This centered around 3ft of prime rattan about half an inch thick and wielded with great expertise by the then headmaster, John Woollan.

Now though the cane kept 180 boys in order it was never used in gay abandon in order to do so - a couple of canings a week maybe, if that, but when it was used it was used with a will - and bloody well hurt !

Such beatings, as they were referred to in those days, were usually carried out in the morning just after assembly where the headmaster at the end of assembly would call out the name/names of any deserving boy with instructions to "See me in my study immediately after assembly where he will be dealt with accordingly"

In my case this happened only twice in my time on The Hill, both well deserved and both as I've already mentioned before on here where I was the unobliging recipient of two extremely painful doses of six of the best thus using up the schools weekly quota in one siting or, more to the point, in one bending !

Now I'm not saying we were abused in any way, in fact far from it as more boys were warned or let off than were actually caned but not many boys that I knew ( excepting me of course ! ) could take a caning in silence or indeed, tried to.Apparently, screaming ones head off and hopping up and down between strokes helped ease the pain - which of course it didn't and only made it worse. But the idea was there even if the principle wasn't !

The slipper to my knowledge was never used excepting on one occasion when a mate of mine was slippered with his pants down across Woollans knee down at the Wardens house one evening for nicking a tent out of the scout loft which he said was worse than the cane even though he had never felt it in order to make a comparison and where at the time, and what made it appear really weird to all us boys, was why the slipper and not the cane, and why down at the Wardens house to receive it ?

However, 'Pecker' Doris Brownhill kept the Plym house oiks on their best sunday behaviour with a hefty slice of truck tyre where the enthusiastic and over use of it got her dismissed from the school for good and her rubber strap burnt on a bonfire where you can find a photo of the ceremony being acted out on here somewhere.

Housemasters were also authorized to wield the rattan but very few did although my housemaster, Mr Phelps of Sheff House, laid on a blistering six of the best worthy of any Oscar whenever the need arose which wasn't very often - about a dozen times during my time there - where he usually referred you to the headmaster if he thought a caning would do you more good than an extra iced bun at supper time and who probably could do a far better and more memorable job of it !

So there you have it. Not as bad as Eton though but well on par with Judge Jeffries !!!

Dizzy D

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