Posts tagged ‘Sally Cavendish’

November 1st, 2017

Three School Secretaries

Three school secretaries in the 1960s get a nasty shock.

By Sally Cavendish

One of the reasons girls at the school were so reluctant to get sent to the headmistress, apart from the inevitable caning that awaited them, was that they first had to pass through the outer office, past the watching eyes of the three school secretaries.

Caroline Cook, Prudence Howard-Smith and Sally Wainwright were typical of the kind of respectable middle-class girls who were employed as secretaries in English schools in the 1960s. In their mid to late twenties, and already married, they dressed conservatively and spoke the Queen’s English immaculately, as if they had had elocution lessons. There was also something prim and slightly disapproving about them. If a girl came into the outer office and said she had been sent to see the headmistress, they would treat her with lofty condescension, as if whatever the girl had done to get herself into trouble, she was a silly little fool who had only herself to blame.
(more…)

October 14th, 2017

Retired Headmistress

A retired headmistress finds it hard to abandon her old lifestyle

By Sally Cavendish

Miss Harriet Stevenson, lately headmistress of a girls’ school in south-east London and now the sole proprietor of a bed-and-breakfast establishment in Kent, did not really miss her days in the teaching profession. It was a stressful job and it had taken its toll. Long before she taught her last history class, she was conscious of having been round the same educational block too many times. In modern parlance, she was the victim of burn-out.

When one of her former pupils came to visit her, she was always glad to see them and talk about the good old days over a cup of tea. She even gave them a 25 per cent discount on her standard B & B rates. But she did not, if she was honest, regret taking early retirement at the age of just 57. It had been time to move on.
(more…)

March 16th, 2017

The Perils of Padding

A girl sentenced to six of the best tries to soften the impact of the cane, with disastrous consequences

by Sally Cavendish

If the bus depositing 18-year-old Angie Roberts outside the school gates had not got held up behind a funeral cortege, she would have had ample time to get to the nine o’clock assembly without running. As it was, she had to sprint down the corridor so fast that when the headmistress, Dr Felicity Hammond, suddenly emerged from a side-door holding a sheaf of papers, a collision was inevitable.

“I’m s-s-so SORRY,” stammered the hapless sixth-former, crimson with embarrassment.

Dr Hammond had managed to stay on her feet, but the papers she had been carrying had been scattered to the four winds. Angie frantically picked them up and returned them to the headmistress with an apologetic curtsey. But, from the look of fury on Dr Hammond’s face, she had a sinking feeling that an apologetic curtsey would not be atonement enough.
(more…)

January 7th, 2017

Celia’s Exemplary Caning

A 1950s housemistress recalls an episode in which a girl forced her to apply the ultimate deterrent.

by Sally Cavendish 

Of all the girls in my house, Celia Charlton was the biggest enigma. She was bright, enthusiastic and, in general, very well behaved. But then she would suddenly go off the rails and be sent to me by one of the prefects.

‘Sent’ was something of a euphemism. Prefects had the power to send misbehaving junior girls to come and see me. A girl thus sent would knock on the door of my study, inform me simply that she had been sent and I would then give her six of the best without further ado. Sometimes I would question the girl as to why she had been sent and give her a ticking off before administering her six, but most of the time I did not bother. I was just the apex of a disciplinary system whose rudiments were understood by every girl in the house. You stepped out of line. You were sent. You got six. That was how this boarding school worked.
(more…)

October 28th, 2016

Making the Punishment Fit the Crime

Caught in the ‘act’, a girl pays the price.

by Sally Cavendish

It was half-past eleven and most of the residents of the small Sussex market town were already asleep. Only in the darkened gymnasium of St Anne’s Girls’ School, a small fee-paying establishment on the fringes of the town, was there any sign of physical activity. But it was certainly activity worthy of note.

On a gym-mat on the floor of the gymnasium, a young couple were making love. They were completely naked. Both their faces were in shadow, but a shaft of moonlight fell teasingly on the pale white buttocks of the woman as they bobbed rhythmically up and down in the act of love. She was riding her man with quiet purpose, not galloping headlong towards a climax, but taking her time. A Peeping Tom would have been spellbound by the whole spectacle, his eyes not moving from those smooth, voluptuous, slowly writhing buttocks.
(more…)

October 4th, 2016

A White Lie

A woman is in the wrong job to be caught out. By a new writer to us.

By Sally Cavendish

When is a white lie not a white lie? It was not a question to which Celia Church had given much thought.

She knew that, when she told her boss she would be back late after lunch because she had a two-thirty dental appointment, she was being economical with the truth. There was no such appointment. She just wanted to have a leisurely pub lunch with an old school friend. But she did not think she was doing anything particularly heinous. She could always make up the time later.
(more…)