BACONS SCHOOL REVISITED

There may be nothing new in this post . If so my apologies.
My wife and I have never been a great believers in providing unnecessary information to third parties, especially on the internet, but, because of the current lock in my daughter has recently signed me up for Facebook with a huge list of “friends” with a view to keeping me amused. I am also being educated in the use of FaceTime on my elderly iphone.

Today I discovered a public Facebook group relating to Bacon’s school in South London. The reference to CP in the posts brought back some memories. I am sure Bacon’s school is well known to many on this forum as a one which gained fame in the 1970’S as a school which regularly used corporal punishment on both male and female pupils and probably bent a few L E A regulations.

For those who require a reminder the following link on the excellent Corpun site might be useful.

https://www.corpun.com/uksc7810.htm

Over the years I have met 7 people who attended Bacon’s in the late 60s and 70s. All confirm that canings and slipperings were a regular occurrence and that both male and female teachers dished it out to both sexes . Canings were mainly 2 strokes on each hand but bottom caning was not unheard of. The 4 boys had all received the cane at least twice, always on the hand including one who had been caned by a female teacher. They had also received many slipperings on the bottom , all from male teachers. All 3 girls had received slipperings ,all from male teachers and all had received at least one hand caning from a male teacher. One girl said she had also received 3 extremely painful strokes of the cane across her gym pants from the Gym mistress during a P E lesson for irresponsible behaviour which nearly caused an accident .

On looking thru the posts on Facebook on the CP thread, I initially wondered if the P E teacher mentioned one below   in Jan Fuller’s post could be the same P E teacher but it seems Ricks was a male PE teacher. One has to wonder if it was logical for Miss Fuller to have received the cane across her offending shorts. . It seems,from the reference to the run up that science teacher Miss Fawcett was also a bottom caner.

Jan Fuller…. So I’m going for a shout out to the girls who are a little under represented here on the Caning front. I was caned it seems almost all the time for the most trivial of things. I particularly remember the science teacher Miss Fawcett,circa 1976.She liked to take a run up as I recall . Razy nasty bastard,P:E teacher Ricks,shorts too short. I could go on but I’ll only need therapy again lol.

Or could it have been Miss Harrison who it seems was also a caner.

Georgie Parkinson…… Actually I did once, for telling the truth! Me and Susan Dance were chewing gum in PE Miss Harrison I think was her name asked if we were chewing, well it was so obvious so I said yes and Susan said no, I got the cane and Susan didn’t. There’s a moral there somewhere.

It seems the following young lady was often on the receiving end.

Lorraine Marcia Davies… Every week without fail. I am Dyslexic I found out in my Adulthood!

It seems a certain Miss Silvester considered the canings and slipperings not unbeneficial

Arlene Silvester…… oh yes, it did us good funnily enough!

The following pic was on the forum

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But there may still be hope.  Although by mentioning caning on the bottom at Bacons you have gone perilously close to the edge of the abyss, at least you didn’t plunge into it as so many have done in the past by discussing Mr Ing’s desk and Miss Davenport!  And please, please, don’t mention hair in a ponytail or beyond doubt we are all doomed!  ?

I am off now to undergo a ritual to boost my resolution and fortitude before responding more fully to your above excellent contribution –  possibly!  As I go to give me strength I shall bear before me the image of Leah Ashcroft on the beach the week she was caned at Bacons, once posted here by a prominent and much valued contributor who still thankfully puts in an appearance from time to time.

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Oh dear, I do hope that my tongue in cheek post hasn’t frightened everyone off this thread.

Although there is quite a lot here about Bacons School, 500+ posts mentioning the word ‘Bacons’ and there are other variants of the school’s name, I think there is new material in your above contribution.

But first, what I find one of the most intriguing aspects of your contribution, the photograph!  I wonder what year it was taken, did you happen to note that please?  Assuming that the male in the centre of the front row is a teacher (that is the traditional position for the teacher in such photographs) there are sixteen girls and ten boys in the group.  That’s one hell of an imbalance between the sexes!

Somewhere here, and frankly my chances of finding it are non-existent except by chance, there is a claim that Mr Ing, the Headmaster during most of the time the school had a reputation for caning girls, was fearful of feminine militancy amoungst his pupils and accordingly tightened up on the disciplining of girls.  If girls outnumbered boys 62:38 generally throughout the school that sentiment would scarcely be surprising!

Personally I do believe that girls were occasionally caned on the bottom at Bacons, though if you now get some replies you may find that at least one prominent contributor doesn’t.  At least he didn’t the last time we clashed on the issue!  As for me I would not be totally surprised if very, very, occasionally skirts, especially of the kilt variety, were folded back to permit a suitably severe punishment.

However I do not think the wilder shores of caning technique claimed by some former contributors to have occurred and which caused bitter division and acrimony here prior to the Great Schism were likely.  The DDD, Dorothy Denudational Deviation, was my joke concerning former contributor Dorothy, at who at her girls’ boarding school in, I think, the 1950s was allegedly subjected to punishments involving rearrangement of nether undergarment to permit caning on unprotected buttock cheeks while maintaining a modicum of modesty.

As headmistress of her email and postings based ‘virtual  school’ in another Forum, which I was devastated not to have discovered until it was too late to enroll, Dorothy sometimes described the technique when cyber-caning her female ‘pupils’, hence my joke.  Very naughty male ‘pupils’  were however spared the DDD and were simply cyber-caned naked in front of the ‘school’!  

Now Davenport may begin with ‘D’ just like Dorothy, but I really don’t think that version of DDD is likely to have occurred at Bacons.  Nor do I think there was an elaborate secret formal inquiry into punitive practices there involving mailings of large numbers of questionnaires to parents and pupils and several meetings, but which generated not a single mention in a press and media obsessed with the caning of girls!  And as for the discovery of punishment books written in invisible ink at the back of long forgotten cupboards ………..   The ponytails?  But no, we won’t go there!

And Leah Ashcroft?  Well she did post a picture with a back view of an attractive young lady in a bikini on a beach on the old Friends Reunited site with the legend:

Down to the seaside in 1982, at innocent 16, with my boyfriend, ***** ********. SOOOOOO in LUV!!!!! But I was moody that week because I had got the cane at school the week, prior.

And of the caning she had written on the same site:

I have some fond memories of Bacons and some not so! Like when in the 5th, I got caught out of uniform and coming out of a pub with my boyfriend. His dad was the landlord. Thought I was so grown up at that time!!!! I got sent to Mr Ing for that. He was totally livid! I said I’d only had two lemonades, but Mr Ing was having none of it. I think he was unwell with diabetes at that time and he was suffering with the most terrible mood swings. For my double offence, as he described it, he chose to cane me. I was due four, but because I initially refused and mounted a strong protest about being caned because I was a fifth form girl, he increased it and gave me six – over the desk.

Now I really don’t see what that ‘over the desk’ can imply except that Leah was bent over a desk for the caning.  an unusual posture if caning on the hand.  There was a vigorous traffic of claimed former Bacons pupils on Friends Reunited and nobody contradicted or questioned Leah’s post.

It is true that later in the chequered career of the ill-fated Friends Reunited the entry was altered to remove the name of the headmaster and ‘over the desk’ became “it really did hurt”.  This could have been done by Ms Ashcroft herself, alarmed at publicity on sites like this.  Or it could have been done by one of the various owners of Friends Reunited, who made noticeable efforts to ‘sanitise’ entries, removing names of school staff and references to SCP.  I place my faith in the original entry as demonstrating that at least one girl was caned on the bottom at Bacons.  I don’t doubt that there were others.

Most of the research on Leah Ashcroft was done by Alan Turing who happily still puts in an occasional appearance here.

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Thank you for your responses to my recent post. I note that you usually take the time to respond and contribute to many of the threads of this esteemed forum . I am sure your stout efforts have contributed considerably to preventing the its threatened demise. Thank you for this .Plus it is important that contributors receive a response. Otherwise a “why bother” to post attitude might prevail.

Your initial response puzzled me slightly. I was nor aware that posts regarding Bacon’s school generated any bad JuJu and the reference to the ponytail was a little too cryptic for me. I note you have chosen not to enlighten me.

I am well aware that following the infamous publicity the school received in the late 70’s a few people with certain inclinations probably jumped on the bandwagon with some fanciful ideas about what might have occurred at the school especially as regards male teachers caning the bottoms of female pupils in various stages of undress. In this instance the press report did not help as there is a strong positive inference that girls did receive the cane “au derriere”.

Howeve, from conversations I have had with several ex pupils over the years it seems first and foremost Bacons was actually quite a good school with strong Church connections. In fact, despite the very strict discipline regime, many pupils have fond memories of their time there and the education they received. Posts on Facebook confirm this Apparently some of the teachers were pretty good. If your GSE results were good enough you could stay on to the sixth form and take Advanced Level GCEs with a view to university entrance or a professional career.

Like Bacons, the boys only grammar school I attended also did not consider that corporal punishment was only the discipline of last resort and the cane being very vigorously applied to a trouser bottom was a regular event. Nevertheless I also have extremely fond memories of my school days and am very appreciative of the education I received. Before I chose the school and applied to be accepted , both my parents and myself were well aware of the strict discipline of the school and the use of corporal punishment. I am pretty sure it was the same with Bacons . Elder siblings and relatives and their friends would have no doubt have made prospective pupils and their parents aware of what to expect. Their is ,of course,always a strong incentive to stay with your friends from junior school and face the future school with them at your side but if they or their parents were unhappy with the discipline regime. no doubt there was an alternative school they could have attended. I appreciate that back in those days the local authority usually allocated non grammar school school places on a catchment area basis and there was not so much “choice” but there was some leeway.

My understanding is that the long standing policy of Bacon’s was to make no distinction and treat both male and female pupils exactly the same as regards discipline. The school also I believe had a high percentage of female pupils. Usually around 50/50/ but sometimes, I have been told there was slightly more girls than boys. The high number of caning incidents was therefore to be expected. Any hand caning directive is probably therefore understandable due the number of girl pupils which meant that because of the equality doctrine boys did not receive the cane on their bottoms like some of their counterparts in other schools. Although I like you and based upon what I have been told, strongly believe that any only hand caning directive may not always have been strictly observed possibly influenced perhaps by the fact that the bottoms of both sexes seem not to have been exempt from the slipper.

One of the unusual things I find about Bacon’s is that female teachers seem to have had the authority to cane teenage boys . I have considerable knowledge of school CP and this is the only time have heard this. Another thing which puzzles me is that I understand canings were not usually formally witnessed and did not seem to be entered into a punishment book at the time. So I wonder where any “statistics” came from from which the report referred to press was compiled.

Did, I wonder, the head simply ask teachers on Friday,who have you caned this week, and then make notes for the purpose of making any monthly or quarterly “returns” he needed to make.

Also it seems ,unlike my school ,where there was only one official cane and punishment book which the miscreant had to collect from and return to,the office, teachers at Bacons had their own implements. Thinks…. was their conformity as to thickness and length..

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Thanks to Sir John for raising the always entertaining subject of Bacons. I spent quite a bit of time reading the Bacons Facebook groups, although one was made private and I have not read it since. The principle seemed very much as at my boys’ high school in 1960s NSW Australia – if you misbehaved you were caned, if you misbehaved again you were caned again…. This meant that some boys (and girls at Bacons) built a reputation that meant they could be caned on an almost daily basis whilst others were never caned. You would have to do something really serious like punching a teacher to be expelled. The circuit breaker at my school was that 50% left school at 15 and the 30% who stayed to 6th form were mostly fairly academically oriented.

I agree with most of the comments here re Bacons. It is clear that whatever the rules, Mr Ing mostly caned boys on the bottom and girls on the hands. I would have to recheck, but I think most other teachers caned even boys only on the hands. The slipper was was used on both but seemed fairly infrequent, or at least was not mentioned much. None of the 40+ girls who wrote of their canings mentioned other than the hands, but obviously that does not prove it did not happen. Where the question was raised, I think those Bacons students that commented thought that any official recording would have grossly underestimated the CP, although they suggested the records at Bacon were probably better than some neighbouring schools.

I do think that most of those on the Facebook groups are genuine. Some comments by other girls (often repeated in different words in different threads years apart):

Eva Belcher “many times and it bloody hurt” and ” i did quite often actually but wouldn’t change it for the world”
Elaine Northcott “caned so many times sent to Ing” “He did give me the cane once but on the hands. 6 of the best” and then to Miss Milsom (former teacher in the Facebook group) “I got the cane from you, but you was gentle not like Miss Davenport and Miss Paige”
Gail Clarkson “Loads of times….Miss Paige was the worst…Ouch!!!”

Gina Michel “I was constantly getting caned but it was always an appropriate female Miss Davenport or Miss Audrey Milsom .”
Jan Fuller “So I’m going for a shout out to the girls who are a little under represented here on the Caning front. I was cained it seems almost all the time for the most trivial of things.i particularly remember the science teacher miss Fawcett,circa 1976.She liked to take a run up as i recall”
Karen Dyer “I got the cane every day for smoking in the toilets 3 on each hand by miss page at Deleford road end of the school Mr Razey at pages walk Spiteful f….rs I’m sure they enjoyed it !!!!”

Maureen Dixon “Paige, Davenport, Newman , Milson, the list goes on, think I was caned by every female teacher in the school lol. Never got it off any of the men though.”

Michelle Woodley “I actually got the cane 7 days in a row once I think it was a school record only one I ever made. Sometimes I used to be caned twice a day clearly it was not a deterrent. However in my defence how bloody easy was it to get the cane”

Jas Comber “I was terrified of the man, and seeing as I wasn’t one of his ‘pets’ he sought me out a lot and punished me for things like having the wrong shoes or too short a skirt. I must have got caned half doz times but always on the hands. I wouldn’t have told my parents because I would have been in trouble with them too. I’m sure a lot of pupils didn’t tell their parents for that reason.”
and “Does anyone remember (I think in our 4th year) when the whole of Trinity year 4 came round to the school and chanted at the school gates for Carole Sparks? Carole had had problems with a girl from Trinity called Gillian Arnold and she wanted to fight her. None of our crowd would go out with Carole except me and I was totally bricking it, we ended up in the football cage in the flats next door, a couple of the male teachers stopped the fight and me, Carole, Gillian and her friend together with the head of Trinity ended up in Ing’s office the next day. I’m sure Carole and I were caned.”

Gill Titchner “didnt u ever get the cane once? i got it about 50 times mostly by davenport if i remember”
She also wrote a longer post and one of only two or three  that suggest a darker side to Mr Ing: “I remember when we started bacons our parents signed a form agreeing to the school rules which mentioned the corporal punishment and I dont like to say it again but I think theres a side to it all that is very weird as ive said befor i got the cane a million times and always because I had done the crime so to speak but I also remember being sent to his office and he made me dust the shelves and desk etc and standon a chair dusting for half hour then he gave me money to go and buy a lolly from that shop in the main rd when we were at pages so Im now thinking what was goin on in his mind? Even tho I got caned etc there was only one teacher that I could say I was really frightened of becos of his temper and that was Mr Robinson I was more obedient to him and he didnt even cane me lol when he lost his temper I tht he was going to spontaneously combust lol”

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Sir John 2 wrote:Your initial response puzzled me slightly. I was nor aware that posts regarding Bacon’s school generated any bad JuJu and the reference to the ponytail was a little too cryptic for me. I note you have chosen not to enlighten me.

I shall refer you to a contribution from this Forum’s highest authority, our Forum Management.  It refers to the content of a FaceBook page devoted to Bacons School and is to be found here.

The ‘website’ referred to in the sentence “I found this on a website a while ago.” in the FaceBook item is of course this Forum, though I believe the contribution concerned and the thread in which it was posted may now have been consigned to the dark dank depths of the Forum archives, whence no post has ever returned.  The contributor’s terminology is a little confusing.  I think ‘the cleft of the buttocks’ means the gluteal sulcus and not, as you might suppose from the earlier reference to clothing readjustment, another prominent feature of this portion of the anatomy.

When this nonsense was first posted by someone I regarded  as a Forum ally I was half convinced that there might be at least some truth in it, although the means by which it was allegedly gained sounded rather unlikely.  As time went on however it became clear that it was complete fiction.  Despite this the contributor and his adherents stood by it to the last.

Not only that but they also introduced a mass of other fiction regarding secret official inquiries into the punitive practices at Bacons. So secret that someone claiming to be the wife of the chair of the inquiry posted to tell us all about it!  Amoungst the discoveries allegedly made by the inquiry was a hidden cupboard in which were found records of ‘actual’ canings at Bacons together with samples of the ‘invisible ink’ in which they were written.  Much annoyance and unpleasantness ensued before the perpetrators decamped en masse to the Not-so-private Forum.  As a result there are threads full of, as you put it, ‘bad JuJu’.

Sir John 2 wrote:However, from conversations I have had with several ex pupils over the years it seems first and foremost Bacons was actually quite a good school with strong Church connections. In fact, despite the very strict discipline regime, many pupils have fond memories of their time there and the education they received. Posts on Facebook confirm this Apparently some of the teachers were pretty good. If your GSE results were good enough you could stay on to the sixth form and take Advanced Level GCEs with a view to university entrance or a professional career.

I agree entirely and there is much evidence of this.  At one stage here I referenced a local radio station website I found where, at the height of the SCP frenzy in the London media several parents of Bacons pupils had posted to say that yes there was a lot of caning but they’d sent their sons and daughters there because it was a darn good school.  Alas by the time I came to link the site here it had disappeared off the web.

Sir John 2 wrote:One of the unusual things I find about Bacon’s is that female teachers seem to have had the authority to cane teenage boys . I have considerable knowledge of school CP and this is the only time have heard this.

There have in fact been several references here to this happening at various schools.  Though not in the UK I particularly recall a German contributor bewailing his and his schoolfellows’ experience of the phenomenon.  Like some in the UK he complained that having no experience of being in receipt of severe SCP themselves the ladies caned a great deal more vigorously than was appropriate or necessary.  I also remember references to teenage boys and girls being caned together by female teachers for joint crimes.

I’ve absolutely no way of telling which if any of the references here were true but I’ve certainly found some of them believable.  I doubt very strongly that Bacons was the only school in the UK where in living memory female staff caned teenage boys.  Alas no such luck in my schooldays.  My smacked leg from Miss B was the nearest I got.

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My thanks  to O S and A L for contributing to this thread, which probably had limited new content .
I  am aware that some people’s recollections of their schooldays are not always reliable and prone to exaggeration but the consistency of the information I received from different former pupils makes me believe the information is reliable especially as regards the slipperings .  I  note that Mr Sidney has reservations.

As regards the picture I believe that the pupils shown are 6th form and are likely to have been more studious than some of their contemporaries. Nevertheless I would like to think that several of them did not escape the cane or slipper during the previous 5 or so years they spent at the school before entering the 6th .  Especially as some of the young ladies seem rather sweet!

I am assuming that, in common with the practice of most  schools (excluding Helston),  6th formers were not subject to CP.

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I seriously do not think  that you should concern yourself too much about ‘new’ content. In the good old days here almost everyone who posted frequently posted their favourite accounts at intervals least newcomers might not be familiar with them.  There are currently 75515 posts including this one.  Although there are still contributors who have been around since those distant days of 2002 I doubt very much if anybody remembers even a half of the content here.