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rainbow ruler   :  Archive   :  1976 to 1995   :  UK Schools Dec 1982


School CP - December 1982

Corpun file 6659


Daily Mail, London, 1 December 1982

A New Chapter at Greyfriars ...

Crikey chaps! What's happened to dear old Bunter?

Old and new Bunter drawings

'BUNTER! Bend over that chair!'

'Oh crikey!'

'At once!' thundered Mr Quelch.

In the lowest possible spirits, Billy Bunter bent over the chair. The cane swished and descended. Billy Bunter's tight trousers fairly rang under the swipe.

'Wow!' roared Bunter. 'Yow! Yaroooooh! Yow-ow-ow-ow!'


The unfortunate incident in Quelch's study at Greyfriars School, as described in the 1954 edition of Frank Richards' classic, goes on for a full page, the blood-curdling vowels striking gleeful terror into generations of young readers.

Until now.

A new children's author, Kay King, has brought Bunter and Co. up to date. And it's just not the same any more.

'I shall cane you Bunter.'

'Oh!' The fat face fell.

'I think Bunter, that you know what to do.'

'Yes, sir,' quavered Bunter.

Had anyone been listening outside Quelch's study, he would have heard yells and wails as Bunter bent over. 'Yow-ow-ow-ow! Yoo-hooooo!'

The whole business occupies just eight lines. But then a lot has changed since Greyfriars first opened its doors in a halfpenny book for boys, entitled The Magnet, in 1908.

Good heavens, Frank Nugent and Johnny Bull now appear to have started out at State schools. And poor old Huree Jamset Ram Singh, Nabob of Shanipur, has lost his royal status and far from being permanently at odds with the English language -- 'the coldfulness is terrific' -- now says boring things like 'It's very cold indeed.'

Mr Bob Acraman, founder of the Greyfriars Club, composed of ageing schoolboys from all walks of life, said: 'I get the feeling the new books have been put out to appeal to a Socialist type of youngster.'


But publisher Jeremy Greenwood of Quiller Press explains: 'If these books are to be enjoyed by today's youngsters, they had to be updated.

'We also felt that if we left the Indian boy with his stilted English, children would have seen him as a figure of fun.

'We might have had teachers banning it from school libraries.'

Not at Greyfriars, they wouldn't.

blob See also: 12 August 1987: Cripes! -- they're swiping caning for six: Arthur Marshall remembers when school beatings were good for you

Corpun file 7489


Daily Mail, London, 22 December 1982

Ban sales of caning game, say teachers

Press cuttingA CHILDREN'S board game which jokes about corporal punishment in schools should be banned, teachers in an anti-caning protest group demanded yesterday.

But Whale Toys, makers of the game Thrash, said it was ludicrous to suggest they were encouraging child beating. Thrash was designed by two children for the TV show Tiswas.

The game is for two players, one acting as teacher, the other as pupil. The aim is to turn the rebel pupil into a 'swot', or to send the strict teacher crazy.

Captions on the board squares include 'pupil caned', 'locked in storeroom,' 'clouting' and 'ear tweaking.'

The Society of Teachers Opposed to Physical Punishment -- STOPP -- said yesterday that impressionable youngsters could be mentally harmed by the game.

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