Dating bureau links
Marriage bureaux were still in their infancy and, bound by the sexually conservative mores of the time, Stella found it difficult to gain publicity: in the early Sixties, few newspapers were willing to publish her ads, fearful they were linked with the sex industry.
I was very young and we'd never spent any proper time together.
"She later came to a party for the 25th anniversary of the agency and asked if I could sign her on again because she was now divorced. There were no average types." Soon, Stella had converted a bedroom of the family home from which to run her office.
I had to decline as she was now in her late 60s and I didn't think I could help her."As the business grew in the Sixties, there were no shortage of applications. "I employed a mother's help to look after Emma, alongside a secretary, a cleaner and a housekeeper," she recalls.
She matched her very first client, a shy widow in her early 40s who was looking for a new partner to help with the upbringing of her young children.
"I found her someone and she married shortly afterwards," she recalls.