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I Received Corporal Punishment At School

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At English schools in the 1950 and 60s, the standard punishment for serious or repeated offences was the cane. At my school canings were always given in private, so none of us knew exactly how many strokes other boys got, but we always assumed it was six. Why did six become the standard dose, I wonder? Or perhaps it wasn't so standard, and "six of the best" is a sort of urban myth? Did anyone ever get more than six?
61-69, M
13 replies
Aug 16, 2017
ReggieFane61-69, M
My view is that 6, applied full force, was a perfect number for the average teenage bottom, whether male or female. Most teachers liked to space out the strokes, though some liked the 5 bar gate or even grouped the 6 in a narrow band (super cruel!). An era of proper discipline, and I'd love to talk about it privately if you got plenty of swishings!
MartinII61-69, M
[@9761,ReggieFane] Very happy to talk, but as it happens I managed to avoid the dreaded cane.
Six seemed to be the maximum at school and we often got fewer. In general it was the most with the slipper too, only the PE mistress every gave more to my knowledge.

At home, six was more like a minimum with the cane, twelve being more usual. Slipperings tended to be a minimum or six too, with one or two dozen being usual.
[@9761,ReggieFane] Canings at home were about the same as at school - knickers don't provide any protection. The most I remember getting at home in one go was two dozen. I didn't think I'd ever be able to sit down again.
ReggieFane61-69, M
[@379861,Sharon] 24, OMG. Must have been VERY naughty. Did mum or dad cane harder ?
[@9761,ReggieFane] There was little in it. After a couple of strokes my bottom was on fire so it was difficult to precisely decern the difference between mum's canings and dad's.
Prospanking46-50, M
6 of the best strokes were the maximum.The principal took his time and made sure each stroke was felt.
SoloSenior80-89, M
I was at a boarding school here in Australia, and I had my well deserved share of the cane.

I never had a full 'six of the best', 4 was my maximum and that was enough for me. The pain was intense and I was purple with the bruises for about a week afterwards.

The Prefects had the authority to refer a boy to the House Master, and he administered the punishment in his office. The Head Master, "The Boss", never involved himself but if you were in his office you were in very serious trouble possible all the way up to expulsion.

ArishMell61-69, M
It is strange, that "magic" six. I've never got to the bottom of it, but it goes back a long way, since I recall references to it in one of those 1940s-50s boys' story books set in minor public schools of the most highly regarded mediocrity in syllabus and teaching.

"References"... actually lingering descriptions of trousers being "dusted" by the house-master, and screams spelled "Yarooo!" and suchlike; the six strokes being not maximum but standard. Though in one chapter the three boys in trouble had an "impot" I think it was called - "imposition", or lines. Apparently, copying 100 lines from some Classical Latin ode or other of victoriously bellicose doings.

Funny - or worrying. Ask me what I had for dinner yesterday and I'd have to think for a minute or so. Give me a recollection of past physical punishments and I remember school-boy books from half a century ago.

Some cite Jimmy Edwards in the radio and TV comedies, [i]Whacko!, [/i]but he certainly did not invent that six strokes even if the phrase "Six of the Best" were from him, or his writers. It pre-dates those shows.
SW User
Six was the standard for a caning at my school but I did get eight strokes once. Six for playing truant and two extra for failing to say thank you to the headmistress afterwards.

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