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The Sun, London, 21 April 1981
Mr Whacko gets a caning
Teachers hit at 'sordid trade'
By Robert Bolton and David Graves
A MAN who sells thousands of canes to schools and parents was under attack from a group of teachers last night. He was accused of peddling "sordid wares" and publishing a kinky magazine.
"Mr Whacko" -- father-of-two Eric Huntingdon -- got his caning from STOPP, the teachers' society opposed to corporal punishment.
The group urged the official newspaper for teachers to stop carrying advertisements for his canes.
Mr Huntingdon's Bognor Cane Company in Sussex advertises eight different types of canes in The Teacher, journal of the National Union of Teachers.
STOPP officials claimed that Mr Huntingdon's own magazine, Family View, contained lurid details of teenagers being beaten.
One issue carried a letter from a mother who had used one of the firm's "spanking paddles" -- a type of slipper about the size of a woman's hand.
She wrote: "My daughter's bottom glowed like a cigarette in the dark."
Tom Scott, STOPP's education secretary, said: "This is a sordid trade.
"It is quite clear a lot of these canes are bought for sado-masochism and flagellation.
"Why does he produce a magazine that contains so much salacious material?"
Mr Scott showed reporters an array of the canes sold by Mr Huntingdon's firm.
The canes -- which cost 50p each -- ranged in length from 20in to 34in and had names such as "Prefect" and "Monitor."
STOPP has now written to Fred Jarvis, general secretary of the NUT -- which is split over the issue of corporal punishment.
The letter asks him to ban advertisements for the canes from The Teacher.
At a special meeting during the NUT conferences in Eastbourne, STOPP said it was "intolerable" that the union should boost sales for the firm.
But the allegations brought an angry response from 53-year-old Mr Huntingdon.
He said: "I'm not a sinister character -- I am ashamed that some people use the cane for pleasure purposes.
"Most of my canes are bought by local authorities and schools. Some individual parents buy them for their children.
"But it's absolutely ridiculous to suggest that I am encouraging sado-masochism.
"I'm only interested in selling canes for purely legitimate reasons.
With some children, and in some circumstances, corporal punishment has its place."
Mr Huntingdon went on: "What STOPP is trying to cover up is that the average parents are worried about the conduct of their children.
"Nobody likes to admit they have to clobber their kids. It's a taboo subject, so in a way it's an under-cover business."
Mr Huntingdon's firm sells 300 to 500 canes a week.
The canes, said Mr Huntingdon, were made for him by a pensioner out of cane about the thickness of a pencil.
He said Family View, which was published at irregular intervals, had been discontinued.
He added: "The magazine contained no salacious material at all."
Corpun file 11862
Daily Express, London, 21 April 1981
Teachers in storm over the cane king
Ban his 'porn' ads, union told
By Bruce Kemble
TEACHERS got out a big stick yesterday to discipline their own union for publicising an alleged pornographic advertisement.
Cause of all the trouble was an advert in "The Teacher" for canes. A group backed by leading educationalists claimed the advertiser had more sinister motives.
They alleged at Eastbourne where the 258,000-member National Union of Teachers was in conference, that a newsagent from Bognor, Sussex, was using the paper to peddle porn.
The group, supported by former Education Secretary Lord Boyle, senior educationalist Lord Young and Sir Ashley Bramall, leader of the Inner London Education Authority, asked general secretary Mr Fred Jarvis to ban the advert.
They said: "It is intolerable that the N.U.T. should boost the sale of sordid wares manufactured by the Bognor Cane Company, run by the newsagent Eric Huntingdon."
He produced a magazine called "Family View" which includes material "similar to that contained in pornographic magazines catering for the sado-masochistic trade."
The teachers cited drawings and photos of "scantily clad and suggestively posed children" and said "obsessive and lurid" letters of the same style as appear in overtly pornographic magazines, were published.
The claims puzzled an official of "The Teacher." He said: "The Bognor company has advertised only canes and not its allegedly pornographic magazine. Nevertheless, we will investigate these allegations with a view to reconsider [sic] advertising."
But the man behind the row, 53-year-old Mr Huntingdon, the father of two, said it was the teachers who needed to be taught a lesson.
He said: "It's absolute nonsense and utter rubbish to say I publish porn.
"These teachers will use any stick to beat me with. I'm a God-fearing sort of Dad and I think I take the same view of caning as the majority of parents."
Mr Huntingdon who sells between 300 and 500 canes a week at 50p a time, mostly to teachers, admitted he had written and published a poem "Spanks for the Memory."
My "Family View" stopped appearing about two years ago.
The Times, London, 22 April 1981
Striking story from Bognor
By Michael Horsnell
The controversy over that sordid advertisement for school canes in The Teacher magazine, reported yesterday in The Times, has developed into a spanking good row spiced with the threat of legal action.
You will remember that the Society of Teachers Opposed to Physical Punishment (STOPP) has asked Fred Jarvis, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, which publishes The Teacher, to ban the offending ad.
Yesterday STOPP continued to castigate Mr Eric Huntingdon, owner of the Bognor Cane Company of Bognor Regis which placed it, will allegations that "a certain sort of magazine" he also published called Family View contains shocking details of spanking practices together with pictures of scantily clad females.
Tom Scott, STOPP's education secretary, told me: "The magazine has lurid stories of bare-bottom beating inflicted on teenage girls. It is also clear that some of the 'weapons' sold by the company are being bought by people who wish to indulge in sado-masochistic flagellation."
I have news for Mr Scott -- Mr Huntingdon, father of two teenagers whom he says he has never spanked with cane or leather paddle, is seeking legal advice.
What is more, Family View, a copy of which I have obtained, is about as lurid as the Radio Times, and the females pictured therein are about as undressed as the average underground train traveller in summer.
I was, in short, not shocked by it -- and neither will anyone else be. Family View, which never sold more than 100 copies, has been defunct since January last year.
Mr Huntingdon, aged 53, who is growing crosser by the minute, told me: "I am taking legal advice. What they have said is utter unmitigated rubbish. They seem to want to get hold of any stick to beat me."
His company sells between 300 and 500 canes a week -- nearly all of which go to the 79 per cent of schools which still administer corporal punishment in Britain. The eight varieties of canes sold, all 50p each plus packing charge, range from the A1 senior 34in long, to the A8 nursery version 20in long -- a short cane suitable for younger children who "are generally punished across their parent's knee."
Mr Huntingdon added: "The intention of the magazine was to give parents some guidance about the time a child should go to bed, how much pocket-money he should have and how much homework to do. There is still a need for a magazine like it.
"So far as canes are concerned, I ask STOPP what are their proposals for dealing with child crime and violence. They must have considered practical alternative methods of discipline. It is right that they should give equal energies to publicising their proposals as they have to make derogatory remarks about those who have yet to find a satisfactory alternative."
The New Standard, London, 27 April 1981
A cane that stops classroom mutiny
THE HORRIFIC accounts of classroom hooliganism contained in your front page report [April 23] of the NAS/UWT annual conference are surely final proof -- if any were needed -- of ILEA's lunacy in banning corporal punishment in secondary schools.
One London delegate spoke of assaults on teachers as "an atrocious problem which has escalated since the early Sixties."
During that period I attended the first comprehensive (North Romford) established in Essex. The discipline was strict, and for a pupil to assault a teacher would have been undreamed of.
Mere insolence would have meant the stick -- for girls as well as boys. I well recall having to bend over for "eight of the best" across thin gym pants for a second offence of smoking at the age of 15 -- administered by a muscular young deputy head, armed with some 3ft. of extremely supple malacca, who had only recently represented the County's ladies' side at squash. It was the last time I ever smoked!
My two fellow culprits each received the traditional six on that occasion, my crime being the greater because I supplied the offending cigarettes.
By present standards I am sure we would have been judged angels. Yet if the occasional well-deserved caning did us a world of good (and I am firmly convinced that it did) how much crazier it is under present conditions to deprive teachers of the one sanction which is really deterrent. -- Ellen Barker, Balls Pond Road, N1.
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