School assembly was rudely interrupted just before half term by the thunderous stramash of the former incumbents of Hodder Playroom - the ‘gentlemen’ of Rhetoric - soon to be OS 2019. If one could picture the scene it would not be dissimilar to Black Rod demanding entry into the Commons! It is a tradition going back many years with former SMH pupils returning from the College to throw down the gauntlet to a new generation of unsuspecting youngsters.

For those of you unfamiliar with this annual Stonyhurst jape the Rhetoric Challenge involves the ‘top’ year at the College issuing their ‘challenge’ (in Latin) to the young men of what is now Elements playroom to meet them on the cricket oval at an appointed time and place to ‘lock horns’ in a hotly contested game of bat and ball! As is customary the visiting teams arrived in questionable garb with an eclectic mix of clothing attire on display! They could certainly learn a thing or two, in this respect, from the immaculately presented SMH pupils!