Matrons remembered

The following is an exchange between two contributors to the long-defunct Maman mailing list, regarding that formidable figure, the prep school matron…

Ian: Sean, You left me wondering if we had the same matron! In the 1960s, I went to an English prep-school in Dorset as a boarder between the ages of eight and 13. We had a 30-something matron called Miss Rose (I think) who ruled over us armed with her right hand or her Mason & Pearson hairbrush.

Both were used two or three times a week to spank any naughty little boy who crossed her path. The spankings took place in the bathroom next to the junior dormitory – she always took our pyjama trousers down and spanked us on the bare bottom.

Because it was a big empty room, the noise really used to echo around and was very audible in the dormitory next door. Then, of course, you had the humiliation of being led red-eyed into the dorm and put straight to bed without the usual story to comfort you.

These spankings seemed much worse than the slipper or cane from the head, maybe because they were very public and consisted of more than the usual ‘six of the Best’, which was the official school punishment.

I can rarely remember why I was taken over her knee but the whole ritualistic hands-on-head, trousers pulled down and across her knee routine sticks very firmly in my mind, as does the hot stinging bottom afterwards and the rosy cheeks next morning.

Sean: Perhaps our nurse moved on to your school as matron. I never did know her name – she was always ‘Nurse’. But I recall her as being mid-20s (maybe) in the 50s.

She was an enthusiastic smacker of naughty little boys! We would be spanked in the dormitory in front of the other four or five boys in the room. It was a rare night when one of us did not go over her knee. I rarely went more than a few days without going to bed with a rosy bottom.

She would sit on the culprit’s bed, take pyjamas down, then hand out a generous ration of smacks. She did not use a hairbrush but once in a while she would use a slipper. To be fair, tears were not usual (except when the slipper was employed) but it normally came pretty close to it.

We were spanked for talking, dawdling, not making our beds tidily, not washing hands before meals, hair not brushed neatly etc. Her favourite turn of phrase (especially for the slipper) was: “You are a naughty little boy, and you have been asking for this for some time!”

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