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Birmingham Punishment Cane of 1973 | by theirhistory
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Birmingham Punishment Cane of 1973

By the early 1970s the canes that we were hit with, had to conform to set standards now that Social Services was taking more control of how the Children's Homes were run .

Each cane was stamped with the authorities name and date of manufacture. This was to stop certain workers in the homes and schools from using canes that were not to the regulation standard.

Social Services tended to provide the children's homes with official canes that came from the Council's education department.


The canings for me that spring painfuly to mind from home, School and in the Children's Home, and who gave out the punishment.

Naughtiness (grandmother) age 5,

Pushing desks in classroom (headmistress) age 7,

Allowing damage to property (mother) age 7

Striking matches indoors (mother) age 7,

Stepping in ink in classroom (teacher) age 7,

Accused of throwing mashed potato (teacher) age 7,

Flooding washroom (headmaster) age 8,

Throwing small bibles (deputy Gov. in Children's Home) age 8,

Jumping on a dead worm (Headmaster) age 8,

Accused of knocking gloves off a rail (deputy headmaster) age 9,

Fighting and bad behavoir (headmaster) age 9,

Argument with Houseparent (deputy Gov. in children's home) age 9,

Several canings by the class teacher at the age of 9 & 10, the two worst: three strokes on each hand for making a girl cry, and three on each leg for some other wrong doing.

Accused of pissing on Houseparent (Gov. of children's home) age 10. (she used that as the excuse after smashing my head through a glass window - the gov. of the children's home belived her - one caning that I was innocent over).

Fighting in Children's Home (Senior Sister in Children's Home) age 11.

Plus a few more that I've forgotton about


So I've possibly helped wear out a few canes during my childhood. The worst part was waiting for the punishment to be given, having to wait an endless time oustside for the call to go in for the cane with the hope you were not going to wet your pants with the fear over how many strokes you might receive.

By the time I reached senior school at the age of 11, I knew how to act and avoided the cane simply by luck for the following 5 years.


As to did it work - the simple answer - Yes, it kept me in order.


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Taken on May 19, 2009