My One & Only School Caning

by Limey


By Limey

The Headmaster put his face round the dormitory door.

"Who's making that disgusting noise?"

Two of us Lower Sixth 16-year olds, Bob Kenyon and myself, Jim Holgate, at once admitted our faults. (Of course. We were "decent chaps". Stiff upper lip, and all that. Which involved "owning up" promptly to any wrongdoings.)

In my case, I had been mindlessly projecting out silly sounds. The elocution master had taught us to use our diaphragm muscles. His tuition had unfortunately worked, only too well. I hadn't realised how far the diaphragmed sound would carry. But it had reached the ears of our tall, balding, ginger-moustached, new Head, Mr. Stevens, who that night happened to be substituting for the regular resident master. Now he barked:

"See me in my study at 9.30 tomorrow morning."


With that, he snapped off the light, leaving the dormitory in darkness, and us delinquents to our disturbed thoughts. It really didn't sound as though we were in for just a telling off. It sounded very much as though the Head intended direct action with The Cane, sixteen years old or not.

This was in the early 1940's. I had been five years at this boarding school, St. Peter's College, a "minor public" (i. e. "private"!) establishment on the south coast of England. It was small at the time -- maybe seventy boarders, and a hundred day boys. The Cane, all over the country, was in regular disciplinary use, on tens of thousands of schoolboys' bottoms, clothed or bared. For centuries this, or earlier the birch, had been THE main instrument of discipline and punishment for all English boys and youths, aged, say, seven years through eighteen.

Fellows tried to be "manly" over it -- to say it was nothing to worry about, that it didn't hurt. But in truth a good caning -- six, eight, ten, twelve "of the best" -- was exquisitely agonising. To say the least, it was greatly respected. This national tradition was to continue in place for the next nearly fifty years. In those days, English school law and order was generally excellent . . .

And St. Peter's was no exception. But at this school, or anywhere else, my own personal bum had never as yet received its due and needed share of The Cane. Spanked in the dormitory often enough, yes, with the heel of a gymshoe, in pyjamas, which hurt. But I had never once been caned, which hurt much more. There was a big difference. In pain, and in procedure.

The Cane was a fate usually reserved for the "layabout" schoolboys, given usually by the Headmaster only, rarely by the Second Master. There was a touch of disgrace to it. But I was a "good" student, a "well-behaved, responsible" boy. Usually around the head of my class, and something of a teacher's pet as a result. From the age of 7 through 16, I had never come near a school caning. In this my last year, supposed to be "good at English", I was even made editor of the school magazine.

But now, it seemed, at the very end of my school career, after five years of cane-immunity, my "responsible, well-behaved, non-caned" status was about to change. I was about to find out personally what "six of the best" was like. I cursed my idiocy. I wished that I could have the last two minutes back.

Under the bedclothes, I turned over on my stomach, pulled up my briefs, wedgied them, and stroked and fingered my two soft virgin cheeks, in anticipation of the morrow's probabilities.

What would he really do to me? Despite my good record up to now, would the Boss actually Cane me? If so, what kind of cane would it be? Knobbly or smooth? Would my bum be laid over a couch? Grabbing my ankles? Touching my toes? My trousers down? Underpants, or bare? How, and how many strokes? Would it really hurt? Would I cry, as I knew some boys did? What would the weals be like, for all the guys to see in the showers or dorm.? All these thoughts, and more, jumbled around in my mind, as I drifted off to sleep . . .

Yet there was another bizarre personal aspect, another very peculiar individual angle, to this whole matter. In one weird kind of way, I was actually looking forward to my swishing session with the Head, if such was to be. Up to now, as I've said, my own backside had never at any school been caned. But yet, despite this, all my life I'd been -- what I now know as a "Closet Cane-ophile"!

From the age of 4 or 5, I had always been absorbed by the whole subject of whippy school canes being applied to boys' bottoms, tightly bent over for their spankings. Cane-tanning was my secret fascination, known to no-one else.

Don't know where this fixation came from. I only know that, whenever I played "school" at home, for example, I always had a crook-handled cane -- in those days sold for pennies at many shops -- hanging from a hook in the kitchen. (Until removed by my Mother, so that her visitors should not get the wrong idea, I suppose . . .)

And then, when a little older, I hastened to get the weekly schoolboy magazines of the period, tuppence a time, particularly, "The Magnet." Most of them had at least one of the famous English, "six of the best", canings featured in it. I loved reading about them. "Yarrooh!!"

Then, when I was 11, my Mother packed me off to a boarding school on the coast. On one occasion I disobeyed my new Headmaster, a puce-faced tyrant with grey nasal hairs. I climbed a ladder to retrieve a tennis ball, forgetting he had expressly forbidden this.

He did nothing about my transgression, though, beyond saying,

"Now you deserve The Cane, Holgate."

True -- but unfortunately, he didn't follow through. And few fellows got off so lightly. (Could he have been thinking perhaps about my Mother's school fees??) A day boy was once sent out from class for naughtiness. The Head came across him, on a walkabout, and sent the school captain off for The Cane. We all knew this hung, like a grim Sword of Damocles, in the school supplies stockroom.

Minutes later, with bated breath, we heard the thwacks and cries coming from the corridor. Then into the classroom came a solemn procession -- the Head carrying The Cane, the school captain, and the miscreant 13-year old. He was a tough blond, head down, still sniffling and crying, a cupped hand massaging his right bum-cheek. A perfect, classic tableau, really, of the Chastened Schoolboy.

The Head hooked The Cane on the clasroom notice board. At the end of the lesson, greatly daring, I went up to examine it. Brown-yellow, with a fascinating mosaic pattern . . . My nerve, though, wasn't sufficient for me actually to handle it . . .

We few boarders seemed almost starved at this school. My favourite reading at the time was the cookery section of Pear's Encyclopedia, with its intriguing color plates! Finally my Mother transferred me to this larger and better school, St. Peter's College, in the same coastal resort, where my physical hunger was at least assuaged.

There my spanking concerns were also met, particularly in the dormitory procedures. At the evening prayer assemblies just before bed, the master on duty would read out the names of the boys on report from the boy prefects. (At St. Peter's, the prefects themselves were not allowed to slipper or cane junior boys -- though they indeed were at hundreds of other schools.)

If this duty-master said, "I'll see you later, Smith," we knew exactly what Smith had to expect. Up in the dormitory, the slipper, on his pyjama seat, stretched over his bed.

The first time I was so named, the boy on my right, Barbour, senior to me by a term, smirked at me. Slowly he crooked up his left forefinger, and slowly applied his right forefinger to it. That helped a lot!

Mr. Howard, a new resident master arrived. Much to our horror at first (we soon got used to it!), he introduced a brand new spanking procedure. He actually began to take down our pyjama trousers, to slipper us on our bare bums! After a bit, looked at scientifically, this did seem more efficient. And we didn't greatly object to it. It never occurred to us to object. Corporal punishment, however delivered, had been a universal part of school life for generations. It was expected. It was accepted.

And I was by no means the only boy to harbor an ardent spanking interest. All of us were keenly excited by upcoming tannings, once announced. With quiet glee we watched them in progress. The resultant bottom bruises (slipper) or stripes (cane) we adjudged with an expert eye. Each master had his own rating among us, as to his spanking prowess. We knew that one older teacher, for example, Mr. Bolt, never gave more than a single stroke. But it was a beauty! Slowly the slipper would be raised, in a complete arc and back swing. A pause at the top, in the best golf style. Then, crash!! At absolutely full strength, down would come the heel on the youngster's trembling bent-over bottom.

One such victim, Jim Helliwell, a good rugby player, received this famed single stroke. He waited until the master had left the dormitory. He then made a mad dash for the mirror, in case Bolt came back, whipped down his pants, and craned back to inspect the damage. There wasn't much to see. I could have told him that. Because I'd noted that on this occasion the master had really mis-hit -- on the north of the buttocks, rather than on the more receptive southern area.

At first, under Mr. Howard's new regime, I could hardly credit the astoundingly prominent "globeness" of the newly-bared backsides. And each boy knew from experience just how to arrange his own derriere perfectly for punishment. In the traditional convex arch, stretched across his bed, on a couple of pillows, supported on his elbows and toes, legs apart, looking upwards, the boy was a living sculpture of shapely curves -- one rippling image of heels, calves, thighs, swelling through the gluteus crease to the out-jutting twin-hillocked bottom, lifted to receive its spanking, the buttocks arching sharply down again to the well of the back, the flow ascending once more to the shoulders and neck, bearing the well-shaped head, with neat ears and mop of hair.

The whole stunning image, prostrate on the pillows, spoke eloquently for itself. "My bum is ready for slippering, sir!", or, "Please sir, will you cane my bottom?"

Masters of course obliged -- and prefects too, where entitled. Later indeed, our Mr. Howard even said he was going to get a cane for himself.

When I naively asked him why, thinking that The Cane was reserved for the Headmaster's use only, he gave a one-word answer, "Boys!"

This teacher was frustrated, however, in his ambition, when he and the matron had to leave the school hurriedly one day, under a cloud . . .

I remember seeing only one actual caning (as opposed to slippering) at this second boarding school, St. Peter's. On Wednesdays, boys in detention would line up outside the Headmaster's study, to get their detentions "caned off." Only three strokes were usually given. One day, the door was left ajar. I happened to see a friend, John Bennett, blazer folded back, squatting over, and receiving his three. The tip of the cane really sucked in to the top of his taut, rounded, thinly- trousered, right buttock. I figured that might have him in tears. But not a bit of it. Bennett emerged jauntily from the study, red-faced, rubbing his bottom, but still bearing an embarrassed boyish grin.

When I was 12 or so, in pursuit of my caning craving I acquired a dozen or so garden canes, and hid them in my wardrobe at home. My Mother must have discovered these. But she never mentioned them to me.

Probably thought, "He'll grow out of it . . .!"

I also sent off for a pair of phys. ed shorts, silky, brief, tight, flimsy. I would watch my chance. Then, when the house was empty, I would put these shorts on, over my bare bottom, and pull them up really tight. The southern part of my rear would be one-quarter naked. Then I would select a cane, arrange the wardrobe mirror, bend over, push out my scantily-clad bottom, and, elbow up, jockey-style, try to "cane" myself, back-handed.

Interesting, but it never really worked. The canes were too light and hollow, too rigid. Besides, backhanded, I couldn't get the full-blooded, solid, "Whaccck!", that I wanted.

Different, though, years later, in London, in the early '80's. With a shock, what should I spy in the window of a Piccadilly shop, specialising in fine luggage, shooting sticks, etc., but this gleaming yellow cane!

Naturally, I went in, a bit embarrassedly. The place was redolent of rich leather. I stammered on about my interest, the cane in the window. The rather superior shop assistant said,

"Ah, yes, the Headmaster's Cane."

He showed me several samples, some with bulbous handles, others with the crook-handles of my youth.

I bought a crook-handled one. It was expensive. A "Rolls-Royce" of canes! On getting back to my lodgings, I examined my purchase carefully. Mosaic-patterned again. I flexed it, and flipped it through the air. Weighty, limber, supple -- professional! The final inch or so was shamfered down, I guessed so that no sharp edge would unduly damage the boys' bottoms presented to it. (Man, they thought of everything!)

I turned up my own jacket at the back, stretched my trousers, bent over, and gave my behind a casual, experimental, backhand flick with this luxury weapon. Just as I'd done at home years earlier, with the garden canes.

"YARROOHH!!" "OWWWW-cchh!!" I jumped about two feet in the air!!

"For crying out loud!!"

BROTHER, what a difference!!

Not at all the same as the garden canes of long ago! Gingerly, I tried out a few more pats with this willowy instrument. No matter where, or how, I tapped my bottom with it, a severe sting resulted. I could only imagine the acute pain that would follow a strong forehand drive to the schoolboy bum with this pliant, dense rod . . . particularly if (gulp!) a prior run-up were taken. Etc., etc.

"R-R-R-RING!!" Back at St. Peter's school. Already morning -- and, waking up, I immediately recalled, with a sinking feeling, my (sweet-and-sour!) appointment with the Headmaster. . .

To be continued.

More stories by Limey