Dating bureau links
We had nothing in common and simply couldn't communicate.
I was very young and we'd never spent any proper time together.
In fact, despite Stella's unhappiness, the couple remained married for 14 years, during which time Stella fell pregnant, aged 38, with the couple's daughter, Emma.
By then working as a journalist on her local newspaper in Sheffield, where the couple had settled, Stella knew she would be unable to continue with her career but, with a stultifying marriage, was aware she needed something else to distract her.
20,000 lonely hearts later (including her own) her views on the changing mores of romance make fascinating reading."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."Old men always want a young dolly bird, and the plainest girls still like to think they can get themselves a millionaire," says Stella waspishly.
Today, she still sports the steely, scrutinising gaze that has been her principal professional tool during her 50-year career - a career she fell into by accident to distract herself from an unhappy marriage of her own (the irony of that inconvenient fact does not, of course, escape her).Born in Farnborough, Kent, in 1924, Stella Flanders, as she was then, initially trained as a nurse.