Twin sisters, and one lures the other into trouble.
By Julie Baker
My name is Amanda Johnson and I was born in London in March 1954, half an hour before my twin sister, Victoria. We have always been known as Mandy and Vicky and have been inseparable since the day we came into this world. Later in life I married a farmer from Berkshire and went on to have three children of my own. Vicky married a film producer. They had twin boys and, after some time living abroad, currently live in London. We are identical twins and even now people have difficulty telling us apart. Vicky is still my closest friend and there are very few days when we don’t speak to each other on the phone. What is different between us, though, are our personalities. Vicky is quite cautious in what she does whereas I am more adventurous and inclined to take chances. Because of this I have always tended to be the leader and I have generally had the feeling that I needed to look after my younger sister.
Our parents were from wealthy backgrounds. My father’s family owned estates in Cheshire and Lancashire. He was the second son, went to a top boys public school to the north of London and then carved out a career in merchant banking in the City. My mother was a Londoner, went to a famous Ladies College in the West Country and was best known as an outstanding beauty back in the late forties and early fifties. She modelled a bit and appeared in all the top fashion and society magazines of the day. They met at a tennis club in Primrose Hill and were married in 1951. My father was nine years older than my mother and he died last year.
My mother is still alive and continues to turn heads with her good looks. Vicky and I have been fortunate to inherit our mother’s beauty and we have never been short of admiring looks and complimentary comments about our appearances. We are 5′ 8″ tall with attractive faces and, in our youth, we had long blonde hair and athletic figures. We were academically able but we also excelled at all sports, especially hockey and tennis. We went to a local private day school in London until we were 13 and then in 1967 we were sent away to a coeducational boarding school in the Midlands.
We loved it from day one. The 1960s was a great decade for youth with the world finally leaving behind memories of war and young people discovering new freedoms and experiences. It was a period of discovery for us and we embraced the new fashions, the new music and the new attitudes of the time. Some traditions from the past still endured, though, and one of these was corporal punishment in our schools.
It was certainly alive and well in the school that Vicky and I went to. The form of the punishments followed a strict code. Very serious offences like drug taking and sexual activity between pupils merited an automatic expulsion. Smoking and unauthorised absences were caning offences and there were a whole raft of more minor misdemeanours that were dealt with by a slippering. It was all strictly controlled however. The tradition of prefects being able to physically punish other pupils had been abolished and the only staff authorised to use the cane were the head teacher of the boys part of the school and our headmistress, Miss Scott. Other senior members of staff were able to use the slipper and all punishments were carried out in private and over a single layer of clothing on the recipient’s bottom. There were no restrictions of who could use the slipper on whom, so male staff did, on occasions, punish us girls.
Vicky and I were generally well behaved. By the time we got to the sixth form I had been caned once and had been slippered three times. My sister hadn’t been caned at all and had been unluckily slippered once. The whole of her class were punished when nobody would own up to something that had been written on a blackboard about one of the teaching staff. It certainly wasn’t Vicky who was responsible but she had to take four whacks of the slipper.
Slipperings were extremely unpleasant but were generally over and dealt with in quick time. A caning, though, was on a different level. I can’t begin to describe the pain that I experienced when I was caned. Six agonising strokes and the marks didn’t disappear for almost a fortnight. There was typically an appointed time for the punishment to take place and somehow the whole school seemed to get to know in advance. There were, therefore, always fellow pupils hanging around to see you in distress after the event and the shame lasted for weeks. Finally a caning was always followed by a letter home to your parents, which made the whole episode even worse.
Corporal punishment in the sixth form was extremely rare and by the time we got to our final year at school it wasn’t a danger that ever crossed our minds. Vicky and I were studying hard for our A level exams and playing plenty of sport. We were both in the girls’ 1st XI for hockey. I was captain and played centre forward while Vicky played on the right side of midfield. We loved playing together although we only had mixed success with that team of 1972. The last game of the season was traditionally against the school that was just eight miles down the road from us and a victory against them would always make our season, whatever the other results looked like.
I would have to say that our school hockey kit suited Vicky and I very well. We wore black socks with red tops, black pleated games skirts, which were quite short, and black and red quartered hockey shirts. The colours suited our skin colouring and the fit emphasised our lithe body shapes. We always tied our hair up for sporting activities and my mother told us that this was a good look for us.
We were looking at our best, therefore, when we lined up for our final school match against our local rivals. It was the first week of April and a gloriously warm and sunny day. The match was hard fought. It was 2-2 with five minutes to go when I scored the winner. What a great feeling although we were totally exhausted at the final whistle. We shook hands with our opponents and I then quickly found my sister.
“We’ve got an hour to get changed and get down to the Dining Hall for tea. Fancy a quick smoke in the woods to calm us down?” I asked Vicky.
“Good idea, Mandy,” she replied.
This is something we occasionally did after a home game. The hockey pitch was in front of the Sports Hall and behind this building was an extensive wood on the side of a hill. It was not part of the school property but it was easy to sneak round the back of the Sports Hall, climb a low fence and disappear into the woods. There was then a faint path that we knew well that took us down to a small clearing on the edge of the woods that caught the afternoon sun and afforded a lovely view over the valley below. Furthermore, there was a blown down tree at the back of the clearing whose horizontal trunk provided a perfect high seat to rest on.
We therefore took off our muddy boots, put them in our boot bags, and replaced them with our black plimsolls. We left our hockey sticks by the entrance door to the Sports Hall. I had cigarettes and a lighter in an inside pocket within my bag so we were all set. We picked our moment and disappeared from view. Five minutes later we were in our favourite spot. We were both hot and glowing after the exertions of the hockey match and a cigarette seemed to be the perfect way to relax and unwind.
I couldn’t have been happier. I was sitting in warm sunshine with my favourite person, enjoying a view of our lovely English countryside. I had just scored the winning goal in the most important match of our hockey season and life seemed perfect. We were doing something that we shouldn’t do, but there seemed to be totally no danger that we would be caught.
Then we heard the snap of a twig below somebody’s foot.
We rapidly extinguished the cigarettes and buried the evidence in the loose earth beneath the tree trunk. We turned round to see Mr Williams approaching us. Mr Williams was in his early 30s and had been at the school since he qualified as a teacher 10 years previously. He was Head of Geography and a member of the senior management. He was a popular member of staff and the girls all thought that he was rather good looking. He had a reputation as a tough disciplinarian but also came across as being fair and kind. I liked him despite him being the person who gave me one of my slipperings when I was in the fifth form. It wasn’t as painful as my caning but it was comfortably the worst slippering that I received during my school days.
“Good afternoon, girls,” he opened up with. “What are you doing here?”
We knew that we had nowhere to go in this situation because on this still day the cigarette smoke was still hanging in the air above us. We tested the water to see if he was going to let us off.
“Just relaxing after the hockey match, sir,” I ventured.
“You have both been smoking, though,” he replied. “And you must know the consequences of that. Sorry, but I will have to report you to Miss Scott and you can both expect to receive a caning.”
My heart sank. This was a truly dreadful prospect. The painful caning would be bad enough but we also had the embarrassment of the whole school knowing that we had been punished, and it was humiliating to think of the letter that would be sent to our parents. Furthermore, I felt responsible for getting my younger sister into this mess. She had never been caned before and I was devastated that I had played a part in putting her in danger of having to go through that ordeal. I tried to explain these emotions to Mr Williams and begged him to come up with an alternative solution. He was thoughtful and my hopes were raised when I detected a change in his demeanour. ”OK, here is a possible way forward,” he said. “Are you both over 18?”
Our 18th birthdays had been at the start of the previous month.
“Yes, we had our birthdays in March, so we are over 18,” I replied on behalf of both of us.
“I don’t feel that I can ignore what I have seen. I like you both but it would not be fair to your fellow pupils if you escaped the punishment that is due to you. Smoking is not allowed and anyone caught gets an automatic caning from Miss Scott. That is the rule. However I can see that you two getting caned would be something of a school sensation and that on this basis it is almost like a double punishment. I propose that I deal with you both here and now. What do you think?”
Again I was doing the talking on behalf of Vicky and me.
“Yes please, sir. Thank you. What do you want us to do?”
“You are both over 18 and we are now not in the school grounds so this gives me a bit of latitude. However if you agree to my proposal then you must both promise me that this will be kept strictly between us and you will not discuss what happens with anyone else. Is that clear?”
“Yes, sir,” we both said together.
“My position is that you should both receive a punishment that is equally as painful as a caning delivered by Miss Scott. Have either of you been caned before?”
“I have, sir, but Vicky hasn’t,” I replied.
“OK, my difficulty is that I don’t have a cane with me so that form of punishment is not available. If we want to deal with this matter swiftly,” he explained. “This is what I propose. You can have a choice. The only two implements that I can think of that are available to me are one of your plimsolls, or I could obtain some switches from within the woods close by.”
“What is a ‘switch’ sir?” I asked. It was not something that I had heard of before in this context.
“A switch is a straight thin length of new growth from a tree which is whippy and delivers more of a sting than a whack,” he explained. “It’s your choice, but either way it will be administered to your bare bottoms to bring it up to the equivalent of a caning over one layer of clothing. Do you agree to these terms or do you want to deal with Miss Scott in the morning?”
I was horrified at the prospect of him seeing our naked bottoms and I could see that Vicky had gone bright red. This was an impossible situation. Back in the 1970s there was no appreciation of the possible motives for teachers punishing pupils and it was just accepted that it happened and generally the pupils deserved it. Nevertheless, the thought did cross my mind that Mr Williams might enjoy seeing two pretty eighteen year olds removing their panties, raising their skirts and presenting their bare bottoms to be punished. But what could we do? Seeing Miss Scott the next day for a very public and humiliating caning did seem worse.
I looked at my sister.
“What do you think, Vicky?” I asked.
“Let’s get it dealt with now, Mandy,” she replied.
“OK, we agree,” I said as I turned to face Mr Williams.
“All right, Vicky, which form of punishment do you want?”
“Slippering with the plimsoll, please sir,” she replied without hesitation.
“And you, Mandy?”
“I think I’ll take the switch, please,” I replied.
This was entirely consistent with out personalities. Vicky would always play safe. She had been slippered before so knew what to expect. I opted for the switching, partly because I couldn’t see that being struck by a light sapling could be worse than being whacked with a shoe, but also because it was different. I wanted to find out what it was like.
“Right girls, understood,” said Mr Williams. “I will need to leave you for a few moments so that I can find a some suitable switches from the woods. Meantime I want you both to get ready. You can leave all your games kit on but I want you both to remove your underwear and place the garments on the tree trunk. I’ll not be long.”
Suddenly we were alone again. I began to apologise profusely to Vicky for getting her into trouble but she was having none of it. She, quite rightly I suppose, argued that it was her choice to come with me and that I shouldn’t feel responsible for what was about to happen to her.
“We had better get our knickers off before he comes back,” she said.
This did seem a strange thing to be doing on a lovely spring day in the woods. I slipped mine down and stepped out of them. Vicky did the same and, as instructed, we placed them neatly at the end of the tree trunk. Without thinking, my hands went behind me to feel my nice smooth bottom. I wondered what it would feel like in ten minutes time. Mr Williams was soon back with us. He placed four lengths of thin tree growth on the ground by our underwear and turned to face us.
“Who is going first?” He asked.
Before I could say anything, Vicky spoke.
“Me, sir, if that is alright with Mandy?”
I nodded and Vicky moved forward.
“OK, Vicky. Please take off your right plimsoll and hand it to me.”
This she did and I got a partial flash of her naked bottom as she bent down to take off her shoe.
“Now, I want you to lift up your skirt and bend over the tree trunk.”
There was a slight hesitation but Vicky then walked over to the fallen tree and raised her skirt, giving Mr Williams the first sight of her bottom. I had obviously seen it plenty of times but even I could see that it was attractively rounded and firm, yet slim, and perfectly in proportion with her long slender legs. I also noticed that she was still recovering from the match and her skin was pink and glistening with perspiration.
Vicky sized up the tree trunk and I could see that she was looking for a part that was smooth and at the right height for her to go over. She made her choice and soon she was in position, making sure that she still had her skirt raised well above her waist. She had her games socks covering her lower legs and her hockey shirt covering her top half but everything in between was bare flesh. When positioned, her feet remained in contact with the ground and her hands were just able to touch the soil on the other side of the tree trunk. Her naked bottom was perfectly presented for the slippering.
“Are you ready, Vicky?” Asked Mr Williams.
He had her plimsoll in his right hand, gripped at the heal end ready for use. We took size 7s so it didn’t lack the required scale to do the job.
“Yes, sir,” she replied.
The first blow was accompanied by what seemed like a huge crack of sound. I suppose I was used to hearing the sound of a rubber sole hitting flesh covered by a layer of material, but the plimsoll on Vicky’s bare skin sounded completely different. She let out a sharp yelp.
From then on, Vicky emitted a low moan after each strike from the plimsoll, and I could see that her bottom was beginning to colour up. I counted the whacks as the plimsoll crashed into my sister’s unprotected bottom and I wished the punishment would end. When I had counted to six I prayed that Mr Williams would deem this to be enough.
He did and Vicky slowly got back onto her feet.
“Thank you, sir,” she said in a trembling voice with tears streaming down her face. She walked back over to stand by me. Both of her hands were rubbing her sore bottom under her skirt, which had now fallen back into place.
“Your turn now, Mandy,” I heard Mr Williams say.
Now it was time for my bottom to be completely exposed to Mr Williams. I went through the same routine as my sister, and once I was standing by the fallen tree I gathered up my games skirt so that my bottom was exposed. I paused momentarily.
“Bend over the tree, please Mandy,” Mr Williams commanded.
I then executed the same manoeuvre as my sister a few moments before. We are identical twins so I knew he would be seeing almost exactly the same scene as before. This time, though, it was my bottom that was being inspected by this man and I wasn’t about to get the more familiar slippering that Vicky had just experienced.
When my skirt was raised I could feel the fresh evening air playing over my sensitive skin. Part of me was now regretting that I hadn’t gone for the safe option of the slippering that my sister seemed to have got through without too much anguish. What was the switch going to feel like?
It didn’t take long to find out. When I was bent over the tree, Mr Williams checked that I was ready and I could feel one of the switches resting against my skin. The punishment then began.
One obvious difference was that there was less noise at impact but there was a distinct whooshing noise as the switch travelled through the still evening air towards my bottom. The first two stung a bit but didn’t seem too bad. It got worse, though, and as the switch started to revisit areas of my bottom and whip around my sides, the pain was starting to build. To start with it felt like I had sat in a patch of nettles with a bare bottom, but soon felt more like I had sat on a wasps nest! The pain delivered by that thin twig was indescribable.
After ten swats I lost count, but Vicky confirmed afterwards that I had taken fifteen strikes from the switch. Apparently Mr Williams had used three of his switches, although I hadn’t noticed him changing them over. The pain in the latter stages was incredible but I also managed a mumbled thanks when I was told that I could get up. I wasn’t as brave as Vicky, though, and I was in floods of tears at the end. I stood up and was vigorously rubbing my bottom to try to get rid of the discomfort.
“No more smoking in the woods, girls, because next time it will be a visit to Miss Scott’s study.” This was all Mr Williams said and within a flash he was gone. Vicky and I looked at each other and were soon in a sisterly embrace. We stood like that for a few moments as we calmed down. When the tears had stopped I suggested that I had a look at Vicky’s bottom.
“God, that is a bit of a mess, Vicky. It’s very red at the moment but I think you will get the bruising shortly. Just as well we share a room and we have cubicles in the girl’s showers! Can you check mine?”
I turned around and lifted my skirt again. I heard a sharp intake of breath.
“Crikey, Mandy, that looks bad. You’ve got red lines all over it and it looks particularly sore where the lines overlap. You’ll need some cream on that when we get back to our room.” I could feel her running her fingers over my skin. “You can feel the welts. That must have been so painful. I’m thinking worse than my slippering,” she concluded.
We went back over to the tree trunk and recovered our underwear. We carefully pulled our panties up to cover our very sore bottoms.
“We’d better get back or we’ll miss tea with the opposition,” I said.
We ran back to the Sports Hall and got into the girl’s changing room just as the last of our team mates was leaving. We calculated that we had been away for no more than 25 minutes. We rushed through showers and getting dressed and just made it in time for something to eat. We, of course, said nothing about what had happened to us but we could still feel the pain in our bottoms as we sat on the hard benches.
And that was it really. We said nothing of our punishment to anyone until now and we both left school a few months later to go to university. Neither of us took geography at school so we only occasionally bumped into Mr Williams during our remaining time. He never gave any indication that we had shared such a charged experience with him in the woods that day after our last school hockey match. I don’t know about him, but for us it is something that we will never forget.
© Julie Baker 2016