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Summer Term at Bexhill School in the late 1950s: a time when corporal punishment is still the preferred way of keeping young ladies in order.

Twelve strokes of the cane is the usual penance for those who sneak across to the local store to stock up on cigarettes or – even more shocking – alcohol. But can the suppliers of such forbidden delights be considered entirely innocent themselves or should they, too, share the pain?

Fooling about, the speciality of those high-spirited troublemakers Sally and Linda, is not a good idea when important prospective parents, and their daughter Veronica, are being shown round the school. When a wet sponge meets the visitors, sacrificial bottoms are needed. And what an impression Matron makes on Veronica when their paths unexpectedly cross!

Another parent has generously funded a swimming pool, but when the safety regulations are ignored, neither swimsuits nor seniority offer much protection from the rattan as order is restored.

Miss Holloway, the school’s normally efficient secretary, seems to be losing her touch. The Headmaster wonders whether a touch or two of the same treatment the girls get under similar circumstances might restore her previous efficiency. The important thing is not to get carried away, because the consequences could be calamitous.

Miss Holloway is, of course, the only honorary member of the Bexhill Spanking Society. But the BSS is moving into both the garden shed and uncharted territory, with disastrous results.  

Finally, it’s time for the summer holidays and for Debbie and Catharine the pungent aroma of the Italian coast and a particularly glossy waiter. These lead inexorably to another, equally pungent fragrance: that of linseed oil softening up a long-unused and particularly vicious ‘Society’ cane.

Once again, bottoms young and older find themselves uncomfortably in the line of fire of wood, rattan, and leather.

Book 4   Twelve Down

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