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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Richard Ruck
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Post by Richard Ruck » Sun Mar 06, 2005 10:19 am

menace wrote:The boys from the 50's (of whom I am one) had a theory that the school deliberately put bromide in the kiff to stop them thinking "impure thoughts"....... Sorry to hear about the attempted suicide - I cannot recollect the same event at Horsham - a murder yes, but not suicide.
The bromide theory was still around in the 70s.

Re. suicides, a couple of masters topped themselves while I was at C.H.
One, the head of Classics, contrived to drown himself in a bath in the Infirmary. Of course, we were never given any likely reasons for his action.
Ba.A / Mid. B 1972 - 1978

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

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Post by Lamma looker » Sun Mar 06, 2005 10:39 am

The bromide theory
That accounts for why the tea tasted so awful. The trouble with bromide is it only works on the mechanics, not the thought processes - a sort of anti-Viagra.


the dark side of CH, which was all of it as far as I was concerned
I'm curious as to why someone who was unhappy at school is picking at the scabs by partaking in a forum like this.

In retrospect, CH in my day (49-54) was fairly grim. I had my unhappy moments but overall it didn't seem too bad - probably because I didn't know any better.

My arrival at CH was unusually traumatic because I came from a small "dame school" in Derbyshire, mornings only, where the highest number of pupils had been 12. To find myself in a school of 850 was a bit of a shock.

Sorry, I'm digressing from the beatings and buggery again...
A healthy mind is a sign of a mis-spent youth

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Richard Ruck
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Post by Richard Ruck » Sun Mar 06, 2005 10:51 am

Lamma looker wrote:
My arrival at CH was unusually traumatic because I came from a small "dame school" in Derbyshire, mornings only, where the highest number of pupils had been 12. To find myself in a school of 850 was a bit of a shock.

Sorry, I'm digressing from the beatings and buggery again...
Please excuse my ignorance, but what is / was a "dame school"?

Sounds like pupils were being prepared for a bit of cross-dressing in the Pantomime season....
Ba.A / Mid. B 1972 - 1978

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

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Post by Lamma looker » Sun Mar 06, 2005 11:06 am

Please excuse my ignorance, but what is / was a "dame school"?
To quote from my dictionary, "a small school, often in a village, usually run by an elderly woman in her own home to teach children to read and write."

That's just what it was, except it was in a small town and the elderly woman (she was in her late 50s) did more than teach us to read and write. She was one of the first women to graduate from London University, though not actually allowed a degree.

Back to the buggery...
A healthy mind is a sign of a mis-spent youth

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Post by Great Plum » Sun Mar 06, 2005 12:11 pm

There was one girl who was openly gay on my year from about the GE onwards - no one cared one way or the other... i know of a few more who have since 'come out' but I don't think it was too big a deal...
Maine B - 1992-95 Maine A 1995-99

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Re: what's up?

Post by huntertitus » Sun Mar 06, 2005 9:27 pm

rebel wrote:i thought this thread was supposed to be all about punishments and homosexuality and stuff like that which looks at the dark side of CH, which was all of it as far as I was concerned. I'm glad to see a few gents from my era putting in their 2 cents(I live in N. America) worth. Where are the Hertford girls from the 50s? We had hormones too - and mostly they were directed towards suggestions that we should serve the Lord, preferably in a leper colony. Miss DR West, whom I had the misfortune to suffer as my headmistress at the time, said in her abominable autobiography that she was aware that girls had 'glandular disturbances' that made then aware of the opposite sex, but she soon sorted them out and the phase soon passed. Her great literary work is worth reading as a grotesque testimony to her perverted regime. She does, for example, describe the attempted suicide of one pupil, who jumped off a building, as inconvenient because she did it on a sunny day when lots of girls were looking out of the windows and could see her.
Oh for a good pint or two whenI think about it! Perhaps more than two.
This is more like it! I love a bit of real feeling mixed with a liberal dose of vitriol! And anyone who uses the word "grotesque" is to my mind a star of this often dull forum. Let us get bitter - anyone who has memories of being beaten by DHN could describe an assault of such pre-planned viciousness, laced with the memory of a carefully planned and sadistic ritual - so much time devoted to forcing the poor lad to be punished to move the equipment of his torture himself into JUST the right position - the man's hands down the back of the trousers to make sure a book wasn't placed there - the placing of 2 armchairs - back to back - the kneeling on one chair with the arms thrown over onto the second chair so the back of his legs are stretched and the stick will hopefully hit the tendons - the everlasting agony of waiting for the beating while the headmaster fiddled about to get the victim and the equipment of correction in JUST the right position - then the cricket bowler's run up - need I go on?

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Re: what's up?

Post by huntertitus » Sun Mar 06, 2005 9:33 pm

She does, for example, describe the attempted suicide of one pupil, who jumped off a building, as inconvenient because she did it on a sunny day when lots of girls were looking out of the windows and could see her.

We had some dramatic deaths at the boy's school too

There was the famous case of Sears-Mullins who hanged himself in the toilet about 1969 following bullying and his poor parents had to endure the funeral od their poor tortured child in the school chapel

Schooldays are the best days of your life

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Post by rebel » Mon Mar 07, 2005 2:55 am

Hail to thee hunteritis, for appreciating the vitriol that has accumulated through the years, begun but suppressed violently at CH. And to Lamma looker, who questions why I should want to 'pick at the scabs'. Of course I wouldn't if I had the talent for happiness that I never learned. I have been much better schooled in developing my abilties in the negative areas. I write excellent(and published) satiric poetry. I am known for my vitriolic attitude to just about everything. But I'm an expert on unhappiness, thanks to the education I received at CH. I have done the usual things, married, had children, had a career, but through it all I have managed to maintain my unhappiness skills because of my firm grounding.ANd of course this training has brought the predictable ends, unhappiness par excellence. One correspondent on this forum asked why I would want to pick at scabs. There's something strangely sensual about doing that, as any schoolboy knows. Another correspondent suggested I was up the creek which is quite possible, but no one would know who sees me daily. I only want CH to know, since they are the source of my pathology. I have just read on the opening page that contributors to these forums must not say nasty things about CH, or introduce negative thoughts. So, back to la la land. Hope everything is peachy pie in the realm of punishment and oppression, as per this forum.

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Post by menace » Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:41 am

Rebel, et al,
I think very few male or female would list CH as the most happy days of their lives. The problem is that those years are desperately unhappy for everyone - it's known as growing up. Just more difficult to swallow without a family support group around. There is also no question that the era of "unenlightenment" prior to around the 70's was brutal both physically (at least in the boys' school) and emotionally. But I am unsure how one can attach a lifetime of "unhappiness skills" to that period - surely it takes more practice or aptitude than the school had to offer to develop it to the Art to which you apparently aspire.

A strange Muse "Unhappy". Do you see or seek a cure for it?

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Post by lvesey » Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:51 am

Is that feeling reflected by all, (or lets say the majority) of Hertford pupils of your era?

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A bit Leary

Post by rebel » Mon Mar 07, 2005 8:05 am

THank you menace for your few kind words -which I think they are underneath. But I did shiver when I read the bit about unhappiness as being part of growing up. That sentiment, expressed so many times during my teenage years as I stood on the mat in front of this or that glowering person, came back like a haunting.
My remarks were a bit extreme, I know, as they tend to be when i get on a roll, perhaps led on by hunteritis. It's easier to do when raging against whatever, than in ecstatic mode, when silence seems more appropriate. King Lear is something of a mentor. Even more as I am becoming the same vintage.
No, I am not completely lost, but in a CH mood memories seem to overwhelm me like the tsunami.

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Post by englishangel » Mon Mar 07, 2005 8:20 am

On another forum I mentioned some things we had to do at Hertford and another peer who I remember as a very unhappy person claims she was happy and sent her son to Housey (he left early). I don't remember any particular punishments though I was almost horribly well-behaved although I did lose it once with a friend while holding a breadknife.

DR did have some VERY strange ideas. I haven't read her autobiography.

She did say in my final report that I wasn't a very caring person. I have been a midwife (and a good one I think) for 25 years now. (Shomething wrong there shurely)

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Corporal Punishment

Post by ianthomas » Mon Mar 07, 2005 8:39 am

Do you guys still sleep on horse-hair mattresses on beds with loose wooden boards and horse-hair pillows like rocks?

At night naughty boys had to run the gauntlet from one end of the dormitory to the other with all the other boys standing at the end of their beds with one bed-board in hand to attempt wacking bad-boy's arse as he ran past!!

On other nights, one end of the dormitory was made into a wrestling ring using matresses, for juniors to fight each other at the order of dormitory monitors...

What the hell! All part of growing up. You guys have it too soft these days!!

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Post by Hobbit » Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:24 am

well htere is anotehr thread on teh beds or something, but on my juniors in Lamb B we had dorm lemmings, where a squit had to run from one end tot eh other and not get wacked.

Also we had pit fights in break where to ppl (usually) squits fought, this happened till MAtron came down in break.

As tot teh beds read before its all epxlained.

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Re: Corporal Punishment

Post by Deb GP » Mon Mar 07, 2005 10:45 am

ianthomas wrote:Do you guys still sleep on horse-hair mattresses on beds with loose wooden boards and horse-hair pillows like rocks?
These started disappearing at the beginning of the nineties. I lost mine in 1993 - and haven't been able to find a hard enough bed (apart from the floor) ever since.
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

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