St Brides were easily one of those most intriguing software houses of the 80s. For a start they produced some great adventures games - "The Very Big Cave Adventure" was my first exposure to them, which I remember fondly. Their games were known for being well written with a keen sense of humour. Then there was the fact that they appeared to be a company consisting entirely of women (quite unique in the industry), as they were generally referred to as "the sisters"/"the ladies"/"the belles"/etc of St Brides (to what extent this was actually the case, I'm unsure).
But then there was this:
Being a naive schoolboy, I just assumed it was some kind of rather impressive marketing schtick - it certainly set them apart from other developers at the time. I mean, adults wouldn't really pay to go back to school, would they? Even so, how could one not be intrigued?
The last game of theirs I played was "Bugsy" which was released in 1986. I knew they were involved in the highly controversial "Jack the Ripper" which gained national attention in 1987 when tabloids ran headlines like "'Porno' outrage at Ripper game" and MPs tried to have it banned. I thought Ripper was their last game, but it looks like they released two further adventures in 1992 (1992 would be a significant year for the ladies of St Brides). After that they seemed to disappear entirely.
Every now and then I sit down and spend some time Googling people like Paul Woakes (Novagen), Roy Carter & Greg Follis (Gargoyle Games), Mervyn J Estcourt, and, of course, St Brides to see if I can find any information about what happened to them. I've gotten used to coming up empty handed, but this time I did have some luck with regards to St Brides.
More articles can be found on this site dedicated to Aristasia, and there's also a Wikipedia entry for the mysterious Miss Martindale.
So there you go, that's what happened to the girls of St Brides.