Tartar tannings in Walthamstow in 1928

16Jul11

Now here is an interesting little snippet from Walthamstow in far east London in the late 1920s of all places.

An old paperback from 1975 entitled Forgotten Scandals of the 20th Century included a short piece on the furore surrounding the publication of a picture semi-nude 20-year-old girl in the Walthamstow and Leyton Trumpet.

It seems that the girl in question’s mother was a no-nonsense woman when it came to discipline and was in the habit of ‘chastising’ her adult and near-adult daughters in the back garden of their home. This was not particularly newsworthy or even unusual back in 1928 but apparently an amateur photographer, one of the family’s neighbours, was present with his camera at one of these spanking events and took a quick snap, which somehow came in to the hands of the local newspaper.

They published it under the heading ‘Tartar tanning in local garden,’ no doubt to the great embarrassment of the girl concerned as apparently she had been partially bared for the punishment when the picture was taken.

The scandal was not about a girl getting spanked by her mother, but followed on from the outrage that a newspaper would carry a photograph including nudity.

Not much is known about the spanking regime employed by the mother as the paperback did not dwell on it. But apparently she used to take a kitchen chair into the garden and place her daughters over her knee for a bare-bottomed spanking with a slipper, ‘house-brush’ or on occasion a thin branch cut from a garden bush. Apparently the added humiliation was considered an important part of her method.

Now yours truly might have forgotten this minor footnote in disciplinary history had it not been for the picture above, discovered while browsing the archives. Now you might be thinking you have seen it often before somewhere and that it is an old erotic postcard from the same era. No doubt it is. However, look closely. Doesn’t the girl look woe-filled and embarrassed? Is that a blurred hand waving the camera man away? Isn’t the matron wielding an impromptu stick ‘a little off the beaten track’ and a little too intent on her task for a professional model? Well surely someone will contribute here to say that it is ‘such-and-such a picture’ from a known erotic series, but maybe, just maybe it is the long-lost picture from the Walthamstow and Leyton Trumpet? In any case it does look rather like a plausible re-enactment.

Just a little fun for a Saturday afternoon.



7 Responses to “Tartar tannings in Walthamstow in 1928”

  1. 1 Poppy

    The girl looks so forlorn and fed up with the whole thing that I do not understand why someone has not dashed up on a white horse and saved her.
    The world confounds and astounds me, it really does.

  2. 2 Karl Friedrich Gauss

    Well isn’t this a slice of history. So those tabloids have been embarrassing the British people for a long long time if this story is to be believed.

    One may well wonder if the young lady on the receiving end of this spanking continued the tradition with her own daughters. I wouldn’t be surprised if she did.

  3. 3 kaki

    I am surprised that a newspaper in 1928 or even now would print a picture of a semi nude woman, unless it was an underwear ad. I would be mortified if it was me, the poor girl looks so sad. She, like me, was probably misunderstood.

    DJ, the part that really concerned me was when you said an old paperback from 1975, who said 1975 was that long ago??? ;-(

  4. 4 scarlet

    Girls must never be spanked in a garden. It is a place of peace and repose, where the most extreme activity should be something that involves kissing. Or reading poetry.

    Poppy, I agree with you about the white horse, as long as he is careful and doesn’t trample the roses.

  5. 5 Poppy

    The horse would be very sure footed and would only bring a (ahem) contribution for the roses.
    You are right about gardens, people should be kissed in gardens, a lot. Spanking is for somewhere else, somewhere I am not.
    Kaki’s house, perhaps.

  6. 6 kaki

    Poppy, perhaps in my house but not in my garden there isn’t any privacy,There is lots of room for a white horse to come to my rescue though. We do have a shed but there is no wood in it, only garden tools.
    I will have you and Scarlet over so then there will be a reason for a spanking to happen. I am good therefore there are no spankings in my house. I will watch and take notes and hold a cold compress for you.

  7. 7 George

    I prefer houses for spankings, but maybe in open country…


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