A group come together to make a spanking movie, and it seems almost  real. By a new writer to us

By Felicity Sangster


After working for several major companies in the catering industry, I set up my specialist recruitment company supplying staff to the hospitality sector about nine years ago. This story relates to a movie project which I was involved with thanks to my longstanding friendship with Imogen, who is now in the film business.

No Business Like the Film Business

We met Imogen in her favourite corner of her preferred coffee house. The table was covered in papers and she had her laptop open. I introduced Maggie to her and, after the usual pleasantries, Imogen explained what she wanted out of her latest film which was aimed at getting the feel of what it was like to attend a traditional English girls boarding school in the 1950s. The cast would likely be in their twenties but would be playing the part of girls of around eighteen. That was how Ropers Grange, a training academy for young ladies, came into being.

“OK, enough chatter from me, a video clip is worth at least ten thousand words,” Imogen said as she fired up her laptop and positioned it so we had a good view.

We were truly astonished to see a film clip of the producer getting her bottom caned. Maggie and I were as amazed as each other, and we looked round to see if there were any other customers in view, but thankfully nobody was  near our corner. If there had been, they would have seen Imogen calmly approach a chair, lift up her skirt, bend over and  take six strokes. There was some sound, but not much. I could make out a  few ‘oohs’.

After the last stroke, the camera zoomed in on her face and, after a small grimace faded, we could hear her talk.

“Well, that was a re-enactment of the sort of punishment that was common in that period. If it had been the real thing I would be pretty distressed by now, but as you can see I am not. A second pair of knickers has reduced the sting and damage to my rear end. I felt it, but it was no big deal. It was totally bearable. My aim is to get some of the embarrassment and feel of a punishment then, without damaging anyone. It is not a huge part of this film.”

Imogen closed her laptop and smiled as she saw our astonished faces. She continued.

“I needed to feel what it was like and to demonstrate to the girls that, well, I would not ask them to do anything I was not prepared to accept myself. It also shows how committed I am to the the project,” she explained.

My friend Maggie and I were, as you can imagine, astonished. But Imogen was always one to spring surprises. We had been firm friends since university, and she retained a youthful enthusiasm with a fountain of interesting ideas.

Her film production company had been going for just short of ten years and had established a niche in placing groups of women in certain times and places in history. Her last one was a re-enactment of female nurses during the Crimean War and had won several prizes, but what was more important was the contacts with industry figures who saw her potential.

Imogen and I had always got on well, but I was useful to her. I now run an agency supplying staff to hotels and restaurants, so I have a lot of people on my books and in the past I have directed women towards Imogen. From dancers at an Elizabethan ball to governesses in Victorian country houses, are among those I had procured for Immy. She was the queen of the feminist re-enactment movie, the money was good for the participants and I got to go to the wrap party; good fun all round.

Imogen tidied her papers and got down to business.

“The reason I have asked you here today is because I really need someone roughly your age who can act naturally. I want people who are happy to react rather than act.”

She then asked Maggie to describe herself and why she wanted to take part in the film.

“Well, I suppose I am a pretty average sort of person. I generally like quite a quiet life without hassle or drama. After college in the US, I got the chance to do a course in business management here in England and I like it here. The freelance stuff I have done for Felicity has been fun.

“Why would I like the Ropers Grange project? Well, it is certainly different and I like the idea of a certain amount of challenge, but in an environment that has safeguards. You and your team have a good reputation, so that is appealing.  But the main thing is the English boarding school setup. My Mom is English and, growing up, she read me all those school stories and the chance to get a feel for the ‘play up and play the game’ ethos is intriguing.”

“Maggie, you are just what I need. You are a natural kind of person and I love your calmness; no  need at all for a drama queen.”

Maggie smiled and looked relieved. Then Imogen turned to me and lobbed a grenade my way.

“But, I would like Felicity to come along too. She could play the part of the matron; a warm person to counterbalance the rather severe teaching staff. You can observe the girls close up and see if it all becoming too intense for anyone.”

Well, I had not seen that coming, so it took a cup of coffee for me to collect my thoughts as Maggie outlined all the advantages of taking part in the project.

“It will not be dull,” she promised.

Nothing is ever dull when Imogen is involved.

It was an exhilarating experience and Maggie and I often talk about it as a life-changing event. It got to places we had not explored before and that changed a lot.

*          *          *

The Transformation Begins

Thirty women trooped out of the bus and straight to the changing rooms, under the watchful eye of Kathy and her team. They entered as mid-twenties women and gradually emerged as 1950s teenagers. Individuality was reduced by the uniform of green blazers and grey skirts with white ankle socks.

Imogen missed nothing. “No jewellery or modern watches. Leave them back in the changing room. Katherine, I can see some make-up. Wash it off.”

After about ten minutes, most people had emerged, but some remained and Imogen signalled for me to hurry them up.

“Come on ladies, you have had enough time.”

Maggie, who was brushing her hair, smiled.

“Oh, come on Flick!”

I glared at her and barked: “It is matron to you, girl. I can get you in trouble you know. Just do as you are told. Jump to it.”

I seemed to fall rather easily into a bossy matron role, complete with starched blouse with a fob watch pinned on my left bosom.

Maggie gasped at he sharp rebuke smiled as she spotted the most fleeting of winks.

“Yes, miss, right away. I mean, yes, matron, I will, umm, be a good girl.”

We always laugh as we recall the incident.

Enter the Dragon

The girls were directed to specific desks by Imogen who then left. There was a delay of several minutes and, from the other side of the door, I could hear some whispered conversations. It was at that moment Miss Formby signalled I should open the door, and she made her entrance.

It was calculated theatre. After her first three steps she stopped and looked at the girls in the front row intently. You could have hear a pin drop as she peered over her half-moon spectacles first at Maggie, then Anne and until she got to Kitty when there was slight frown.

I froze, but then signalled for the class to rise, which they did in a fairly ragged way. After a few days, any member of staff entering a classroom would have seen the girls rise to their feet with military precision.

Miss Formby was tall, in her mid-forties, but appeared a little older, and was well built. She had lustrous black hair which she wore up in a style that reminded me of a ballet dancer. She wore a period brown suit, but most of it was obscured by a black academic gown which added even more to her authority. Before too long, the girls were calling her ‘Formidable Formby’. The gap between her and the class was huge. If she was a medieval queen, they were as lowly as farm girls.

“Let Me Be Quite Clear. I have quite a lot of information for you, so listen carefully. Shortly, you will receive the timetable and you should read it carefully. There is another sheet which details procedures to be followed in case of a fire. Other sections which merit close attention give exact details what you should do if you are feeling unwell or have any particular anxiety which is causing you concern.

“A lot of preparation has gone into preparing classes and activities which should benefit you both intellectually and physically. If you put your back into it, you will learn things which will be of genuine benefit to you.

“There are detailed procedures for things like moving from one classroom to another, areas which are out if bounds and so on. These are contained on a handout that you will get on leaving this room. However, I want to emphasise some key rules which will apply at all times.

“You must be polite at all times. You must follow introductions promptly and cheerfully. You must try hard. If you are subject to punishment you should accept it as being necessary for the maintenance of standards which are to the benefit of the safety and general well-being of the group.

“One last thing. In maintaining discipline, the staff here will endeavour to be fair. Fairness is desirable and the English are renowned for fair play, but sometimes being absolutely fair is well nigh impossible. I do not want to hear the phrase ‘It’s not fair’ if you find yourself in trouble. Life is not fair. One way in which fairness comes into play is if a group of girls is misbehaving. One girl might argue that she was not active in this misbehaviour at any given time. This will cut no ice with me. If you are with a group that is misbehaving, you will be judged to be a full member and will bear the consequences. If you fly with the crows you are liable to be shot with the crows. Choose your associates carefully.”

There was a pause as Miss Formby allowed her strictures to sink in. You could feel the tension in the room, which is what this tall formidable woman wanted. She then started to pace up and down in front of the first row of desks, looking over each girl. She stopped in front of Alice and gestured for her to stand.

“Tell me the rules I have just described, girl.”

Alice got the ones about being polite and following instructions and then stalled in a flustered embarrassed kind of way.  I felt for her.

“Well, that  was not very impressive.

Another pause.

Alice was blushing and looking at her feet.

Miss Formby turned her gaze to the people on either side of Alice.

“I wonder if anyone else would do any better. Possibly not, I really doubt if she was the only one who did not listen with sufficient attention.”

The message was clear and clarity was at the core of the Ropers Grange experience. Rules were there to be followed and anyone which had a different view would bear the consequences, which would be a painful experience.

I looked round the classroom and wondered who would be the first to leave Miss Formby’s study with a sore bottom and a new understanding of her resolve.

Miss Formby, Headmistress

I got to know Miss Formby quite well before, during and after the production. Her performance of a fire-eating dragon of a headmistress with a death ray stare was exactly what the film needed. I can still recall her introductory ‘do as you are told or you will be in very hot water’ introductory talk to the class.  Impeccable.

In everyday life, she was not a natural leader at all. She had lived with her elderly mother, who passed away the previous year, and now lived a pretty quiet life on her own. She was a senior administrator in an academic institution where she had worked all her adult life.

She did some amateur dramatics and it was a personal contact who had put her in touch with the film production company. She was not someone to do things by half and immediately threw herself into the role from the outset. I think she based the character on an aunt who had been a formidable sister in a large London teaching hospital. Generations of nurses went through her capable but firm hands and there was much regret, but some relief, when she retired to Dorset.

Miss Formby At Home

I remember I visited Miss Formby about a month after shooting finished. We drank tea in her immaculate front room as she amazed me with stories about her preparation for the role.

“It took quite a lot of time before I reached a sufficient degree of proficiency with the cane.”

I nearly spilled my tea but listened as calmly as I could as she continued.

“Well, of course I had no experience with using the cane and I thought it was pretty important to get it right. When you think about it, perhaps you haven’t needed to reflect on the subject, but the strokes have to be delivered completely parallel in a space of only a few inches.”

I sipped my tea and wondered what was coming next.

“And it is not just about the spacing. If you don’t get the measurements right the tip might wrap round the hip and even do some damage.”

I nodded and muttered something about not having considered the technique involved, then added: ‘Well, I heard that you ended up as a pretty skilled practitioner. How did you manage that?”

“I thought about it quite a lot and, as with most things, practice makes perfect. So, I shelled out for a variety of canes and started thrashing away at a cushion. In fact, I managed to attach one to the back of the chair you are sitting on.”

I again muttered something about getting to grips with the part.

After a brief pause, and for whatever reason, I blurted out: “I would love to see a demonstration. Is that  possible?”

There was a brief pause and then Miss Formby smiled a little.

“Yes, I was rather hoping you might ask. But let’s finish our tea. Care for another slice of fruit cake?”

It was a very English moment.

After the tea things had been cleared away, Miss Formby asked whether I would care to see how she had practised her technique. The key part of this bizarre exercise was a faded velour cushion which she attached to the back of the chair with some double sided velcro tape. She then left the room and returned with two canes. One had the traditional crook handle, the other one was straight with some black tape wrapped around one end to achieve a better grip.

“This is my favourite,” she enthused as she flexed the crook-handled implement.

I watched in open-mouthed awe as she produced some white chalk and rubbed it along the lower half of the cane.

“Helps with target practice,” she explained with relish.

I stood well back as she took aim at the cushion and, after a slow and deliberate backswing, landed a firm blow right in the centre of the cushion.


I jolted a little at the sound and the force of the action, but she was well into measuring the second.


She paused and looked with some satisfaction at the second impression, which was just below the first. The two lines were completely parallel and very close but not touching. This continued for four more strokes with much whacking noises and puffs of chalk.

“Not bad,” she opined as she looked at the well chastised cushion.

“Looks perfect to me,” I added with some admiration.

“Practice makes perfect, my dear.”

First Days of Term

Miss Formby did not have occasion to employ her refined caning skills for several days. Her initial ‘shock and awe’ introduction, which could be summarised as ‘do as you are told or else’ had the desired effect and generally people just got on with it.

It was a much regulated environment. The cast would arrive by bus at 8:15 and then change into their uniforms and fix their hair. There was a brief assembly and then classes would start at 9.00 and continue until lunch.

In the afternoons there would be a range of games and physical exercise, so by the time the bus came to take them back to the hotel at 4:30 people had been given a good mental and physical workout.

The lessons were taught by qualified teachers making some extra cash in the first weeks of the summer break. Miss Fitzgerald, who taught English and organised a lot of the games, was the youngest at 25. Some of the pupils were older than her, but her dress and demeanour added the necessary status.

Maggie and Kitty

It was rather odd seeing Maggie playing the part of a schoolgirl as I had made the introduction to Imogen, who was directing the movie. Maggie had worked  with me for about three years and was a safe pair of hands when it came to running large-scale catering events for conferences and large parties.

Now she could have passed for a seventeen year old. She always had a youthful appearance but the addition of the blazer, skirt  and ankle socks took ten years off her biological age with ease.

Maggie was popular. She had a ready smile and an engaging manner, and was eager to help people. She brought enthusiasm to anything she got involved in and Ropers Grange was no exception. Small, but with ample curves, she seemed to bounce around with a smile on her face and gave the appearance of enjoying the experience. Later on, she told me that people were amazed how easily she slipped into the role.

They say that opposites attract and Maggie’s friendship with Kitty appeared to add weight to that theory. Kitty was a few inches taller than Maggie and was rather willowy. She carried herself well and had an almost aristocratic air. It turned out that she came from a wealthy background but her immediate family was fractured. Her father moved around the world and Kitty had been educated in London, Paris, Rome and New York before going on to take a degree at Cambridge University. She was an only child and I got the feeling that her mother, who was also a high-achiever, had never really been very maternal.

Kitty, whose passport said ‘Katherine Daly’, had worked in a number of prestigious financial institutions but never really settled. “I have been fired several times, but that has been extremely profitable,” she explained. She heard of the Ropers Grange project through one of her many contacts in London and as a born risk-taker she was keen to take part.

Although she was one of the people who glided through life with the assurance of someone who has been blessed with the holy trinity of capital, income and brains, Kitty had a certain cynicism about her. She also appeared rather haughty at times and I was amazed that Maggie got on with her, but she did. They were both quite sporty and certainly Kitty could make Maggie laugh with some of her off-colour stories and jokes. After a bit, I became less surprised to see them as friends, although I wondered if they would keep up after shooting was finished.

Pencils Dropped; Plot is Lost

Anna Fitzgerald was flustered as she entered the staff room during the morning break. I asked her what was wrong and she poured it out.

“I was just ready to start and the girls were settling down when Katherine Daly dropped her wretched pencil case and then unleashed a torrent of ‘f’ words and blaming some girl for jostling her.”

“Katherine?” I asked.

“Yes, although she prefers to be known as Kitty. You know, the tall snooty one. Anyway, there she is, just as I was going into a particularly well-planned class on Macbeth, using fisherwoman language. Whatever was I to do?”

I had a few ideas but let Anna, known as ‘Miss Fitz’ to the girls, continue her sorry tale.

“Well, suddenly all eyes were on me and I just froze. Then it became clear to me this was time for the cavalry, so I just started to wrote a note to Miss Formby and was going to tell Katherine to take it to her when she gathered up her stuff.”

“Did that calm things down?” I asked.

“In a manner of speaking. Katherine went completely pale, like she had seen a ghost. Of course, being a big-shot, she is used to making demands and commands rather than being  on the receiving end, but she thought better of arguing the toss.”

“Yes, always best to stop digging when you are in a hole,” I added.

“Indeed, but it is most, well, unfortunate, because I suppose Katherine is for the high jump and I really don’t like having an atmosphere in my class.”

She was right about Katherine being in deep water. Everyone knew that she would soon be bending over, waiting for Miss Formby’s cane to make its mark on her ego, not to mention her bottom.

*          *         *

Kitty knocked on the headmistress’s study door with some trepidation. She was in trouble; there was no getting away from it. Her mouth was dry and her knees were threatening to give way. She knew that had no defence; she had used bad language in class and that was that.


As she entered the study, Kitty, whose full name is Katherine,  was surprised to see Miss Formby, the headmistress, approaching her with a grim expression. Standing directly in front of Kitty, she wasted no time in letting her  know, in no uncertain terms, that her behaviour had been outrageous and totally unacceptable.

Kitty was not used to being reprimanded. She blushed as Miss Formby laid into her and told her a few home truths about her attitude.

“I just cannot have you behaving in this manner, and I will not have you influencing other pupils. And I will not have teachers upset by hearing foul language. Do I make myself understood, girl?”

Kitty, despite being stubborn and whose intelligence had honed her arrogance, had no counter-argument.

“Sorry, Ma’am,” was the best Kitty could come up with.

“Well Katherine, I will give you plenty of reasons to be sorry,” said Miss Formby as she delivered yet another withering look.

Kitty was beginning to feel very small, which is exactly what the older woman wanted to achieve.

Eventually sentence was passed.

“If you want to stay in this school, you will report to me after lunch and you will be caned. Six strokes. I will give you time to reflect on whether you accept this. I will expect you back here after lunch for your decision.”

Kitty nodded. She was now on the verge of tears.

Miss Formby almost snarled as she indicated that Kitty was dismissed.

Kitty was still weak-kneed when she left the study. She had a decision to make and was not sure whether to stay and take her medicine, or just go home and put the whole wretched episode down to experience.

I thought she would accept, and that is what happened. I sometimes wonder if what followed was a bit over the top, but at the time it seemed right to add some drama to the event.

After a brief discussion with Imogen, the film’s director, Miss Formby and myself, it was decided to bring some other people into the equation. Maggie was  an obvious choice as she had some disciplinary issues.

Maggie, my friend, was completely delightful, hard-working and charming, but nobody is perfect and in her case punctuality was a big problem. She managed to be late for just about everything.

“I think a few strokes of the strap is appropriate,” Miss Formby said in the discussion with Imogen and myself.

Maggie might be a friend, and I had introduced her to this project, but I had to agree that she had stepped out of line.

Three others were identified as being rather lazy. Kirsten, an attractive Danish girl was pleasant, but never seemed to exert herself in class. Paula and Fiona were two others who seemed to be almost sleepwalking through the whole process. Paula was very active on the sports field, but any kind of study did not engage her at all. Fiona was just rather sleepy all round.

The pupils’ lunch was eaten in the school dining room. The pupils would be grouped in tables that took between four and six people. The staff ate separately at a table at the front of the room and had a good view of all the pupils.

I could see that Katherine was not having a pleasant meal, and with the prospect of her punishment looming I could sympathise with her. Even the prospect of apple pie with custard did not raise her spirits, but the others were enjoying it until Miss Formby rose and made an announcement.

“Katherine, Margaret, Kirsten, Paula and Mary will report to me after lunch.  They should wait in the corridor my study outside until they are summoned.”

Miss Formby rose and left. There was complete silence and the pupils looked at each other with concern and bemusement. Suddenly it was not just Katherine who had lost her appetite.

Miss Formby and I kept the miscreants waiting at least five minutes, but perhaps that seemed longer to the disconsolate group who were lined up outside the study door.

Eventually Miss Formby and I processed briskly past them, entering the room without saying a word. Each of us was carrying a cane. There was a slight gasp from the girls. I smiled inwardly at the display of power which was planned. These girls were already learning that in any power struggle they had very few cards to play.

Miss Formby and I took our time to make the necessary preparations, placing the canes in the desired spots and moving an upright chair to the centre of the room. Two sturdy metal clips were placed on her desk next to her cane.

It was probably a relief to Kitty when eventually she was summoned into the lion’s den.

“You accept that you have transgressed and deserve punishment?”

“Yes, ma’am. I am very sorry.”

“You acknowledge that six strokes of the cane is a fair penalty?” Miss Formby asked.

Kitty tried to say something but the words would not emerge. Instead, she nodded.

I led her to the corner of the room and pointed to a pair of knickers that had been placed on a chair.

Blushing furiously, she climbed into them. I led her back to the centre of the room and started to use the clips to pin up her skirt, exposing her bottom.

She gasped, but wisely said nothing.

“Good. Katherine, come over here and bend over the chair, with your palms firmly placed on the seat.” Miss Formby was at her. She was flexing her cane as she spoke and that too had its own drama. Even my mouth was dry.

Eventually, Kitty was positioned to Miss Formby’s satisfaction, and I thought that she was ready to deliver the first stroke, but there was a further delay.

Miss Formby opened a desk drawer and produced a stick of white chalk.

She gave me a quick smile as she rubbed the cane with the chalk. I had heard of this before. The chalk would show up against the dark blue of the girl’s knickers and allow the headmistress to place her strokes exactly where she wanted.

The actual caning was uneventful in that Kitty managed to stay in place. The first three were easier for her to take than the latter strokes, and towards the end there was quite a lot of ‘ooohing and aaahing’.

It was quite noisy. Miss Formby got the cane to swish audibly, and the ‘thwacking’ noise as it landed was reasonably loud. The girls outside must have been quaking; that was the plan and it was working.

There was a pattern to the punishment. Kitty would feel a few taps, and then a swishing and a loud report as the cane landed. There was a brief interval before the sting coursed through her body.

The last stroke was undoubtedly the hardest and Kitty nearly jumped up.


There was a pause before Miss Formby told her she could rise.

Kitty was grimacing a bit and was rather damp-eyed. I waited a bit and then told her to come towards me and turn round.

She gasped as I lowered her knickers to inspect her bottom. Miss Formby had done a good job; six perfectly parallel lines.

“No abrasions, dear.  A few bruises but no lasting damage.”

I un-pinned her skirt and signalled for her to leave.

She took a moment to compose herself, ran her hands through her hair in an effort to tidy it, and left without turning back.

Miss Formby looked at me and smiled a little as if to say: “Mission accomplished,” and then returned the cane to the corner.

After a few moments spent in silent thought, she pointed at the door and said: “Margaret now.”

I opened the door to see four very sheepish girls who seemed rather pale, and who could blame them?

I tapped Maggie on the shoulder and pointed to the open door. She grimaced and then entered. Miss Formby wasted no time in telling her that her continual lateness was ridiculous and that her patience  had been stretched to the limit and beyond.

Maggie looked at her shoes and mumbled an apology, but to no  avail.

I never saw Miss Formby produce the strap. It seemed to come out of nowhere, but soon it was lying over her right shoulder and Maggie was instructed to hold out her right hand.

I felt for her. My Scottish aunt had shown me her two-tailed tawse made by her friend Mr Dick, the Lochgelly saddler.  Boy, could that thing sting.

“Four strokes, girl.”

Maggie stretched out her hand as bravely as she could and there was a firm crack, which produced a gasp from Maggie.

“Keep that hand up. We don’t want to be here all day.”

Maggie obeyed. It was the only thing to do, really.

She took the rest of the punishment bravely, but was chastened and damp-eyed as she left the study with her hands squeezed under her armpits.

There were no more punishments required for quite a few days. Miss Formby had let the pupils know that she was firmly in charge and not to be trifled with.

There seemed to be quite a shift in other dynamics as a result of the punishments. Both Kitty and Maggie gained status. People were curious what it was like and certainly admired both for taking their medicine without a fuss.

The stripes on Kitty’s bottom attracted quite a few glances in the showers, but not many people commented on them.

After the first week at Ropers Grange, several of the participants recorded their thoughts in a sort of video diary and here are some extracts.

Maggie: Ropers Grange is another world and at first it was so strange having to wear uniforms and being told what to do all the time. Then I started to really enjoy it. You get used to wearing the clothes and just, well, conforming. The best bits are the games in the afternoon. Miss Fitzgerald makes up things that involve everyone. People are running around chasing balls, balloons, each other.  A wonderful carefree time. I had the distinction of being the first to get the strap. It stung a bit but they knew I would take it in my stride and I did.  They were quite right, I kept coming in to class late and that has stopped.

Kitty: I like the intensity of it all. The caning was really intense and I keep thinking back and re-running it in my mind. The build-up was incredible, but by the time I was bending over the chair with my bottom stuck up in the air I just thought that I was not going to be overwhelmed by the experience. The intensity of the experience seems to add to the camaraderie. The girls are great and there is a special bond between us. I am even having a schoolgirl crush on Miss Fitzgerald.

Miss Fitzgerald: On one level I like the orderliness of the place. The girls do  as they are told and are polite. In my day job as a teacher, a lot of time is wasted in ‘crowd control’ and that is never a problem here. The learning starts the minute the pupils sit down. But at times they don’t really relax enough to experiment a bit with ideas in class. The discipline makes them a bit constrained and that is not always for the best.

Miss Formby: I am the school dragon and it is fun to play her. I based the character on a woman who taught me at an elite school in Dublin. She was a very determined woman and both staff and girls were in awe of her, but the place ran like clockwork. I find it almost intoxicating playing someone so powerful as Miss Formby. It is quite a change from my everyday life where I am regarded as a pretty mild person. Friends tease me that I would not say boo to a goose.

The End

© Felicity Sangster 2019

I would welcome feedback on this story. I can be contacted via email at  flicksangster@yahoo.com