The school dance doesn’t end well

By Gillian Howard

In 1961, Raymond, my twin brother, and myself, Christine Arnold, both passed our 11+ and became the first members of our family to attend Grammar School. Our parents were so proud of us and came to the Open Evening where we were told that we had to use a certain outfitters in the town centre and that full uniform was compulsory at all times. Any deviation would be punished. We were also told that if we were selected for any of the school sports teams then the school would provide all the sports tops in the first 5 years. The school was very proud of its reputation in sports, academically and in the local Town. There were also after school clubs for various things such as Chess, Stargazing and, in the 6th form, there was also a debating society.

We were all really excited. Then the Headmaster said that all pupils were open to be punished physically by traditional methods.

After the summer holidays we arrived for our first assembly and were introduced to the staff and our form teachers. Raymond and myself were in the same form, as were Fiona and Rachel, my 2 best friends from junior school.

It was the second day that a girl called Rebecca in our class was called to the front and had the back of her legs smacked for talking. Then over the next few months we saw several boys and girls smacked before, just before half term, Raymond and his friend Greg were called out for pulling Elaine’s hair in class. They both received 1 stroke of the cane across each hand.

By the time that we had reached the sixth form I had been smacked on the back of the legs about 5 times and received the cane across the hand once when all the class were caned for being disruptive when the teacher had not arrived and Mr Melson, the Headmaster, came to quieten us down. He made us all line up and walk forward, one at a time, to be caned. I had also received the slipper off Miss Josephs three times. Raymond had also been sent to the headmaster the previous year where he received 4 strokes of the cane across his underpants off Mr Melson for truancy. He had also been caned in our first year.

As we moved into the upper sixth, I was still in the orchestra and Raymond was now the captain of the first XV rugby team and a target for all the girls’ affections. I, on the other hand, had not lost any of my puppy fat and in fact was a little overweight wearing size 14 clothes and had never had a boyfriend at all.

As usual at the start of the Christmas term, we always had the school cross country run where everybody had to take part and girls had to run in gym knickers and top. I was slowly walking well behind everybody else when Miss Stewart told me to hurry up, but I said I couldn’t. Then she came behind me and give my bottom 6 hard smacks with a ruler, leaving marks on my legs and bottom. Everybody laughed at me in the showers and could see the marks of the ruler.

At Christmas we had a school dance and mum persuaded me to go. Raymond and his girlfriend, Fiona, my best friend, also went. I was sat next to Jeremy, who was a very clever boy but did not mix and as such always found himself in trouble. I had never really talked to him but found him quite pleasant company.

Half way through the night, I saw Raymond and Fiona disappear so I asked Jeremy if he wanted to come outside. As we got outside, there were quite a few others there so I walked around the end of the building and I could just make out Fiona and Raymond in a compromising position with Fiona’s dress above her waist and her suspenders visible. I turned to Jeremy and told him we should go back, but he leaned over and kissed me and was soon fondling me. I moved his hand away as he nibbled my neck. We returned to the dance and Raymond and Fiona soon followed, both looking rather flustered.

Over the weekend, Fiona called round and she commented that I had a large love bite on my neck. She said she didn’t think Jeremy knew how to do that. I agreed and thought the same, which is why I hadn’t stopped him. She admitted that she and Raymond had done it and then blushed.

At School on Monday morning, everybody was commenting on my neck and I just ignored them and went to assembly. Afterwards the Headmaster addressed the school saying the dance had been nice for everybody and in most cases everybody had behaved very well. However, 4 pupils had let us down and would now receive very sore bottoms.

“Raymond and Christine Arnold, stand up. Also, Fiona Cunliffe and Jeremy Smethurst, please stand. You four disgraced the school and will be punished. I have spoken to all your parents and they have agreed with the punishments you are to receive.

“Raymond Arnold and Jeremy Smethurst, go and wait outside my office. You will both receive 8 of the very best with the senior cane on the bare bottom. Jeremy was sobbing uncontrollably as he left the hall. It would be his first caning.

“Fiona and Christine, you will go and join the boys outside my office as I will be giving each of you 6 of the very best with the senior cane across your bottoms. Miss Josephs will assist me. Now go.”

I made my way out and we all stood outside the office. Fiona and I both had tears in our eyes.

Raymond was called in first and the Headmaster was furious with him. We heard the sound of the cane whistling through the air and onto his bottom. After the 4th we heard a yelp, and on the seventh and eight we heard screams. The door opened and he staggered out holding his very painful rear end.

Jeremy was then called in and I looked at Fiona and whispered: “I didn’t think girls could be caned.”

She said 2 of her older cousins had been caned the year before we started, but it was rare.

We then heard a scream as Jeremy received his first. After a while the second arrived followed by a louder scream, then silence before the school secretary came out of her office and went off, returning a couple of minutes later with Mr Jacobs the rugby coach who went into the head’s office. Shortly afterwards we heard the caning restart and more screams. We counted another 9 stokes, which meant he had received 11. After 5 minutes he was helped from the office by Mr Jacobs and taken in the direction of Matron’s office.

Miss Joseph emerged from the secretaries’ office and went in to the Headmaster’s off before calling in Fiona. I heard the Headmaster’s raised voice, then silence before I heard Fiona shout: “No, please don’t.”

Then at thirty second intervals I heard the sound of the cane landing 6  times and a scream from Fiona after each one. Then followed 2 more, with another 2 screams, before silence, apart from the sound of Fiona sobbing. Finally Fiona came out with both hands up her dress and one hand under her green knickers. She hobbled away not looking up at all.

I was then called in and was told off for partaking in sexual activities on school property.

“Sir, I didn’t. I never did anything and as soon as Jeremy fondled me I stopped him immediately.”

“So that love bite just appeared, did it? No more arguing. Dress right up, bend over my desk and Miss Joseph will pull your knickers tight so you will have no protection from the cane.”

As I bent forward I felt Miss Joseph put her hands in the sides of my knickers and yank them right up into my bottom.

“At least you won’t get 2 more for non uniform knickers.”

I grabbed his desk at the far side as the cane landed and the pain was not as bad as I feared. 5 more followed, each one leaving a searing line of fire before being told to go.”

I left thinking that I must have only received a token caning. I stopped at the toilets and saw that I had had six parallel lines across my bottom. Then I heard sobbing. Fiona came out and told me he had given her 2 extra for non uniform knickers. She showed me her bottom and it looked much more painful than mine.

Fiona and I went down in school folklore as the only 2 girls of our generation to have been caned across the bottom.

The End

© Gill Howard 2017