Corporal Punishment......

Share your memories and stories from your days at school, and find out the truth behind the rumours....Remember the teachers and pupils, tell us who you remember and why...

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helen
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corp. pun./a bit of history-let's hope!

Post by helen » Mon Mar 21, 2005 8:38 pm

"There is the appalling case of twelve year old William Gibbs at Christ's Hospital in 1877. After a caning for gross insolence to the gym master and then, having run away to his sister, a public flogging, he became too terrified to return to school. He was forced back by his father and locked into his room to await his fate. . . .two hours later he was found dangling by a cord from the window, strangled to death. There was a public outcry . . . ."
(From the The Old School Tie - Jonathan Gathorne Hardy, 1977). Charles Lamb, of course, gives his own gruesome record of life at CH. Are his works on the school curriculum??

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J.R.
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Post by J.R. » Mon Mar 21, 2005 9:25 pm

.... which just goes to prove how times change.

'Public' beatings with the cane weren't carried out in my day. They were administered in the privacy of the masters study.

One master, (who shall remain nameless), used to clear the furniture to the sides of the room, allowing himself a three pace charge, as the offender bent over in the corner, knees straight, touching his toes.

HOWEVER. House punishments in Prep B, (with a gym-shoe), WERE administered in the dorms. by the housemaster, (over pyjama bottoms), in front of the whole dorm. (30 pupils to an open dorm, I believe.)

Were these the 'GoodOld Days', I ask myself :?:

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Re: Corporal Punishment......

Post by Keithbyatt » Mon May 09, 2005 9:54 am

jtaylor wrote:So who got the cane, the slipper, or anything else?
Pupil's don't know how good they have it these days - they just don't know they're born! (I sounds about 85 now!)

Add your stories, reasons for punishment, and what happened.

My only experience of corporal punishment was 6 whacks with a Dunlop Greenflash trainer, delivered by my junior housemaster Bob Sillett, for being overheard saying "It's not f**king funny". I was commenting on someone else who Bob had just "slippered", when someone was laughing at him and thinking it was funny. Rough justice I thought at the time, but Bob was in a bit of bad mood!
I don't blame him at all (much!) - I think a school with the threat of decent punishments helps keep the kids knowing who's in charge.
Back in the early 60's ( violin sounds in background) when Leigh Hunt was Prep A and B, we were all inspected every night bu the house Matron, who checked whether you were adequatly washed or not. If you failed inspection, a D was marked in the register and you were sent back to re-wash the offending area of your body. Re-inspection then followed, if you were still dirty, you received a Double D. Upon achieved the heights of 3 D's you were slippered, and the record zeroed again. All good fun.

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Post by JamesF35 » Mon May 09, 2005 5:34 pm

We still had matron inspections twice a week and "D"s in the seventies. By then however, three "D"s only meant you were put on nightly inspection for a week.

It seemed as though we were always being "cracked" (slippered) in the Junior houses. You knew what the risks were if you did something wrong and took the punishment. It really wasn't that bad. Sometimes we deliberately weighed up the risk and I have to say there were times when it was worth being cracked. It was all done in fairly good humour by the masters and wasn't a big deal even though it often stung ! Much better to get it over and done with and then plan the next prank !

On one occassion I recall we deliberately engineered almost the whole dorm being cracked. One Sunday morning we were all awake early enough to shout out "good morning" to the master on duty when he came in to wake us up. As soon as he was out of the door everyone in the dorm was out of bed and up the fire escape stairs (supposedly out of bounds) and sitting on another bed in time to shout "good morning" again when he entered the upstairs dorm. The master in question decided to crack everyone and we were all instructed to queue up outside his study. As you might imaging he was getting a bit tired after about the first twenty but the boys from the front of the queue joined the back and went around for a second time. He had got through about six boys for the second time before he realised. A lot of laughs were had on both sides - i think we even gave him a round of applause !

By the time we moved on to our Senior Houses we were considered too old to be cracked. The cane was the only option so more effort was made to avoid it. I was caned and I certainly deserved it. It didn't do me any harm and it was better to get any punishment over and done with. I certainly wouldn't call it abuse and I wouldn't say that modern day punishments are better or, for that matter, worse.

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Post by Richard Ruck » Mon May 09, 2005 5:54 pm

Matron's inspections - I think there was always the threat of a 'Matron's bath' for those who failed to maintain their personal hygiene. This supposedly involved being scrubbed in the bath by matron (the old one, not the young Dutch assistant matron with short skirts and very long legs).

I don't know if anyone was ever subjected to this, of whether it's just another myth......
Ba.A / Mid. B 1972 - 1978

Thee's got'n where thee cassn't back'n, hassn't?

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Post by Keithbyatt » Tue May 10, 2005 8:56 am

J.R. wrote:
menace wrote:Thanks - of course Rip Kirby and NellTodd. I was taught the art of cursive handwriting by Nell because my "art" was so bad. Won the writing prize as a result and was then punished by having to write out the inserts for all leaving bibles andprayer books for the next three years. If you left between 1957-9 your Bible has my hand in it.
I remember Nell was assiduously (but vainly) courted by Dimbleby (?) who went on to become an illustrious HM for a secondary comprehensive.
Anyone remember the math teacher who would throw chalk (fairly accurately) at any boy talking in class?
You don't mean Jesson-DIBLEY, by any chance ???
I went to meet Nell Todd at her place in Edinburgh, must have been mid 70's. As usual she was very kind and welcoming. Kirby I knew well as one of his Signallers. What he taught me about signals work has stayed with me all my life, although my morse is not so good as it used to be.

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Corporal Punishment

Post by Mid A 15 » Mon May 23, 2005 2:04 pm

The late Basil Gregory was both a dab hand with a gym shoe and a keen cricketer.

I recall more than once being whacked for some misdemeanour or other and then being told to be at the nets in 15 minutes!

I guess that was one (perhaps the only) argument in favour of corporal punishment. Retribution was instant and you moved on.

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My Stupidity!!!

Post by Mid A 15 » Tue May 24, 2005 6:57 pm

Mr Read (who taught metalwork) was a Junior Housemaster in my early days and was not known for his prowess with the gym shoe in marked contrast to the housemaster, the late Basil Gregory. The wisdom of age tells me that Mr Read probably was opposed to corporal punishment.

One evening in the dorm I transgressed and Mr Read gave me 3 in front of everyone. In an effort to gain what todays youngsters call "street cred" after the third crack I said "have you done it yet sir?"

Unsurprisingly I received a further 2 that very nearly matched the king of the gym shoe himself, Mr Gregory.

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Post by DavebytheSea » Thu May 26, 2005 6:38 pm

Whacking in the dorm! That brings back memories!!

Whacking was very commonplace in the Prep where the staff were under the expert tutelage of Prep A housemaster M.H. (Mighty Hitter) Jones and in Prep B, G.W. (Great Whacker) Pink. Visiting staff from the senior school were also encouraged to lay into boys' bottoms - in a manner of speaking, at least.

Mr Dore, (Dawe?) , the renowned organist, used to come down to teach us singing. He would administer many lashes of the ping pong bat during each lesson in a vain attempt to restore a semblance of order to his riotous classes which were, for some reason, always held in Prep B dayroom, fortunately a goodish distance from the Prep teaching block where more painful chastisement was a regular occurence.

Anyway, during one rest period in Prep B - yes we used to have a "rest" on our beds every day after lunch! - we were studying the antics of the bockers in the lav ends. For some reason they appeared to be balancing on a tight rope while painting the walls and clutching their tins of whitewash (or whatever) while they did so. It appeared highly amusing to us at the time - small boys have a marked but distorted sense of the absurd - and it was not long before Mr Keep (an assistant junior housemaster or whatever) came rushing in to demand the perfect silence required for this period of rest.

Poor Mr Keep! He suffered much at our hands, I fear, and on this occasion was pushed beyond the bounds of reason. Grabbing a metre rule (how did that come to be in the dorm?) he ordered every one of us to bend over the end of our beds - 15 to each side of the dormitory. Smiting each boy, en passent so to speak, it was with mounting anger and dismay that he perceived with every blow, the loss of three inches or so of his chosen weapon. Those of us at the end of the line were treated to a mere residue - hardly enough to be useful!

Was Peter Hill there on that occasion? I can't remember. But he did claim to have received a total of 80 strokes on the behind in one term - surely some sort of a record!
David Eastburn (Prep B and Mid A 1947-55)

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Post by Rod Stuart » Wed Jun 08, 2005 3:50 pm

Re. Matron's inspections, Thornton's Matron in the 60's was the very formidable Miss Dalziel from the highlands. She inspected our beds to see they were correctly made each day. I was there when she made the never to be forgotten comment " If you don't tuck in the sides of your bed young man (imagine the strong scottish accent), ye,and I are going to fall out!"

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Post by Rod Stuart » Wed Jun 08, 2005 4:11 pm

I was beaten by housemasters,and senior boys on several occasions,but by far the worse experience was when there had been a rash of stealing in the house. Mr. Page had played detective, noting down everyone's alibi on each occasion. I, the big innocent,and one other boy, had no alibi for the latest incident. Page's method was to call us in, me first, and accused me of being the thief. I don't know why, but that utterly destroyed me,at the time, and has emotionally scarred me ever since.It didn't matter that the other boy admitted it, and Page said" sorry about that Stuart!" I still felt like hitting him, when I met him 40 years later! Believe me, beatings are better!

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Post by huntertitus » Sat Oct 29, 2005 2:39 pm

Richard Ruck wrote:Matron's inspections - I think there was always the threat of a 'Matron's bath' for those who failed to maintain their personal hygiene. This supposedly involved being scrubbed in the bath by matron (the old one, not the young Dutch assistant matron with short skirts and very long legs).

I don't know if anyone was ever subjected to this, of whether it's just another myth......
Poor Chris Humphries certainly got a matrons bath in Barnes B and as far as I remember told us that he put a flannel over his bits whereupon Vanny told him not to be ridiculous and scrubbed him all over very hard with one of those big bristly wooden floor scrubbing brushes.

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Post by huntertitus » Sat Oct 29, 2005 2:44 pm

menace wrote:Kit Aitken was one of the many "characters" at the school - I know if you were there in the late 50's you knew him and that bike of his. Who was the science master who was always doing things around the Science School, like boiling a sheep's head as I remember him doing outside during one summer term?
Was the story about Kit Aitken removing his wooden leg and hurling it across the classroom at some culprit true?

As to boiling sheep heads look at the thread about Rip Kirby called something like "does anyone remember an old fellow in army fatigues who had a dog called Lobster" - many people remembered him and it was a fascinating read

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J.R.
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Post by J.R. » Sun Oct 30, 2005 1:00 am

Mr 'Rip' Kirby.

Nearly my second Dad. Probably the only master I had REAL respect for.

His mead was FANTASTIC.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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huntertitus
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Post by huntertitus » Sun Oct 30, 2005 8:21 pm

are you implying that he was plying you with the drink?

And was he young when you knew him?

he was OLD when i knew him but he was fascinating

go on

ask me why

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