Almost half a lifetime ago in the early 1980s, two young mothers standing at the school gates waiting for their children to be returned after a day in the classroom, started a conversation about dating and the need for a service through which likeminded singles, the divorced and those who had been widowed could meet, often in later life.
That conversation gathered momentum over a few weeks of their regular meetings outside school and within months Heather Heber Percy and Geraldine Turner had their fledgling enterprise up and running and one of the UK’s best known traditional dating agency’s The County Register had been born – the rest is history.
Over the years Heather and Geraldine enjoyed lots of successes in introducing others and they have long since lost count of the number if engagements, marriages and long term relationships that they have been responsible for but it’s running into thousands and today despite Geraldine’s retirement in early 2019 The County Register still flourishes and Heather along with daughter Zara, still remain as a big part of the company 36 years on, proving that traditional, face to face dating is alive and well, away from the internet.
Say’s Heather “We have many advantages that an online dating service just couldn’t provide, we interview every potential member face to face, using one of the most comprehensive dating questionnaires in the industry and we then carefully and discreetly carry out background checks to ensure that we know that each and every member is genuine, comes from the right sort of background and is at least financially solvent. Which is something an online dating service just simply wouldn’t have the resources to provide”.
She continues “The County Register is a totally private and confidential service too, never will there be a public profile of you or any sort of photograph on the internet and our database is the biggest of it’s kind in the UK – where every member has been personally interviewed and vetted. We are also happy to come to you, where you are at your most comfortable – in your own home or alternatively you can come to us in our centrally located office and if you do we will include a free photography session in our own studio. Such is our belief in the need for excellent photographs and for potential partners to see you at your very best.”
The internet dating revolution came to the UK with the launch of match.com in the late 1990’s and became an instant success. It increased the number of singles searching for love from around 2 million in the year 2000 to 16 million when it peaked in 2012. But success in turn brought problems such as fake profiles, fraud, a burgeoning crime rate – online dating related crime is one of the fastest growing crime categories in the UK, according to the National Crime Agency, some of it being the worst imaginable as well. The County Register’s approach spares members from any involvement in that.
So what of the future? Where does Heather Heber Percy see the market going over the next 2 decades or so? “I am such a believer in us and our side of the industry” says Heather. “Most people now know that internet based dating is now not for them and 95% of our conversations start with ‘I have tried the internet but haven’t enjoyed it’ and it does now make our job so much easier. So many people are now running scared of meeting people from the internet and it’s easy to understand why quite frankly”.
Heather continues: “Hopefully people can now fully understand what The County Register can offer, it’s a face to face service, that is very traditional, with myself and our team highly involved in finding the right calibre of match for them. Whist this year my original partner in the business Geraldine has retired, I have been so lucky to find someone with the experience and diligence of Kim Shaw, from the Dating Options Group, who was my choice to succeed Geraldine as General Manager of The County Register. Kim’s experience, zest and energy have brought a new dimension to the team and I feel that matching couldn’t be in better hands. I feel blessed and very lucky to have found Kim”.
So why not let us tell you more about The County Register? There is never any obligation, just an honest and straight forward conversation and an evaluation as to whether or not we could help you find your soulmate. Usually we can, so please phone us at our expense on 0800 644 4110 or complete our contact form on this site and we will come back to you within 24 working hours. There is never any sort of charge for an initial consultation, so you have nothing at all to lose in contacting us.