It’s the end of the school year and the headmistress objects to the silly pranks girls get up to, and she means it!

By Joanna Jones

There cannot be many men today who can genuinely claim to have caned a sixth form schoolgirl on her bottom. However, I ended up doing just that to no less than nine girls, including one bare, all as it happens on the same day, in late July of 1978. It is a day I am hardly likely to ever forget.

At the time I was just over 30 years old, and was in my third appointment as a teacher. My first had been in a private day school, and the second in a boys’ boarding school, where I had been Assistant Head of Mathematics, concentrating on the A-level syllabus. I also had been a Deputy Housemaster there, standing in when the housemaster was away.

As far as punishments went I had slippered quite a few trousers and, on one notorious occasion, two skirts in my first appointment. Most of the pupils were well behaved, and my policy was generally to not slipper unless there was little alternative. I was not one of the ‘slipper-happy’ group who seemed to delight in stinging bottoms for any minor perceived breach of the rules.

My role as Deputy Housemaster in the second school had led to me caning a few boys, usually (as per school policy) trousers down, though it was fairly rare for the Housemaster to be away and my services to be required.

I started as Head of Mathematics at the girls’ boarding school in question in the late summer of 1976. I was one of two male teachers, the first the school had taken on. The very recent sex discrimination act meant the school had decided it could no longer keep to a strict females-only policy and for me it was a further step in my career.

There was some question as to punishments as, while most teachers traditionally used impositions (usually essays), they could slipper a misbehaving girl on their school knickers after class. The solution for us two males was that while we were discouraged from doing so regularly, if necessary we could either slipper over a skirt in front of the class at the end of the lesson, or slipper skirt up, with a female colleague present, after. That said we could, of course, refer the girl to the relevant housemistress, who had the right to cane as well as slipper, though the cane was a relatively rarely used sanction.

The ultimate sanction was Miss Wright, the headmistress, who could cane bare bottoms. However, a caning from the Head was a notable event; in my first year at the school maybe five girls got that, and if the rumours were true only two of them were forced to take everything down. Overall, I would reckon maybe 25-30 girls would be caned in a school year, out of the school roll of around 400, thus most girls never experienced such a severe punishment. Perhaps in the course of a year over a quarter of the girls might get slippered at some point, though there were always some who seemed to get into minor trouble quite frequently.

Given the ethos of the school and my general methodology, as I found before, applying corporal punishment was something I needed to do very rarely. In fact I did not slipper any girl for well over a term when I first started, though the other man, a science teacher, did ‘do’ a couple of girls for fooling in his lab, I think with chemicals and a Bunsen burner, within the first few weeks. For him, he made it clear safety was always a slippering as well as an essay on lab rules.

For me, when the first time eventually became necessary, I think the girls concerned believed I was somehow against slippering on principle, and got a nasty shock when they ended up staying after the lesson while I found one of my colleagues in the Maths Dept to watch me give them four stinging blows to each on their regulation green knickers. It was not something either girl chose to repeat.

The prelude to this story was in July 1977, when my first year at the school was coming to an end. It appeared that the girls leaving at the end of the upper sixth traditionally had an unofficial party during which they would rather run amok. Miss Wright disliked it, but as the other teachers felt it inappropriate to punish girls on their very last day the girls pretty much got away with it, despite the frowns from their Headmistress.

However, the problem was that each year the girls seemed to need to go ‘one better’ than the year before. Thus, in 1977, the damage finally went beyond a bit of extra cleaning and led to a couple of windows being broken (apparently accidentally) as well the school gates being damaged (not so accidentally). It was the latter issue which then led to the Head calling a local blacksmith to remount one of them, and an enterprising young journalist as a consequence got a picture of the gate hanging askew, which duly appeared in the local rag with a St Trinian’s headline.

That was the final straw for Miss Wright. While the girls doing the damage had gone by the time the article appeared she vowed the sixth form farewell silliness would never be allowed to happen again. Thus both at the beginning of the year and a couple of weeks or so before the end of term she announced that any girls involved in any form of end of term ‘frolics’ that affected the school fabric would be dealt ‘most severely’. She also got hold of the Head Girl and the five girls who were ‘Head of House’ and told them she expected them and the prefects to ensure as far as they could that nothing happened and to report any plans to her.

That this ‘school tradition’ was being stopped was met with rebellious mutterings from the upper sixth girls. One or two commented that it seemed a bit of a disproportionate reaction, and that Miss Wright should accept their one night of madness after their many years of generally good behaviour. This was a comment only made to a couple of teachers who were well known to be ones a girl could speak freely to, but there was little those teachers could do other than reply that they should enjoy their last few days, but stick to the rules.

However, not all girls were prepared to forgo their night of chaos. It appeared (as we found out after) that the girls soon split into three groups.

The first was small number who felt obliged to support the Head. These included the Head Girl, three of the five Heads of House and about six other prefects.

The second group consisted of about twelve girls, who made it clear they were neutral, they would not a say anything about any plans, but also they had no intention to participate. One of the Heads of House fell in this group along with the remaining five prefects, and around six other girls.

Most girls, however, seemed to be determined to have their night of fun. They were led by the last Head of House, an energetic girl called Jennifer Oakes. The Heads of House were elected by the pupils, unlike the prefects who were chosen by the teachers. It was not surprising therefore that one of them sided with the main student body and did not succumb to the Headmistress’s pressure.

It was Jennifer and two others, Frances Caulder and Yvonne Walker, who were responsible for secretly arranging a bit of a party with plans for some farewell fun. Allowing for the twenty odd refusing to get involved, the other fifty or so planned carefully in secret, avoiding the attentions of the senior girls who were against. I doubt it was too hard, while the Head Girl made it clear she and her close prefects would report anything, they also made it clear through their inaction they were not going to make much (if any) of an effort to find much out.

Thus their last night at the school came and the girls duly waited till after midnight before having a bit of a party with some smuggled alcohol. I believe the original plan was to rearrange a few class rooms and dorms. However, after the bottles of gin or whatever had been consumed, that got a bit out of hand. As well as all sorts of mess in the dorm common areas including some (admittedly rather witty in places) graffiti on the walls, and some mess in classrooms and the assembly hall, it ended up with a few cars, including mine, ‘amusingly’ ending up on blocks. The silly girls also tried to put the Head’s pride and joy on bricks too, and were lucky no one was injured as a part fell off, doing damage to the underside of the car and front wing. Their final idiocy was to drape a couple of sheets on the gates with “Welcome to St Trinian’s” daubed on it. Given the events of the previous year you would have thought they might have at least not rubbed our Headmistress’s nose in it when rebelling but clearly the excitement had been too much.

I had a flat in the grounds and found myself woken much earlier than usual, at around 6.00 am, by one of the ground staff. To find that the wheels of my car were piled neatly next to my door did not put me in the best of moods, especially as it became clear that the wheel bolts could not all be accounted for. However, at least the car was neatly on its blocks.

Well before seven o’clock a group of about a dozen senior teachers, eleven women and myself, were grouped in the Head’s office. ‘Furious’ did not adequately cover Miss Wright’s feelings that morning. She was absolutely seething about her car which had been scratched badly as well as the probable damage to its underside. It was an upmarket Mercedes, and we all knew it was her one real vice. Then there was the slogan on the gate. That was in her view a deliberate provocation, showing contempt for her authority.

She was determined to find out exactly what had happened, and she split us up into pairs. During the next two hours we interviewed every girl in the upper sixth. Many of the girls had throbbing heads having been dragged out of their beds by their Housemistresses. They were shocked that the Head was talking of formal expulsions on their final day. With those threats and the effect such notifications might have on university prospects nearly all girls groggily admitted their roles, and more reluctantly described the actions of others.

Each housemistress was paired with one other teacher. I was with Miss Dawson and I remember the parade of nervous young ladies, most in nightdresses or pyjamas coming in for their interview with us in her study. Quite a few girls asked what was going to happen, to which she said nothing was decided. Two said something on the lines of ‘Well, at least she can’t cane all of us’.

I suspect when they got back to their houses they might have realised how seriously the Head was taking things. She and the Deputy had personally interviewed the prefects and Heads of House. At the end of each interview she or the Deputy had caned every girl; twice on one layer, either knickers, pyjamas or nightdress to all those who had said they would report anything but made no effort to look out for anything. The Head Girl as leader received four. As for those girls who admitted knowing something but turning a blind eye, they all got four strokes across one layer too. As I returned to the Head’s office I saw a couple of the prefects leaving the toilets, both looked in shock and were still finding it hard to resist the urge to hold their bottoms. The exception to all of the above was Jennifer Oakes, who I found sitting outside the Head’s office on the verge of tears. Apparently the Head had told her she was considering her expulsion as not only a ringleader but a Head of House.

It was a little after 9.00 am by the time the Head got us back together. By that point the school was of course all up for the last day and other teachers were looking after the running of things.

What to do was discussed at our second meeting that morning. It was clear that the ‘she can’t cane all of us’ hope seemed to be a common one among the girls. I have to say I think most of us around the room thought the same, after all there were so many girls involved it would seem impractical to whack the lot of them. It was a bit of a shock to us therefore, when one of the caretakers arrived and deposited half a dozen rather long thick canes on the Head’s desk. It was then clear that, like us teachers, the girls had totally misjudged their headmistress’s determination.

It was one of the Housemistresses, Miss Farmer, who asked where the canes had come from.

Miss Wright gave a grim look, “I had a suspicion that something might happen, so I asked Mr Keith if he would have a few suitable canes available should they be required.

Mr Keith was the Head of the nearby boys’ boarding school, well known for having a much more severe discipline policy than we employed with the girls. Clearly the caretaker had been sent over to borrow the implements.

Looking round the room at their faces, it seemed some of the gathered senior staff were as shocked as I was sure the girls were going to be very soon. The girls I suspected would have known by that point about the Head whacking all her prefects, but would no doubt be thinking that she was letting her fury out on her trusted senior pupils, given that she could not whack essentially all of the year.

Miss Farmer glanced around the room at the many shocked faces, then said: “But those canes look far more severe than the one we normally use. Are you sure that is necessary?”

Miss Wright glowered, and then started on a speech I am sure she had been mulling on all morning. “Yes, I am sure,” she replied before turning to all of us. “These girls have deliberately disobeyed me, despite my explicit instructions. They perhaps believe that I can take no effective sanction, and they will get let off, or perhaps that I will not wish them to leave us with painful memories and that I will as a result be sympathetic. However, if we do that, then next year we will have the same or worse. Last year a gate nearly came off. This year my car could have fallen on them. While the damage is bad enough, in both cases rather merry girls indulged in activities that could have led to serious injury. This has to stop! My intention is to cane every single one of the girls involved severely, and I am going to do it in front of the fifth and lower sixth in the hope that it makes a suitable impression in case they think of something next year or the year after.”

There were gasps around the room.

“But, allowing for those not involved, that is about fifty girls!” Was the exclamation from one of my more surprised colleagues.

“I know I cannot cane all of them, especially as Mrs Harold and I have already caned the prefects and Heads of House between us for effectively turning a blind eye to this, despite my explicit instructions to let me know of any suspicions they had. My proposal is that we deal with the three ringleaders first. The rest can be dealt with in House groups, and with us all helping that should be something of the order of six canings for each of you, which should be manageable. It will be six of the very best on their school knickers for each of them. I am not going to waste time working out which girls were slightly more culpable than others!”

There were a lot of glances amongst the ladies and some rather pointed ones at me. I am sure some felt my presence wholly inappropriate, but they were dreadfully reluctant to confront the Headmistress in her current mood.

The Head then continued: “However, I am going to ensure the three ringleaders get something special. Mr Taylor, I think you have had experience of this unpleasant activity before, so perhaps you can give Miss Oakes her eight of the best on the bare. Miss Caulder, I will deal with, and Mrs Harold, you can deal with Miss Walker. Those two will get seven each, bare too. They will be caned at the beginning of this assembly which will be at 11.00. The girls can then split into the five houses. In each case I suggest you work in the same pairs as for the interviews this morning, and Mrs Harold and I will assist with the largest groups. It is a shame to have to do this on their last day, but hopefully the girls will be sufficiently recovered to greet their parents when they arrive later in the afternoon.”

I remember wondering why she had chosen me to give the most severe whacking. Perhaps she thought, as a man and being that bit taller than the ladies, I might give Jennifer Oakes something that bit more memorable, or perhaps she wanted to emphasise her fury by getting a man to deal with her bared bottom. The other possibility was that she was making a point to her more prudish colleagues that I should be trusted to behave professionally, even in such circumstances. Whatever the case I felt rather nervous at the prospect ahead.

At 11.00 all the upper sixth, lower sixth and fifth formers filed into the hall. The exceptions were the three ringleaders, who were escorted onto the stage and were standing very nervously to one side.

All the girls sat fairly randomly in the front few rows of the hall. While the lower sixth and fifth formers were fairly relaxed, it was clear most of the upper sixth were very worried and nervous. They still did not officially know their fate, but I think some were by this point guessing that there was indeed a possibility that they might not escape unpunished, despite the proximity of the end of term and with it their school career.

All the girls, and staff too, stood as the Head and Deputy came onto the stage. The Deputy was carrying the bundle of senior canes. I heard a few panicked moans as well as gasps as the likely reason for so many went through the group.

Miss Wright’s speech was long and angry. The embarrassment to the school, the dangers, deliberate disobedience featured prominently. She then intimated that she had been very disappointed with her leading pupils (prefects and Heads of House) and she had caned the lot of them for their inaction. However, those canings were not as severe as the ones awaiting those who had actually participated. It was at that point she commented on the special canes she’d borrowed from the boys’ school.

More gasps and fearful looks from the oldest girls, and the first involuntary tears were now falling from a few.

The Head continued her tirade, saying she was particularly disappointed that only six out of the entire leaving cohort were escaping punishment, having not involved themselves and not having had a role as a senior pupil. She named the girls, commended them for their fortitude in not succumbing to the pressure to join in and said they were free to leave or remain and witness the punishments with the lower sixth and fifth formers at they wished.

The girls concerned briefly looked at each other before clearly deciding to stay put.

She then got to the canings. There were a few quiet wails as she announced that each girl would receive six of the best on their knickers. However, before those canings there were the three ringleaders to deal with.

She called Frances Caulder across and announced she was to get seven strokes across her bare bottom.

Frances was rather panic stricken as she shuffled across the stage to Mrs Harold, who’d just moved a chair so that it was positioned with its back to the audience.

She was then ordered to drop her knickers. With an ashen face she fumbled under her skirt and the regulation green fabric eventually appeared at her knees, then fell to her ankles.

The next order was to bend over. As Mrs Harold then adjusted her skirt and blouse I realised that another possible reason for asking me to deal with Miss Oakes might be that I was on the stage, and therefore well off to one side, and not getting a potentially full on view looking up at a young woman bent fully over with her legs likely to end up slightly apart.

Whatever the case, as soon as Mrs Harold stepped back the Head picked up one of the canes and flexed it briefly before swishing it noisily through the air, causing poor Frances to flinch rather.

Frances also gave a couple of very nervous twitches as the Head tapped gently to line up the first stroke.

Then it started, as with a low hiss the cane cracked down hard on the girl’s nether regions.

I was surprised at the venom of the stroke; the Head might have been a relatively slightly built woman in her late fifties, but she certainly knew how to wield a cane!

Frances, I knew was one of the minority who had been caned previously, by her housemistress. Whether that helped her as she took in the consequences of the first stroke with little more than a gasp was not clear.

The second blow followed about 20 seconds later, and so it went on. The blows causing Frances to first writhe slightly on the chair, then yelp and finally on the last two strokes yell loudly as the pain slowly broke her resolve not to cry out.

From the side and with the Head between us, I could not see much of the effect on her bottom. However, I could all too clearly see simple shock in most of the girls witnessing it. All those in the upper sixth that were due a caning showed much more complex emotions of course, with various levels of fear as they considered the prospect that lay ahead.

Once over, she was told to stand, and her pleated uniform skirt fell naturally back into place. The Head forbade her from pulling her knickers back up, then indicated she should shuffle off to the side towards me and face the back of the stage. Once there she was ordered to place her hands on her head.

She was clearly suffering as she obeyed her Headmistress’s instructions, though given the severity of the thrashing I was surprised she was not crying. Both the girls I had slippered in my first post, and the few I had punished here, had tears dripping down their cheeks when I had finished, and those were much milder punishments than the one Frances had endured.

Once Frances was in position Miss Wright came across and rather brusquely pulled up the hem of her skirt at the back, then tucked it into the waistband. While the loose design meant modesty at the front was preserved, the results of the caning were clear to all the girls sitting in front of the stage. Judging by their faces they were not unimpressed.

Yvonne Walker looked sick as she was called across for her seven. She spun it out as long as she dared, but soon enough she was bending over the back of the chair, green knickers around ankles.

Mrs Harold lifted the skirt out of the way, to an audible moan. I rather quickly got the impression that Yvonne was going to struggle to take this well.

And so it proved. She screamed from the first cut, though I did not think Mrs Harold had quite the technique that Miss Wright had. However, it clearly was sufficient for Miss Walker. As the cane crashed methodically into her rounded bottom she wailed and screamed and sobbed. Her bottom and legs I could see just about past Mrs Harold were gyrating desperately as she coped with her punishment. I suppose the main thing was that she managed not to need to be held down.

One thing was that the audience could be under no illusion that a caning with these ‘special rods’ from the boys’ school most certainly hurt a great deal.

She was in a real mess as she shuffled with her skirt temporarily in place towards me to join Frances in the line of shame. Tear streaks were very visible down her cheeks and she desperately was cradling her bottom as she did so.

Once in position she of course had to put her hands on her head and then suffer the ignominy of the Head tucking the back of her skirt into her waistband to reveal the angry lines that had been administered to her.

I started forward to call Jennifer Oakes to the chair, but Miss Wright forestalled me. Maybe she had changed her mind I thought, but no: though she called the girl herself and lifted her skirt to reveal her rounded rump, she then intimated to gasps from some girls that Mr Bairstow would be dealing with Miss Oakes and that she would in addition be getting eight strokes. Jennifer’s head shot up in shock and gazed fearfully at me walking from my position on the far side of the stage towards the Head, who was holding out a cane.

As I took it she whispered in my ear: “Make sure she really gets it, break her if you can. I am sure she is the real ringleader in all of this!”

I glanced at her sharply, and saw a face that was deadly serious. I felt rather torn. Caning so severely is, to my mind, rarely if ever necessary; the intolerable sting should be enough without raising high weals to last for a week on her backside. On the other hand, she was the Head and I was supposed to follow her instruction.

As I walked past the Head looked briefly confused and worried, before realising that as I was left handed I would be caning from the other side.

I looked for the first time properly at the naked backside that I had just been told not just to cane eight times, but to thrash hard. Fortunately Jennifer was a well endowed young woman when it came to her body shape; narrow waisted, but with good curves both above and below that. Those curves below meant that at least I should have plenty of space to work in for their eight cuts.

I decided to put the top stroke first. A chance to get my eye in, given the cane was a little longer than the one I had used a couple of years previously. It also meant I could legitimately not go all out.

Jennifer was breathing deeply to control her panic as I raised the rod slowly from the target and then swished it down fairly hard high on the target.

The line whitened then reddened and she gave a stifled gasp.

Miss Wright stood with pursed lips. I got the impression she was not overly impressed with my initial effort. Waiting nearly half a minute between strokes as I normally did seemed an age with her watching me.

I tried to put that to one side as I aimed a second just below the top mark. This time I whacked the cane down hard and was satisfied to see my control was such that the reddening tramlines were on target just below the first.

It was clear Jennifer was impressed judging by the desperate grunt she made. Miss Wright seemed less happy, or was I imagining it?

The third landed on target again, just below the second and was probably as hard as I’d ever administered a stroke at the culmination of a caning. The thwack echoed round the silent hall and Jennifer’s grunt was slightly wail-like.

Miss Wright, seemed to be still willing me to further exertions and, truth be told, the pressure from who was of course my manager was getting to me a little.

I left a slightly larger gap and let fly with a full blooded blow with plenty of wrist at the end.

Thwack!

I was rewarded with a rather desperate scream from poor Miss Oakes, and a grim smile and a tiny nod from Miss Wright, who clearly wanted the remaining four strokes to be given with such venom.

Leaving fairly large gaps I lashed down the cane two more times covering the middle of her rump. Each was met with screams, and involuntary oscillations of my target as the poor girl tried to cope. On the second of those blows she finally burst into tears and, though still holding on she started to utter incoherent pleas for mercy.

Of course I still had two to go, and Miss Wright clearly did not share the view that she had suffered enough.

I whacked the cane down, full force again right at the base of the bottom.

Miss Wright had her wish. The stroke finally ‘broke’ her as she lost control and stood, tears everywhere, and begged for mercy.

Miss Wright, had been clearly waiting, dare I say hoping, for this. She marched over grabbed her and unceremoniously pulled her back across the chair, telling her she would get that stroke again and to shut up and take her well deserved punishment.

As the Head was now holding Jennifer down, there was the issue of who was going to lift the skirt which had immediately fallen back over her bottom. I glanced at Mrs Harold, who immediately came across to do the honours.

Jennifer sobbed and wailed her way through the final two cuts, given in the gaps I had left earlier. They were given basically as hard as I dared, with both good arm and wrist in each stroke. There was no doubt she was really suffering as she lay over the chair at the end and had to be helped into a standing position.

I noticed now that many of the watching girls looked in shock, horrified at just how bad a caning could be, which I suppose was the aim of the exercise in the Headmistress’s view.

Jennifer soon found herself joining her friends with her skirt up facing the back of the stage. She was unable to stop moaning as tears dripped down her cheeks.

However, that was of course nowhere near the end of the matter. For the majority of the upper sixth, their appointments with the cane were still ahead.

Each housemistress took a chair and placed it somewhere around the edge of the hall, two on each side, and the fifth at the back. Miss Dawson, who’d I’d been paired with, was the one at the back.

Miss Wright ordered the lower sixth and fifth formers to arrange the chairs so they could sit in front of the reversed chair that their housemistress was standing next to. Meanwhile the upper sixth girls were ordered to line up to one side of the chair they were to bend over. The prefects and the lucky six who had managed to avoid direct involvement were left to stand or sit at the back of their house groups. Heads of House (a prefect stood in for Jennifer) were told to stand next to their housemistress, to hold any girl needing ‘assistance’ in taking their punishment.

There was a lot of shuffling as chairs were moved and much reluctant discussion as the upper sixth girls arranged themselves in a line in each case. There were clearly many who wanted to be last in the queue!

I walked over to join Miss Dawson at the end of the hall, and passed her the cane we would need to share. We had a brief whispered discussion in which we agreed that rather than split the punishments we would give each girl three each. She would raise the skirt and start, then I would give the final three. I suspect there was an undeclared intention that I should not be involved in any clothing adjustments and that was part of the reason, but given I was left and she right handed it would mean we could stand either side of the ‘victim’ in the middle.

Beside her housemistress, Laura, the Head of House, stood still shifting occasionally as if remembering the two strokes she had had earlier that morning. I hoped that her ‘holding’ services would not be required.

Miss Dawson’s house had been the best behaved as three of the six girls who were escaping punishment completely were in it. Thus there were only eight girls in our line. For the other houses there were more, and in two there were twelve girls lined up. Those were the ones that Mrs Harold and Miss Wright joined to help, giving a complement of three teachers to do the canings there. Returning to ‘our’ group at the back, there was clearly a rather horrified look from the eight in line as I joined Miss Dawson. I strongly suspect my efforts with Jennifer Oakes had put an additional dread into them.

Miss Dawson spoke to the young women fidgeting in anticipation, and told them how disappointed she was that they had let her and the house down at the end, and how sorry she was to have to do this on their last day. With that she ordered them all to stand with their hands on their heads. After their turn over the chair they were to stand on the other side again hands on head. Unlike the three on stage they would only be showing their housemates their faces rather than their striped backsides.

I think that was little consolation to the petrified ladies as they all slowly adopted the position of shame.

There was no coordination around the hall so it was as Miss Dawson beckoned the first girl across that the first crack of a cane was heard, along with some sort of stifled noise.

Like most of the hall my eyes turned to the source, and saw a girl’s green clad bottom already bent over on the nearer of the two groups on the left hand side. Miss Farmer was briefly examining her cane as she paused. The girl standing in the queue to be next looked terrified having seen the cane crash down at such close quarters.

However, I was quickly drawn back to nearer matters as Miss Dawson was now lifting the skirt of the first girl in her house. She was a tall lithe girl called Olive, and she had easily bent over the chair back to grip the seat, where I saw her knuckles whiten. The target was quite petite and I was glad I was not tasked with giving her a full twelve. Once finished flipping her skirt, Miss Dawson then stood back and lined up the first stroke.

It landed with a crack high on her pants. Olive gave a brief noise, almost an exclamation of surprise.

After a quarter of a minute I suppose, the second cut landed slightly lower, and then after a similar delay the third. Both were taken in near silence, though small leg movements showed that she was needed to work to deal with the consequence of each stroke.

She did make an audible noise as she noticed the cane being passed over her to me.

I decided to work up the target, and thus placed the first on my three low, getting a squeal as a result and there was a faint hint of the weal just to the edge of the regulation pants she was wearing. The second thwack was harder and a little higher; and there was second squeak and a moan. Taking my time I lined the third up in the gap between and really cracked it down, about the same strength as I’d used for most of Jennifer’s punishment.

With a scream she stood, and desperately grabbed her bottom. Miss Dawson gave her a couple of minutes to compose herself before she staggered to the other side of the chair and stood, gasping but dry eyed, facing her junior colleagues, once again with her hands on her head.

Having completed the first girl suddenly I was aware of the rest of the hall. Most of the girls in Miss Dawson’s house that were sitting watching looked pretty aghast, not only were they witnessing the caning of their oldest housemates at very close quarters, but the hall was now filled with intermittent cracks of canes, gasps, and occasional screams from those suffering their tribulation.

And so it continued. To my surprise Miss Dawson decided to spoil the plan of the rather obnoxious girl who’d insisted on going last. The Housemistress pointed to her and beckoned her forward to be next. Whether that unnerved her, or whether she was simply unable to cope; she wailed bitterly from the beginning, and was the only one needing to be held down, getting an extra stroke from me as a result. I had seen her arranging things to the other girls’ clear irritation as I walked down the hall prior to the start of the mass punishment, and as a result certainly did not go easy on her; neither had Miss Dawson, so perhaps that was another reason for her poor control.

The remainder, I confess, is lost in a blur of girls reluctantly coming forward, bending and with various degrees of silence (or lack thereof) taking their six stokes across their green knickers. All the time the noises from the other groups around the hall made a memorably awful backdrop, both for those being caned and those watching.

Finally it was over. I had caned nine young ladies’ bottoms (including one bare) of differing shapes and sizes and seen and heard goodness knows how many more. Slowly the hall cleared as each housemistress let the punished girls in her charge drop their hands, then dismissed all the girls in her group.

At the end only the three ringleaders were left. It was only after the last house had finished that they were allowed to regain their modesty and leave the hall.

I was surprised that it was barely mentioned as the farewells were said that afternoon, either by the girls or the parents. I suspect most realised that some of what they had done really was a step too far. The canings had been a fall back to reality with a nasty bump.

What was certain was that the whole school knew that the Head was indeed prepared to cane them all, and the events of that day did mean that the tradition of end of term chaos was terminated very effectively.

The End

© Joanna Jones 2013