Friday 5 February 2010: The Headmaster
The year is 1906. Its all a bit confusing.
I've been summoned to the Heidy's office. That's him in the picture, Mr Kilpatrick.
I have to wait outside the door for ages. This makes you more and more nervous as you know there is some kind of punishment in store.
Eventually the voice says, "Come in". I go in.
"Right, Shine-A-Light, with one or two exceptions your Blips haven't been up to the required standard over the last few weeks so I need to teach you a lesson".
"But, Mr. Kilpatrick .... "
"Shut it." "You're getting 6 of the best"
Oh No! I was expecting this but the problem is you don't know if he will use the cane, the slipper, or the belt (tawse). In case its one of the first two I have this week's copy of the Beano down the back of my trousers. Unfortunately I see him take the belt out of his desk.
All you can do is pull your sleeves down to protect your wrists. Whatever you do you don't pull your hands away at the last minute causing him to hit his own thigh. If you do that the punishment increases.
I take the 6 blows. Then I jump about a bit, wave my hands around, and then start blowing into them. I don't know if any of this helps, but everyone seems to do it.
Then I wake up and find I'm actually enjoying my visit to Scotland Street School, the fabulous building designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The three classroom reconstructions show the changing face of the schoolroom from the Victorian era through the Second World War to the classroom of the fifties and sixties. The cloakrooms, and ceramic-tiled drill hall are restored to Mackintosh's original 1906 designs. Children can dress up in the school uniforms of the day.
Footnote: Corporal punishment started to die out during the late 1960s and 1970s, and was eventually banned in State schools in 1987 (passed by only 1 vote!)