Dating agency for married people uk
Born in Farnborough, Kent, in 1924, Stella Flanders, as she was then, initially trained as a nurse.Then, aged 24, she married Ernest Groschel, a Czech engineer 13 years older who had come to Britain to escape the war.In almost half a century of romantic busybodying, nearly 20,000 people have passed through her books - from Bluebell girls and businessmen to beauty queens and barristers.There have been hundreds of weddings and, today, in a world of speeddating and internet romance, she still has around 400 clients of all ages hoping Stella's personal touch can help find them their Mr or Miss Right.Unable to have children of her own, she believed herself to be no catch at all. "She had such low self-esteem." Stella matched her to a local man who was seen as something of a confirmed bachelor when he joined the bureau. The couple were so enamoured of her matchmaking abilities that just a few years ago, they sent their nephew to see her."I introduced him to someone and now they're very happily married, too." Most people, she says, have a firm idea of what they want, and Stella endeavours to deliver.
Each came for a personal interview, with Stella carefully jotting down their age, hobbies and preferences into a notebook.
"The fact that my friend had gone to a marriage bureau all those years ago had really stuck in my head," she recalls. "I couldn't help thinking that I could make a success of my own matchmaking service.
I thought at least given my experience, I might be able to help other people."And so on a hot July afternoon in 1962, Stella travelled by train to London to register the name of the Kathleen Kent Marriage Bureau with Companies House.
Those Stella has helped over the years include television personalities - although Stella is resolutely declines to name them - and members of the aristocracy.
It is the ordinary folk, however, of whom she is most proud, and whose thank-you letters she treasures.