I was at a north London primary school in the late 50s. The headmaster was a sadistic Welshman called Williams and I felt the cut of his cane across my bottom several times during my four years at the school.
Corporal punishment was commonplace then and I had been guilty of misbehaving in some way (I can’t recall what exactly) at play time when a teacher called Miss Rogers was on duty.
Miss Rogers was young and a tennis player of note, so being told to report to her classroom was not something to look forward to, as she was well known for wielding a mean gym shoe. Worse, my younger brother was in her class, so my slippering was going to be even more humiliating.
On admittance to her room, she wasted no time. Opening a drawer in her desk, she took out a large gym shoe and beckoned me over to her. “Touch your toes,” she ordered and, in front of her 40-odd children (including my brother), I did so.
Whack, whack, whack! She smacked my bottom crisply three times and it stung like mad! It was then that I made the mistake of being macho. My bottom was stinging as I stood up, but I couldn’t let on in front of her class, so I manufactured a big grin as I went to the door.
“Oh, so you think that was funny, do you? Well, you can come back here and bend over again, then!”
I managed to do without betraying my reluctance and she whacked me four more times with all her strength – and I certainly wasn’t grinning after that.
I could feel tears at the back of my eyes but I managed to make it out of her room and to the boys’ toilets before giving in to crying about my exceedingly sore bottom.