Where did your school(s) stand on the subject of corporeal punishment? I only went to one where the teacher, a clearly ill-suited matron, was free with her hand and various improvised implements. We lived in terror, and I’m glad that those methods are mostly living in the past. Like this story published in ‘Marjon Magazine’, dated summer 1998:
‘…after one series of tests Mr Hansen called a Welsh boy to the front. ‘I’m going to give you the cane Davies. Do you know why?’ Davies did not know and we could not even guess. Davies was very bright and for non-conformist chapel-goer conformed very well. ‘Because Davies,’ said Mr Hansen. ‘you’re second in the class and but for one stupid error you would have been first.’ Davies was duly caned. None dared complain.’
Yikes! Now whether you’d say he deserved it, or that you think that to err is human, you can clearly see the drive to absolute perfection that was pressed into old way of life- anything but would not be accepted. But my subversive curiosity would not let me stop wondering: if Davies was now second in class, who had risen over him to be the first?:-)


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