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TITLE
A school prank involving the strap
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_CAITHNESS_CROFTING_26
PLACENAME
Canisbay
DISTRICT
Northern Caithness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
CAITHNESS: Canisbay
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
unknown
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
2788
KEYWORDS
crofting
crofters
crofter
croft
crofts
paraffin lamp
lighting
coal fires
heating
pranks
stoves
audio

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In this audio extract a Canisbay crofter remembers one of the pranks he played on the school headmaster. He mentions the strap, a leather belt (also known as a tawse) which was the main instrument of corporal punishment in Scottish schools until its use was outlawed in 1983.

'There wis no electric, it wis all paraffin lamps in the school then - there were no cuts - an a coal fire. It wis coal. An, och, the strap. Maybe there no strap now, Ah don't know, but in at day when Ah wis goin somebody got the strap every day, somebody, every day. An a great prank then wis till hide the strap. Ye could hide it, an ye could. Ye could nip in when the headmaster wis at his dinner, an ye could put it in below a seat or somewhere. An this day, Ah had the brilliant idea - they were, they were takin oot the stove an it'd left a big hole, ye know, in the - where the store where the chimney, wis a hole left - this bit o sheet o tin an a hole - so Ah thought I'd pop the strap in there, in this hole, an he'd never see it.

So I mind, Ah popped it in the hole now, an oh somebody hid to get the strap. No strap. So there wis a whole day an nobody got the strap, an then somebody told the teacher at - Ah dinna mind who told him but somebody told him - at I'd popped it in is hole. And Ah remember he took me roon wi him to look to see if Ah could see it, because he'd pretty poor eyesight in the dark. He couldnae see at all. So Ah remember he wis lookin roon at the hole and he's askin me if Ah could see it. 'No', Ah says, Ah couldnae. Ah wis seein it all right but Ah says, 'No, sir, can't see it at all.' 'Oh', he says 'that's strange' he says, 'they're sayin it's in here and ye can't see it.' Ah says, 'No'. So he looked for it. He'd no torch, so he'd better get a joiner, Ah remember fine, he took the whole tin sheet oot, and lo and behold here wis the strap where they thought it wis, an my goodness, I'm telling ye, he made up for it'

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A school prank involving the strap

CAITHNESS: Canisbay

1980s

crofting; crofters; crofter; croft; crofts; paraffin lamp; lighting; coal fires; heating; pranks; stoves; audio

Highland Libraries

Caithness Recordings: Schools

In this audio extract a Canisbay crofter remembers one of the pranks he played on the school headmaster. He mentions the strap, a leather belt (also known as a tawse) which was the main instrument of corporal punishment in Scottish schools until its use was outlawed in 1983. <br /> <br /> 'There wis no electric, it wis all paraffin lamps in the school then - there were no cuts - an a coal fire. It wis coal. An, och, the strap. Maybe there no strap now, Ah don't know, but in at day when Ah wis goin somebody got the strap every day, somebody, every day. An a great prank then wis till hide the strap. Ye could hide it, an ye could. Ye could nip in when the headmaster wis at his dinner, an ye could put it in below a seat or somewhere. An this day, Ah had the brilliant idea - they were, they were takin oot the stove an it'd left a big hole, ye know, in the - where the store where the chimney, wis a hole left - this bit o sheet o tin an a hole - so Ah thought I'd pop the strap in there, in this hole, an he'd never see it. <br /> <br /> So I mind, Ah popped it in the hole now, an oh somebody hid to get the strap. No strap. So there wis a whole day an nobody got the strap, an then somebody told the teacher at - Ah dinna mind who told him but somebody told him - at I'd popped it in is hole. And Ah remember he took me roon wi him to look to see if Ah could see it, because he'd pretty poor eyesight in the dark. He couldnae see at all. So Ah remember he wis lookin roon at the hole and he's askin me if Ah could see it. 'No', Ah says, Ah couldnae. Ah wis seein it all right but Ah says, 'No, sir, can't see it at all.' 'Oh', he says 'that's strange' he says, 'they're sayin it's in here and ye can't see it.' Ah says, 'No'. So he looked for it. He'd no torch, so he'd better get a joiner, Ah remember fine, he took the whole tin sheet oot, and lo and behold here wis the strap where they thought it wis, an my goodness, I'm telling ye, he made up for it'