1958 and All That

This just in from The Spank Statement’s South of England correspondent:

hernebay scandal 002

For a few brief moments in time, Herne Bay was the centre of the spanking universe. Yes, sleepy little Herne Bay on the north Kent Coast, best known for being a retirement location and the fact that 65% of its population is over 65 years old.

Back in 1958, a scandal rocked the little seaside resort, when the two licensees of a local pub called The Wheatsheaf, appeared in the divorce courts.

The wife, Norita Clements, a former dancer with E.N.S.A. (an organisation that entertained the troops during the war) was suing her husband John Clements, an ex RAF officer, for divorce on the grounds of cruelty.

The cruelty in question, was the fact that he had spanked her bottom on three separate occasions, or thrice spanked it, as the paper put it! She was spanked hard enough to make her cry. The reason for the spankings were, John felt she was fraternising with other men while he was recuperating in a nursing home.

mrsclements 001

Quite rightly, John took a poor view of this sort of shocking behaviour, and in the gentlemanly manner of many a leading man in British films during the 50s, decided that she needed a trip over her spouse’s knee. Evidently, Norita didn’t mend her ways and another two trips were needed! The judge back then, was a man, who clearly thought that if a wife behaved provocatively to her husband, she should expect a sore bottom. He threw out the petition for cruelty.

I wonder what it was like to be a local at the Wheatsheaf back then? Quite amusing I would think, and not a little arousing! Norita Clements was a very attractive woman, so any man being served a pint by her, just wouldn’t be able to hide a sly grin, at the thought of her being soundly spanked across the knee of ‘Mine Host’.

Being the 50s, the newspaper report is a little thin on the ground concerning the juicy details of the actual spankings, (unlike 15 years later during the Darren Nesbitt case) but I like to think that John Clements was a traditionalist, and so I’m sure that the lovely Norita’s knickers were lowered for her richly deserved punishment.

wheatsheaf

The Wheatsheaf pub is still going and is situated just outside Herne Bay in a place called Swalecliffe. Ever since the acrimonious divorce case in 1958, it has been customary to say ‘bottoms up’ before downing your first pint!

Thanks to Martyn for sending me this news report and the scan of the original newspaper article.

*****

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4 thoughts on “1958 and All That”

  1. If I was the judge in Norita Clement’s divorce case, I would not have granted her divorce, but order her husband to bend her over the court’s bench, raise her dress waist high, take down her knickers, and cane that bare bottom of hers most vividly.

  2. As titillating as this story may seem, and as quaint as its trappings may be, I’m afraid in practice it seems more like a clear-cut case of domestic violence. Sorry guys, this isn’t sexy to me. She should’ve gotten that divorce.

  3. I agree, that by the standards of today, this would be regarded as domestic violence, but sadly the results of today’s domestic violence, are more likely to be black eyes, cut lips and broken bones – not a sore bottom.

    I think this story illustrates just what a different world we were living in, pre 1980 (those of us who were alive back then anyway). The high court judge’s words demonstrate this perfectly. But this perspective was embedded deeply into the culture back then, on many different levels – in films, the leading lady would sometimes find herself over the leading man’s knee for a spanking, and invariably they would then end up living happy ever after (well it was in the movies). A few years after this case, in 1963, John Wayne found himself in exactly the same situation as John Clement, in the film ‘McClintock!’ and pursued the same method of reconciliation but in a more public way and more successfully! perhaps john, hair brush in hand, should have chased Norita from bar to bar during a Sunday lunch time session, before cornering her in the snug!

    In newspaper adverts back in the 60s, i have seen a wife over her husbands knee for getting the wrong coffee, in the popular comic strip the gambols, Mrs gambol went over her hubby’s knee and once even her bosses knee. On TV in the 70s, June Whitfield now famous for her role as Grandma in absolutely fabulous, but back then a very attractive lady in her 30s, played the part of an Italian housewife, in a commercial for (i think?) knorr pasta sauce. ‘my Mario, he beat me black and blue’ she whispers in a thick italian accent, as she rubs her bottom. To my knowledge there wasn’t a deluge of complaints about any of this.

    i even remember aged about 5 years old, and being taken to school by my mother, when she unfortunately walked in some wet cement that two workmen had just laid. ‘Oh i’m sorry’ she said to the men, ‘sorry’s not good enough, i should spank your bare bottom’ came the reply!

    The nation’s collective psyche was wired much differently 50 years ago!

  4. Love your little postscript to this post, Martyn.

    You should really write more guest posts for the Spank Statement and share your unique cultural perceptions. I’m sure lots of people lived through that era and it’s disciplinary flavour passed them right by.

    Perhaps it’s appropriate to christen that time “The Age of Discipline”.

    It was followed perhaps by the “Age of Permissiveness”.

    Now, many of those kids who grew up in the structurelessness of that era are turning to adult spanking to make up in some way for what they missed as kids — at least that’s one of my pet theories.

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