When I was a girl, smacking was still a very common punishment for Britain’s naughty children and I’d like to share two specific memories I have of receiving CP.
Like many English children of the time, I went on the train for a seaside holiday. If you are of the same generation as me, you’ll probably remember travelling in those carriages with old-fashioned slam doors, which had no corridors but instead small, separate compartments with long, plump bench-type seating.
But I wonder who else, likes me, also remembers having their bottoms smacked on the return journey home?
My personal memory begins with me going to a popular northern resort with mum’s sister and her two children. I remember whining for much of the day of our return because I was either cold, very hungry or needed to go to toilet.
My aunt was already irritated by her own girls consistently squabbling on the train journey back, but she finally snapped when I spilled lemonade down my cheap, pattern-printed polyester dress. Safe in the privacy of the compartment, my aunt promptly took off my dress to attempt to dry it out before we reached our destination.
Having done that, she pulled down my knickers to my scuffed white sandals and then thoroughly smacked my bare bum, with her own little girls watching.
I have an older sister, and she occasionally ended up babysitting me when I was little. When she did, she was allowed to smack my bottom if I was a naughty girl.
I have to say that my sister rarely took advantage of this privilege and even when she did, I never usually cried. However, one exception was the day when she accused me of playing with matches while we were at our grandmother’s house. I was guilty as charged, although I tried to deny it.
My sister decided that as I had both played with the matches and told a fib about doing so, a smacked bottom was in order. She ordered me across her knee. I remember the characteristic sound of elastic snapping against my bare legs as I pulled up my white knee socks and timidly laid myself face down in the classic punishment position for naughty children.
With rising terror, I watched as my sister reached behind the settee cushion and pulled out her own school plimsoll. Then she raised my grey pleated school skirt and lowered my knickers so she had a bare bottom to work with.
Then I was thoroughly smacked, wriggling on my sister’s lap as she slippered me efficiently. It really hurt and for once there were genuine tears.
Afterwards, I was left with a runny nose and a red, sore bum, which I rubbed vigorously to try to get rid of the slipper’s sting.