot! And when I found out what the fifths had done did I feel stupid!

 
 
Carter

Re: Six of the Best-who actually had the full six

August 15 2010, 1:14 AM 

I am surprised at your crimes and more surprised still that you admit to them, even semi anonymously, here. You should be aware that students at your school have discovered this forum and posted here. You risk being outed at school.


There are newspaper articles, two books and a TV documentary about my childhood (actually they were primarily about other people, but I was on the edges of what they were doing, and I do appear as a minor 'character') are out there. There's no great point in me trying to hide these things at this point. And with my students, I don't. My major 'crimes' were all committed before I was 13 years old as well. I've no huge problem with anybody knowing I was a very naughty little boy, which is not that far from the truth.

If I'd been involved in drugs, or something like that, I might be worried. But the fact is, I was involved in software piracy and computer hacking. Making sure my students know that, gives me credibility when I tell them that it's something to steer clear of. It's not glamorous, it's not victimless, and it can have serious long term consequences - I was lucky I was only 13 when it all caught up with me, because if I'd been even a year older, I would have definitely wound up in court and stood a good chance of going into youth detention.

When I was at school there was a hierarchy of acceptability of offences among the students which did not match the severity on the punishments. Dishonesty and sneakiness were generally condemned by all and there was no sympathy for the offenders. Caned thieves were very slow to be accepted back into the fold. Other offences caused the students little or no offence although we might think some boys were a bit stupid or inept to get caught.


The same applied at my school. I was ostracised severely for stealing from the library, and when I was caught shoplifting, it simply confirmed to everybody that I hadn't changed. I was horribly unpopular for a long time - not just because of this, but it certainly didn't help. In fact, I doubt I'd have stolen at school in the first place if I hadn't been so unpopular. Not that unpopularity was an excuse, but I was totally miserable, had no friends, and the money I stole was u It actually started to change after the police came to the school - when newspaper stories were talking about people who'd been 'hacking into NASA' and people knew I had some sort of vague involvement with that, and all I could say was "I'm not allowed to say anything.", I became pretty cool.

 
 
Rodney Bacon

Re: Six of the Best-who actually had the full six

August 15 2010, 1:55 PM 

Although "six" was a traditional number for maximum strokes it often had no legal basis. Some local authorities specified six, some eight. Private schools might stick to a traditional six but there is plenty of evidence that Ms Thomas at Rodney School, for example, gave more strokes.

At my grammar school only the Headmaster caned, and he usually administered 3 strokes. This was abruptly changed to six with the arrival of a new Head from a well known public school. This was much disquiet about this development, not only from the boys but also from the Senior staff and ultimately the school governors...he did not stay long.

RB


 
 
KK

Maximum punishment 50 years ago

August 15 2010, 8:20 PM 

Six of the best was the most severe punishment administered at my school back in the late 1950's early '60's. I guess it might have been awarded on average once every week or two in a school with about 400 boys. Four of the best was much more common.

There were canings probably every school day but mainly 1's and 2's. Sixth form canings were rare but always six strokes laid on with maximum force. There might have been one such caning a term, if that, on average.

A few boys collected 4's and 6's faster than the rest of us collected 1's and 2's. They were inept and lacking in judgement rather than wicked. The caning did not seem to do them any harm but not much good either. However, their canings certainly helped keep the rest of us in line.

I do not know of any boy being suspended or expelled. Apparently, a good caning was able to fix most things. Mind you, serious offences in those days seem rather innocuous by todays standards. Depriving a boy of his education was seen as a very serious matter.

Our geography teacher had a reputation as a ferocious caning. He never needed to cane anyone in my class in the years he taught me.

I never got six myself and was glad of it. One very experienced boy warned me that six really hurt and was markedly worse than four. His butt was poorly padded and similar to mine at the time.

 
 

Another_Lurker

Re: Six of the Best-who actually had the full six

August 16 2010, 12:00 AM 

Hi Carter. Well, I have to say that you'd already given a clue here that you know a bit more than average about computing matters. If you were in on what I think you were in on as a boy I have very considerable respect for your technical expertise! I hope that you won't hesitate to step into our Computing Corner thread if you see a topic that interests you.

 
 
jim

full of?

August 17 2010, 2:01 AM 

When certain the full six cuts of the cane was on the cards I used to be full of fear,with my hands clammy,butterflies in my tummy,and trembling in my black leather lace up shoes.Six cuts mean't there was no way I wasn't going to cry and blub like a little boy instead of the big teenager I thought of myself as.The six excruciating cuts were also going to make sitting and concentrating on my lessons impossible as those stinging throbbing stripes were my only concern.O how I would squirm on the hard wooden seat of my desk

 
 
Nathan

Six of the Best-yes I received the full six

August 17 2010, 7:08 AM 

I did receive the full six strokes of the cane in high school. My Deputy headmaster gave me six strokes of the cane on my hands and typically the punishment was 3 strokes on each hand but I did witness our woodwork master give one boy all six on the boy's right hand. I can never fully understand why the cane was administered to the hands and I would have preferred to have been caned on my bottom instead.

 
 
Nelly from Lochgelly

Caning the hands

August 17 2010, 12:26 PM 

Nathan,

Perhaps it was because your teacher thought you might prefer the cane across your buttocks that he caned your hands! Since when was a decision on where to administer school CP down to the preferences of the individual pupil about to be punished?

In Scotland the tawse was virtually always administered to the palm of the hands, regardless of how many strokes were to be given. This could be more effective than to a clothing protected bottom and avoided the potential sexual element that might be involved for some in chastising the buttocks.

From a Scottish perspective it is surprising how often you English lads had your bottoms slippered or caned. No wonder all the excitement! I would suggest that the tawse on the hands was sorer, quicker and less humiliating and embarrasing.

 
 
Rodney Bacon

Re: Six of the Best-who actually had the full six

August 17 2010, 12:42 PM 

Nelly,

Actually I have heard verbatim of a number of schools where choice of punishment between hand or buttock caning was offered.

At one famous London Catholic school the choice was "hand or behind, now or later".

At Kent public school attended by a colleague in the early 1970s boys were invited to select which cane they wished to be used, the choice included a bat like object.

At a Yorkshire Comprehensive, late 60s/early 70s, both boys and girls were offered choice of hand or buttocks punishment.

I believe our dear friend Ms Thomas is reputed to have offered the girls a choice at Rodney.

From what I have heard most people (even girls) preffered to be caned on the buttocks, albeit my sample is small.

Regards

RB




 
 
Nelly from Lochgelly

Hands or bottom?

August 17 2010, 1:15 PM 

Rodney,

My how you English boys and girls were spoiled for choice, obviously your teachers were far too soft with you! Would you prefer the slipper or the cane, young man? Hands or bottom? Now or later? Hard or soft? Please tell me if it's too sore and I'll do it more gently, or I'll stop right away. Interesting that you have these reports of choices being offered.

Over 150 years ago, when the tawse was administered across the buttocks, boys didn't like the change to having their hands leathered as there was no protection or padding. Perhaps that's why down south many preferred the cane or slipper across the bottom with trousers, skirts and pants to give protection and take away the sharpest sting of the punishment. Nothing like a bit of padding to help protect the rear.

Up here we did as we were told and any choices were left to the teacher. To belt him/them now or at the end of the period? How many strokes and how hard? Single hand or crossed hands? We didn't have to think over the options, all the thinking was done for us. Our function was to obey, get our hands up for the belt and endure what came, like lambs to the slaughter.

 
 
Seeker

Re: Six of the Best-who actually had the full six

August 17 2010, 2:39 PM 

I had six strokes of the cane, pretty full on from memory, from the now infamous Mr. Derek Slade when I was a pupil at St George's School in Suffolk. My offense was to have been caught with a copy of a porn magazine called, from memory, 'Fiesta' (nothing at all to do with the eponymous car, I can assure you!), that had been passed around my classmates and had, not to put too fine a point on it, acquired some rather sticky pages by the time it got to me. I was 13 at the time.

 
 
Nathan

Re: Six of the Best-who actually had the full six

August 19 2010, 6:06 AM 

I received 6 strokes on my bottom as well as my hands and I think that the 6 strokes I received on my hands hurt more than the 6 strokes I had on my bottom, despite that I had received 3 strokes on each hand when I received 6 of the best on my hands. Thankyou for your replies and best wishes

 
 
 
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