When I hear myself telling a tale of how I had my ears boxed, witnessed classroom comics being dragged from seats by their hair, turned away as a sadistic Maths teacher took a run up to slipper boys backsides with a size ten, even I remain slightly sceptical. Surely, somehow, time has tricked me. The distance across all those years has afforded me room to exaggerate. But, no, unfortunately my recollections are all too accurate.
The twisting of my ear for chewing in a biology lesson was executed perfectly, like an artist signing off a piece of work. The Master in question, a former member of an RAF bomber crew and pugilist of some note, regarded it his duty to prise potential out of his classes, with hard discipline. If it couldn't be twisted, poked, or slapped free, there was always humiliation. Snide references to an awkward boy's pubescent physique would draw forth more than enough earth-swallowing embarrassment to do the job.
Those who compiled the tables of grips and tortures at my old Secondary Modern, were definitely more Scarfe than Searle.