They hit it off immediately, moved in together, married, and had a baby of their own, which made nine.
They live in a raucous household just a few miles away."Another lady came to see Stella after escaping her violent former husband. I get a Christmas card from them every year, and postcards from their travels," Stella recalls.
"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.
We had nothing in common and simply couldn't communicate.
I was very young and we'd never spent any proper time together.
"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.
It is the ordinary folk, however, of whom she is most proud, and whose thank-you letters she treasures.
Fifty years ago, this woman set up Britain's first modern dating agency and created a giant industry.
20,000 lonely hearts later (including her own) her views on the changing mores of romance make fascinating reading.
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.