My Encounters at Boarding School in the 1960s Part 1

In my formative years in the 1960s I was sent to boarding school in the South of England.

I was assigned to my class and introduced to one of the upper sixth prefects who took us all, twenty girls, for a tour of the school.

We were told that as today was our first day and that school did not start till tomorrow we would not have to wear our uniform.

We were show to our dorm and all picked our own beds and unpacked.

We then had to attend a meeting in the assembly hall after lunch at 1.30pm.

We arrived in the hall where we were introduced to all the staff and all the prefects.

The headmistress then explained the rules of the school and the importance of the school’s reputation and the pride we should have in the school uniform.

She said that at least three times a month there would be a school uniform inspection after Assembly and these were carried out at random.

If during these inspections a pupil was found to be improperly dressed then the punishment was immediate for a small infringement like a tie not straight or socks not pulled up.

Then the girl would receive two hard smacks to the back of each thigh.

For a serious infringement, the girl would again receive two hard slaps to the thigh and then be sent to stand at front of stage with their back to the rest of the school till after assembly when we would be slippered and given a red sash to wear for one week.

All teachers were allowed to use the slipper and to smack the pupils but the headteacher also had the authority to cane the girls.

In this instance, the girls would wear a yellow sash for a week.

All girls including prefects were liable to be punished.

Also, prefects could give a girl two smacks with a slipper or refer them to the weekly prefects meeting where a sterner punishment could be given.

After hearing all the rules and discipline measures we were told we could return to our dorm.

I was talking to the two girls next to me in the dormitory, Helen and Julie.

Julie said her older sister was a fourth-year and everyone in their year had been slippered and only about five had not been caned at a prefects meeting or by the headmistress, so we had better be prepared for it.

At seven the following morning we were all stood in our uniforms in front of our beds when our housemistress walked in with our house perfect.

She started to walk down the side opposite me checking beds and wardrobes and uniforms.

As she came to the end bed she stopped, looked at the girl, and tutted.

Then she turned her around and gave her two hard smacks that echoed around the room.

The rest of us passed inspection but poor Janet was in tears.

During December of that first term, several girls in my class had been punished.

Two had been caned at the prefects meeting

However, I had kept out of any trouble at all and was already getting a reputation as a swot and goody-goody.

There had been several school uniforms inspections and I had always passed although there had been several smacks and lots of girls stood at the front of the hall awaiting a skippering.

At the last inspection, Julie had been caught without regulation undergarments and she was smacked very hard

The force sent her forward and she was then propelled to the front with her skirt tucked in to await a spanking.

During the break she had showed me the damage done from six of the best with a slipper.

As we arrived at assembly we were all shivering in the cold and the singing was not as it should have been and the headmistress was not very happy and said that she thought she would warm some bottoms by having a uniform inspection.

Everybody stood up and was busy trying to make certain everything was right.

I was in the second row that morning and as she went along the front row she picked up just the smallest defect with uniform and smacked about half the front row and sent three forward for the slipper.

She started on our row and I was near the end.

Everyone was doing well until she arrived at Julie next to me,

I am pleased to say that was the last punishment that I was to receive before being made head girl, and was pleased that I was one of only two girls never to be caned, and one of three never to be slippered.

During my time as head girl, it had become the custom for the head girl to sit at the front of the assembly side on to the rest of the girls.

I had during my time had to deal with several girls and the slipper I had been given was used on a regular basis.

I had also taken several girls to the prefects’ meeting and they had all been punished.

Julie had become my best friend and was also deputy head girl.

She helped make decisions on the girls I brought before the prefects.

Apart from that one spanking during our first year, Julie had never had to wear the red sash again and, like me, never wore the yellow sash.

Just after Christmas, all was going well as we prepared for our mocks

I had been given special permission to attend a dinner party to celebrate my parents’ silver wedding anniversary and to stay overnight at a local hotel.

This was so long as I was back for assembly the following day.

The party went very well and I arrived back at school just in time to go upstairs to get ready for assembly.

As I undressed I suddenly remembered all my school knickers were in the laundry as I had forgotten to collect them before going to the party.

So I had to keep the pink silk undergarments I had on.

I was not unduly worried as there had been a uniform inspection on Wednesday and to have once again two days later was unheard of.

Assembly went well and all notices were read out.

As the Headmistress made her way to the steps she looked at her watch and then looked up and said that as we had finished assembly early we would have another uniform inspection.

My face went bright red and I had butterflies in my stomach.

She came down the stairs, stopped in front of me and examined my uniform which as usual was impeccable.

Then she went behind me, lifted my skirt and I heard a little gasp and I felt her tucking my skirt into the waist.

Then I felt the two stinging slaps to both legs and was pushed forward towards the stage and told to stand with hands-on head facing away from the school.

My legs were stinging and I just wanted to rub them.

Then I remembered that my knickers were on full view to the entire school and that i would soon be slippered.

Five more girls joined me at the front and several more received smacks. The school was then dismissed and Julie was asked to remain behind.

After the girls had all left Julie was told that for the following week she would assume the role of head girl as a girl wearing a red sash could not be head girl. So I was asked to give her my badge. Julie then left the hall but waited outside for me.

The headmistress then told us all to turn round and she had a large slipper in her hand as she gave us all a lecture on not wearing the correct uniform.

She then called out: “Hanson! Out here!”

I walked over was told to turn round and to bend over touching my toes.

I then felt the slipper touch my bottom before moving and suddenly there was a loud noise followed by a burning sensation.

Five more followed without a break and I was told to stand back in front of the stage with a hands-on head.

Tears were running down my cheeks out of shame and pain.

After we were all slippered the head came behind us, gave us two hard slaps on the bottom and unhooked our skirts.

She then told us to turn round and gave us all a red sash which she said we had to wear across our body from the left shoulder for one week and must wear it at all times apart from when we were in bed.

Julie came upstairs to our dorm with me as we had a free period and while I examined the damage she went to collect my clean clothes from the laundry.

We then went to the prefect’s room where Miranda, who hated both Julie and me, was sitting.

As soon as we walked in she said: “About time you got slippered. I bet it’s your first time isn’t it?”

She then noticed that I wasn’t wearing my head girl badge and said:

“I think you should leave this room as it’s for prefects and you are not one now, are you?”

I said that I was not Head girl for the next week but thought I was still a prefect

The rules were pointed out to me which said that while any girl was wearing a red or yellow sash she could not hold any office within the school.

As I had never expected to wear one of these sashes I did not let it register with me, so I had no alternative but to leave the office.

As I was leaving I turned to Miranda and told her that I would remember this.

She immediately told me to stop where I was as she was not going to be threatened by any normal schoolgirl.

I looked in disbelief at what she had said. Julie looked away as Miranda walked over to the desk and picked up a referral slip to the next prefects meeting, which was to be held that afternoon, handed it to me and said that she would be calling Julie as a witness to the fact that I had threatened her for pointing out school rules.

At two pm I was standing outside the prefects’ room with my hands on my head and my nose against the wall with six other girls awaiting our fate. As girls were dealt with in order of being summoned I thought I would be last to be called in.

I did not know that four of the girls had been caught outside the school at lunchtime and so were after me.

The first girl was called in and I could hear muffled voices, then silence.

They must be considered punishment. Then I heard a whoosh and a scream, followed by two more, then silence.

The girl must be signing the punishment book.

Then she came out with a tear-stained face. She stood against the wall hands on head and nose to wall as a junior prefect came out to stand over us to make sure there was no talking.

I recognized the girl as Anne, a girl I had reported last year for smoking and as a result, she got six strokes from the deputy headmistress.

The second girl was called in, a second year I did not recognize

We then heard her receive six strokes of the slipper and she came out without skirt and crying and stood hands on head nose to wall.

I was then shocked to hear my name called out.

I entered the room and saw the deputy headmistress and all the prefects.

Miranda read out the case against me and when I was asked to respond I said that it was not a threat, just a saying.

Julie was asked what way I had said it, and she had to say it could have been interpreted as a threat but was certain it was not.

Also, I was charged with being in the prefect’s room at which I had no choice but to plead guilty.

There was then a discussion for several minutes before Julie stood up and said that as the acting head girl it was her duty to give the verdict and she would deal with the two charges separately.

“For being in the prefect’s room when not a prefect, you are awarded four strokes of the slipper. Do you accept this?” I was asked.

“Yes,” I replied.

Julie stood up as it would be her duty to punish me. “bend over the desk.”

I duly did this and she then gave me four slaps with the slipper as hard as the head had done earlier.

I was then asked to sign the punishment book accepting that I had received the punishment.

Julie then stood again and said that as for the threat issued, the case is proven and the punishment will be six strokes of the cane from the deputy headmistress.

She stood up and picked her cane.

I could not believe this was happening, but I was ordered to bend back over the desk.

I felt the cold feel of the cane against my sore bottom, then a whoosh and a searing burning pain across my bottom.

Another followed as I tried to suppress my screams.

Then another four followed at regular intervals.

I was then told to stand and to sign the punishment book, and sent outside.

I could see Anne smirking as I went to the wall and stood there until all punishments were carried out.

We were all called back in and given our skirts back.

Then we were each given a sash to wear for the next week.

I was told that because I was already wearing one red sash I would also have to wear a second as I had been slippered twice.

I returned to our dorm and just lay face down on the bed and the tears rolled.

About ten minutes later Julie arrived and said she was sorry but that she had no alternative.