A girl finds herself in a no-win situation
By Gillian Howard
In 1964 I passed my 11+ exam and went to the local mixed grammar school. I had always been a shy girl but really enjoyed school work. I was only very petite with blonde hair. We all had to wear uniform and for the girls this consisted of green skirt and white shirt, green knickers, green blazer and green and grey beret, and grey knee length socks. Failure to wear this would result in a visit to the Headmistress for the cane. Boys wore short grey trousers in first 2 years then long grey trousers, knee length grey socks like the girls and we heard they had to wear white Y front underpants, green blazer and green/grey cap. For PE and games we wore red gym knickers which fitted tight around the legs and nothing under, and a yellow shirt again nothing to be worn under. The boys wore white cotton shorts to just above the knee with nothing under and a white vest.
My name is Carol Blaine and, in my first months at the grammar school, became good friends with Janet Grimshaw and Susan Black, and we did everything together. Corporal punishments were common almost daily and both boys and girls would be punished with the ruler across the hands or slipper across the bottom from either male or female teachers. If sent to the Headmistress it would be the cane across the knickers or underpants. Every Monday around lunchtime the names of all those caned by the headmistress were pinned on the school notice board by either the Head Girl or Head Boy and for the rest of that day or the following day there was always a group of boys and girls looking at the names and comments being passed. I myself always looked forward to seeing who had been caned and if I knew them would see if they showed any after effects.
As the first year passed, both Janet and Susan had received the ruler in class but we were all in the top 5 in the class at most subjects and in the 2nd year were placed in the A stream of pupils. It was just after Christmas during PE on Friday morning that I first saw the results of the cane when Bethany Johnson was getting changed and she had 3 very sore looking lines across her bottom as she had been caned that morning for swearing.
The following Monday, I was one of the first at the notice board at lunch and saw under class 2A near the bottom of the list; Bethany Johnson, 3 strokes of cane over knickers for swearing. I also saw at the top of the list; Upper 6th Science, Amanda Fallows, 6 strokes over knickers for smoking and 2 over knickers for not wearing school knickers. Amanda lived next door to me and our families were close friends. I always walked from the bus stop with Amanda and she had not mentioned being caned. That afternoon she told me she had been caught smoking last Wednesday at lunch and been taken straight to the headmistress. I asked if it had been her first time but she said it hadn’t but had in fact been her third time she had been caned. She asked me how many times I had been caned and was surprised when I told her never as away from school I was a kind of tom boy always getting into scrapes.
I continued my good behaviour at school but Susan received the ruler on several occasions and in our third year received her first caning from the headmistress for running in school, causing the janitor to drop a basket of rubbish and that evening I touched the marks left by the cane for the first time.
By the end of our third year, Susan had received the cane on three occasions and Janet had also been caned. I had still never had any punishment. The three of us were still doing very well academically and by the end of the fifth form we were expecting good GCE results and we did all get 9 passes and were to advance into the sixth form. By this time Janet had been caned on 2 occasions and Susan 5 occasions and they had both had the ruler and slipper in class on numerous occasions. I had still never had any corporal punishment but had served 2 detentions.
Our Lower 6th year was very good and we were really enjoying it but every Monday lunch we always checked the board to see who had been caned. In the last week before we broke up for summer the Headmistress’s secretary, Miss Burton, came into our French class and, after speaking to Madame Dupont, said: “Could Janet Grimshaw and Carol Blaine please come to the Headmistress’s off immediately?”
We both stood and I was blushing and almost in tears that, for some reason unknown to me, I was going to get the cane and we followed Miss Burton in total silence till we were ushered into the Headmistress’s Office.
As we entered there were two chairs in front of her desk and she said: “Sit there please. Do either of you know why I have sent for you?”
We looked at each other and shook our heads before saying in unison: “No Miss, we have no idea at all.”
“Well Janet, we will deal with you first, shall we? I see from your file that over the course of your time at the school you have received the cane off me on a total of 2 occasions but have received either the slipper or ruler on numerous occasions. Is this correct?”
“Carol, I see that from your records it appears somehow you escaped any form of corporal punishment at all, and have served just 2 detentions, even though a few of the teachers thought that there had been occasion that they should have punished you but didn’t? Is that correct?”
“The part about ‘punishments’ is, Miss, but I can’t think of any occasion that I was let off the ruler or slipper, Miss.”
“Well you can take it from me there have been,” she continued.
“Now to the reason you are both here today. Both your work records are well above average and we are expecting really good A level results so that you can go on to the best universities. So as a result…”
She stood up and walked around to Janet, asked her to stand and handed her an envelope and congratulated her. Then she handed me an envelope and congratulated me, and she then sat down.
“You may both open your envelopes.”
We both opened them and inside was a letter. I read mine.
To Miss Carol Blaine,
This letter is to offer you the position of Head Girl for the next school year. The presentation of your badge will take place at the last assembly and you are not to tell any other student.
Janet’s letter was the same but offering her the position of Deputy Head Girl. We both looked at each other with beaming faces. Everybody was waiting for us to return in tears but we had been told to tell them it was about university that we had been summoned.
At assemble on the Friday morning, we were called onto stage and presented with our badges and everybody seemed pleased. We then had a meeting with the Headmistress and the Head Boy and his Deputy, and given the key to our own little offices.
At the start of the final year, we helped in the selection of the prefects and settled down to our final year. As the Head Boy was also the Rugby captain and was not available around lunchtime on Mondays, the job of putting up the week’s punishment list became mine, and I used to study it after picking it up from the secretary and taking it to the notice board. Susan failed to make the prefects’ list due to her punishment record.
The second week back, as I was summoned to pick up the record, I had to wait as I heard a caning taking place and the secretary was adding this to the list. I had my back to the office door so did not see the culprit leave. Then the phone rang and after a little more typing the notice was handed to me. As I made my way, I saw the first name; upper 6th arts, Susan Black, 6 strokes across the knickers, smoking, and 3 strokes across the knickers, not wearing school knickers. I was shocked as this was a surprise. In the upper 6th virtually all girls, myself included, did not wear school knickers and it was normally accepted that it was ok to do so.
I told Janet and we found Susan to see if she was alright, and helped her put cold water on her badly marked bottom, but it was not the only time as just after Christmas she received a similar punishment for being out of school at break time without permission.
Just before Christmas we were having a Double English Literature lesson with Mr Gregson and he told us to continue reading ‘A Tale of Two Cities’. I looked in my bag and realised I had left my copy in my office, so I asked for permission to collect it which he gave. I returned two minutes later as our office was next door, sat down after apologising, and opened the book at my book mark. As I heard Mr Gregson rise and walk over to his cupboard, I looked up and saw him remove his slipper from the top shelf. He turned and saw me looking, and with a crooked finger motioned me to come to the front.
As I stood again all the class looked up and I knew that I was to receive my first punishment. He told me to bend over his desk and I was facing 2 of the boys as their desk was directly in front of his. I felt my skirt tighten across my bottom and the slipper rest across the middle before landing with a sound like thunder as an intense pain shot across my bottom. I managed to suppress a scream but just looked at the desk as I did not want the 2 boys looking at the pain on my face. Each stroke intensified the pain but I kept biting my lip. After 6 I was told to return to my desk but managed to resist rubbing my bottom. It was uncomfortable for the rest of the lesson and as soon as it was over I went to my office and gave it a good rub.
As we went home, both Janet and Susan were coming for tea and as we got home mum was her usual jolly self, made us all a drink and said how had school been?
Janet said: “Great, but Carol got her first taste of the slipper for leaving her book in her office.”
“Is it true, Carol?”
“Yes, mum, I got 6 off Mr Gregson, and he didn’t hold back!”
“Well Janet and Susan, what happens when you get punished at school?”
“We get the same off mum, Mrs Blaine,” they both said.
“I know they have told me but I said that Carol had never been punished but if she were she would get the same.”
I looked at mum and said: “You can’t mean it, can you?”
She pulled out a dining chair and said: “Over my knee now, unless you want to wait for your dad.”
I got up, walked over to her and she helped me across her knee. I felt my skirt being lifted and before I could say anything I felt her fingers in my knickers as she yanked them down. Without further todo she started spanking my bare bottom and I was soon in tears, in shame as much as pain.
As soon as she finished I ran upstairs and Janet and Susan soon followed. They said that their mums used a hairbrush.
As the school Christmas holiday started, Dad commented on the fact that I had received the slipper as it was on my report.
We returned to school and apart from Susan getting caught out of school we were all doing well. We excelled at our mock exams. I still looked forward to being called to collect the punishment list every Monday and did in fact keep the old lists in a file. I was surprised at how many girls attended the Headmistress for the cane on more than one occasion.
On the last day before the Easter break, Janet and I had been called to the secretaries’ office to collect some sheets with extra duties for the prefects after our exams were over. As we returned to our office it was just as the bell sounded. We approached the door and realised it was slightly open. We must have left it open before going to the secretary, and we had been warned by the headmistress never to do this, as others had done so and been set up.
We entered and as we did we saw Susan sat waiting for us with a distinct smell of cigarettes in the air. I went mad at her and said that I should take her straight to the headmistress, but as I hadn’t actually caught her I wouldn’t do so. I then demanded she hand over the cigarettes and crushed them in my hand before throwing them in the bin.
We had a great holiday and returned to school ready for the intense studying before the exams.
Just before the end of morning, I received my usual summons to the secretary’s office to collect the Punishment list. I arrived and exchanged the usual pleasantries and she said she was slightly behind but the Headmistress wanted a quick word with me first.
I turned left her office and knocked on the Headmistress’s office door.
I did so and walked forward but there was no seat for me to sit on, so I stood in front of her desk as she finished reading a sheet of paper.
She looked up at me and looked in a bad mood. She walked to the cupboard at the side of her office and picked up a large red leather book, placed it on her desk and went back to the cupboard. I could see the words ‘punishment book’ in gold lettering. As I heard a noise, I turned to see her taking a 4’0” cane out of the cupboard. This was the very first time I had seen a cane as she placed it on her desk.
I was shaking like a jelly not knowing what I had done that could warrant a caning.
“Blaine, would you mind explaining why, on the last day of term, you left your office stinking of cigarette smoke with the end of a smoked cigarette and a screwed up packet containing 3 unused cigarettes in your waste bin? If you know nothing about it, then I can only assume that it was Grimshaw who had been smoking and she will be summoned to be caned. If it was neither of you then you must have allowed somebody to smoke in your presence or left your room unattended and open, and in either case you will be caned.”
I just stood there thinking that if I report Susan then all three of us would be caned, or I could let Janet be caned when I was more guilty.
I finally looked at her and said: “I am sorry, Miss. For some reason I just wanted to try one as I had confiscated them off a girl on the way to school.”
“Thank you, but I don’t believe it. If that is what you say, I can not prove otherwise. You will receive 6 strokes of the cane for smoking and on Friday you will receive a further 6 strokes of the cane for causing a fire hazard by putting a cigarette end in the rubbish bin. Some of the paper in there was blackened. Remove your skirt and bend over the end of my desk. Hold the far end. If you try to stand or put your hands in the way, I will start again.”
As I removed my skirt I realised I was wearing a pair of white nylon, very brief knickers and as soon as she saw them she said: “That is another three strokes today and you will not be allowed to wear school knickers on Friday either.”
I felt my briefs rise up and the cane rested across before moving and was soon back again with an explosion of sound of pain and noise. The second landed and I somehow managed to suppress the scream again but my resolve broke after three strokes and by the time the final stroke was due I was a blubbering wreck over his desk, unable to move even if I wanted to. After the ninth stroke I was told to get dressed and to get out of her office.
I struggled as I tried to pull my skirt up over my bottom and I left the room as I returned to the secretary’s office. She typed up my punishment before telling me to collect a form to take home and giving me the punishment list to put up. All I could see as I slowly walked to the board was at the very top; Carol Blaine, Upper 6th Arts, Head Girl, 6 strokes across knickers for smoking in school and 3 strokes across knickers for not wearing school knickers.
I put the notice up and returned to class still with tears in my eyes and was asked if I was alright and had to explain to the class that I had been caned for smoking and not wearing school knickers. As the bell sounded for lunch I got up and received a few taps on my bottom from some of the boys. I walked to my office and could see everyone pointing at me.
Janet and Susan came to console me and I told them that I had to take the caning or all of us so I took it. They were not happy but accepted it.
I collected my note to be signed and took it home.
As soon as mum saw me she said: “Looking at you I think you might have been caned. Am I correct?”
I just nodded and gave her the note.
She said: “How long have you been smoking?”
Again, I just shook my head and she stormed out of the kitchen before returning with a wooden hairbrush that I had not seen before.
“Get over that table now!”
She raised my skirt well above the waist, tucking it under my bra, and I felt my knickers being dragged down. She then started and I was screaming immediately. I was eventually sent to my room. My knickers and skirt had come off as she spanked me, and I lay face down on my bed sobbing. After 10 mins or so mum came in and applied some cold cream to my bottom. When dad came home he was fuming and grounded me for a month as well.
The following Friday I attended the head’s office to receive my second caning, but had to wait in the secretary’s office as I could hear another caning taking place. After a few minutes I was eventually summoned into the head’s office and I could see the cane on the desk.
With no ceremony, I was told: “Remove your skirt and bend over my desk.”
I had worn a pair of black cotton full briefs and as I was bent over they were pulled up tight to reveal more of my bottom. Then the caning started and was more painful due to my already marked bottom. I just lay there screaming in pain before being told to get dressed after 6.
After painfully getting my skirt on I was told that I had received six strokes for lying and that as she had told me to wear non-school knickers I was let off. She went on to explain that both Susan and Janet had told her what actually happened and they had been punished accordingly. I returned to my office and found them both there nursing sore bottoms.
On the Monday, I collected the Punishment List with our three names at the top.
© Gillian Howard 2016