About the same time Sir Francis Dashwood was setting up the Hellfire BC for psychopathic toffs, aristocrats and landed gentry, another club hundreds of miles away was beginning to make an even bigger name for itself........ in this emerging and rather bizarre world of bridge.
Hades Bridge Club in Northumberland had a reputation for offering the most exciting form of bridge ever devised. Run and managed by one of the Devil's Disciples, ordinary members were always obliged to play against his army of minions, who always sat North South. But more importantly, Lucifer's lieutenant always set the hands for every duplicate event.
Stuck to the underside of each board was a card which revealed the auction bidding, what the final contract was, and who was deemed to be the declarer. If East or West was obliged to steer home a very makeable contract, then the right lines of play still had to be found because the minions, although not blessed with brilliance, would prove to be stubborn and competent defenders. Similarly, if the minions were required to be declarers, then the task for East/West pairs was to beat the beatable contract by solid and sensible defence.
However, the moment an E/W pair failed on a board, their time on earth was up, and in a flash they were whisked away into the limbo world of purgatory. For all those pairs who survived the evening, they all walked away with bags full of gold. So not only was the whole experience the equivalent of a never ending white knuckle ride, but the whole concept of mixing greed with fear simply enabled excitement levels to reach new unprecedented heights. The club, not surprisingly, had a 3 year waiting list despite its huge turnover of ordinary members.
Tragically, the club only survived for 4 years. With so many people disappearing off the face of the earth, local police concluded that supernatural forces were at work. Eventually they secured a court order to have the club closed down, before permission was given to have the place demolished.
Fondly mentioned in folklore stories, Hades BC unfortunately acquired the label of " infamous ". Nevertheless, the diaries of surviving members reveal a healthy respect they had for the club, waxing lyrical at the very high standard of bridge they encountered, and the joy of walking away from each duplicate evening far better off than when they arrived.