English dating agency
"I thought my own name was a little harsh," she says.
"I chose to use my middle name, Kathleen, and Kent where I was born."The business started slowly.
When a young Stella Groschel heard of her friend's plans to join a marriage bureau in her search for a husband, she was shocked to the core. I thought it was rather on the dangerous side and something that only really desperate, peculiar people would consider." Since then, however, Stella has learned to see matters from the other side.
It was the Forties and, quite simply, respectable girls just didn't do that sort of thing. Now aged 83, she can lay claim to the title of the country's oldest and most long-standing matchmaker, still dispatching affairs of the heart at the country offices of her own dating agency.
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.
Like the one from the widow with three children who came to see her despairing that she would find love again.
"I just got on with it and decided I would deal with problems as they arose." Such was her determination that her first matchmaking attempts took place in the maternity wing of her hospital, where she had just given birth to her daughter.It had been a heady romance, but once married, Stella regretted the union almost immediately.