Buying a tawse

My mother was a firm believer in corporal punishment. From an early age, when I had misbehaved in her eyes, she would put me across her knee and firmly smack my bottom until I cried. She always took down my trousers and underpants to administer the punishment, and as I grew up, many family members and friends witnessed me being soundly whipped on my bare bottom.

Corporal punishment was also a constant threat at school. This was Scotland in the 60s, the belt was a familiar presence in the classroom and it was in use for a lot of things – fighting in the playground, talking in class, even getting the answers wrong in class or failing a test.

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