Scottish Celebrities at School

The traditional implement used in Scottish schools was the tawse/belt, administered to the outstretched palm of the misbehaving pupil.

Here are some Scottish celebrities who felt the belt at school.

All References confirmed by SF&R unless marked (RC) Reliable Contributor.

*Anne Lorne Gillies - In her autobiography, Song of Myself, the singer tells of two occasions when she got the belt at school - once from a female teacher and once from a male. (RC)

Barbara Dickson - In a weekly feature in The Scotsman newspaper called My Schooldays, 2000, the singer/actress, when asked, did you ever get into trouble? said: "I did - like every child - but never in serious bother. I was given the strap once."

Dorothy Paul - In a weekly feature in The Scotsman newspaper called My Schooldays, 25th October 2000, the comedienne, when asked, did you ever get into trouble? said: "I got the belt left, right, and centre. It became the norm. I got the belt at least three times a week."

Elaine C Smith - In a debate about the belt in schools, Daily Record, 30th October 1996, the comedienne commented: "When I was at school, I got the belt several times, but it had no effect on me. It didn't stop me being a gab."

*Kirsty Wark - In the Scotland on Sunday Spectrum magazine on 2nd April 2000, it was reported that the TV presenter was belted at school. (RC)

Lorraine Kelly - During a daily "Back to School" series on GMTV, where all the presenters visited their old schools and recalled schooldays memories, John Stapleton told fellow presenter Lorraine Kelly how he was frequently caned at his grammar school. Scottish presenter Kelly said: "Was it a cane you got hit with? it was a belt we got, the leather belt. I used to get the belt for talking, the strap we called it, it was a leather belt with thonges on it, it was horrible. You used to try to draw away (hands) but that made it worse, it would go right up your wrist, it was so sore, really painful."

*Lulu - There was an article in the Sunday Post many years ago where the singer was describing her upbringing in Glasgow. She said that at school she was always giving cheek to the teachers, and added: "I suppose I deserved all the beltings I got, and believe me I got my fair share." (RC)

Marion Chesney Beaton - In a weekly feature in The Scotsman newspaper called My Schooldays, 2000, the journalist/writer, when asked, did you ever get into trouble? said: "I always seemed to be in trouble, quite rightly so. The maths teacher kept giving me 300 lines about punctuality and procrastination being the thief of time. He’d check them and hand them back to me, so next time I’d give him the same lot back. He must have marked them after the third time, because he took me outside and gave me the Lochgelly belt six times across crossed hands.
Another time, it was spring so I did a dance step in the corridor; the headmaster saw me and said: "No dancing in the corridor. My study." Six of the best again."

*Phyllis Logan - In an interview about her role in Hope and Glory, the actress said: "One teacher belted the whole class of thirty. I was about three quarters of the way down the queue. By the time she got to me I got a real thwack."

*Rhona Brankin - In the Scotsman article on schooldays, 14th May 2003, the MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament) replied to the question did you ever get into trouble? by saying: "I was belted once in primary school."

Sharleen Spiteri - In an article about the lead singer of successful group, Texas, The Mirror, 15th March 2003, she recalled: "I got the belt once in a music lesson for throwing my pen at the teacher."

Susanna York - In an article in The Daily Telegraph, 13th July 2002, the British actress recalled getting the strap on several occasions at Marr College in Troon, Scotland. She had nothing but praise for the teaching methods of the man who`d chastised her - Latin teacher, Mr Gow. She said: "The classes were big and it wasn`t wise to cross him. I had the strap three times, but I never held it against him because I deserved it."

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