On Birches, Brooms and Bottoms


birch domesticbirch Russian-19C-domestic-birching2birched pantaloonsMuch has been written about the birch. A Voice even carried some anecdotes a few years ago about the old country custom of sending maids out dressed only in their shift to gather birch roads for a good sound birching. This is custom prevalent in some places before the First World War, seems to have survived on occasionally into the 1930s. After the Second World War the age of maids, in Britain anyway, came to an end and so did the need to birch them.

Here a few more examples of county punishments that neatly segue into another birching escapade.birch

Milly Jeffrey writing for Titbits in the 1970s recounts an experience she had in 1939. She was working on a farm in Shropshire along with several other girls. Most of her article was about these bucolic days but she refers to the day they got to ‘messy around.’

“As the nearest, Lizzie got a few good swats on her bum from the farmer’s wife, Mrs K, which got us girls all steamed up that we were too old to be treated that way. Silly when you think that our childish hi-jinks had the hay bales in a mess and not one of us was over 20. Things escalated until Mrs K exploded and said what we all needed was a damn good thrashing.”

“Crazy as it seems now we were all made to strip out of our coveralls and sent into the nearby woods to gather sticks. Despite the situation the sight of four girls naked from the waist down and four bare bottoms scampering about got as all giggling. Not for long as we soon found out what the sticks were for. Little bundles swiped across bare bottoms left us all teary-eyed with great red wheals on our skin. These were real stand out welts and all for answering back more than anything.”

“The remaining sticks got made into a broom, the business end of which found our bottoms more than once after that.”

A respondent to the letter sympathised and recounted how when she was in service in the 1950s the house she worked in still kept a ‘block’ in the basement. The block, she explained, although never used in her time there had been used for birching the maids in former times.

The block is an old method for birching school boys in former times, Eton had one I believe and so did Rugby school before the advent of the cane. Although since out of favour in boys schools by the turn of the century rumours persisted that girls were still birched in some places.

Indeed formerly reported here were suggestions that a certain girls’ school in Kent was still birching girls on the bare bottom in 1970s and 80s.

Back in the 1980s glamour model, Tyler T, recounting her school days a decade before, was asked if she was ever spanked or caned. In a throwaway line not followed up she said that she was never spanked and that her school didn’t have the cane, but the “very bad girls might go across the block occasionally.”

No doubt the reporter didn’t understand the reference, but it seems clear enough and quite suggestive. I wonder if she was educated in Kent.

The Kent anecdote, if you missed it, was the suggestion that the good nuns of that county were given to birching six form girls across the bare bottom. I could never identify the school or substantiate the rumours.

However a young lady at my school who was kept back for another a year of the Upper Sixth had to sign her own permission slip in order that she might get the cane. This was the 1970s. no birches were used that I know of, but it proves that a 19-year-old could still expect CP back then.

birch _outsidebirching_block

2 Responses to “On Birches, Brooms and Bottoms”

  1. 1 bklynny0856

    Glad you are back. You were missed.

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