The County Register

It Takes Two

Diana Hutchinson

Attractive, elegant, hardworking and with a great sense of humour, Heather Heber Percy had not been conspicuously successful in the search for true love. At this stage of her life she decided to try and help others to find friendships and relationships.

It was not until much later that she found the man she calls ‘the love of my life’. Simon Harvey a large animal vet, was part of a very successful BBC television series Vets in Practice in the 1990s. They married in 2001.

Until this point Heather, who runs a traditional introduction agency, had spent years listening to other people telling her their problems with finding love. She had opened the agency after working for the Samaritans in Shrewsbury, taking phone calls late into the night from lonely people.

While other introduction agencies went to the wall, hers, The County Register, has been running for over 30 years, possibly because Heather’s own experiences show what does not make a good relationship. ‘I was sent off to boarding school at the age of seven, which was a bit cruel,’ she tells me ‘My parents had a great social life in Wales so my brother and I attended schools in Devon and Somerset far away from home’. She subsequently attended The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Followed by Lucy Claytons Finishing School. Her family then moved to Ibiza and Heather met the father of her children there, where he was living and working at the time. Ibiza became home and to begin with, Heather commuted to London where she was working as a successful fashion model with Lucy Claytons. She also worked in Europe in fashion shows organised by The British Fashion Export Council, but also modelled for some of the top London fashion houses at that time. She later started her own boutique in Ibiza, designing clothes for well-known celebrities and tourists and ultimately sold her designs to Germany and Holland. Running parallel with this, Heather and her husband also ran an estate agency in the town of Santa Eulalia del Rio.

When her marriage broke up in the early 1980s Heather returned to live in the UK with her two daughters and went on to set up a traditional introduction agency called Country Partners – later to become The County Register. At the time there were relatively few traditional introduction agencies in the UK, possibly as few as five, it was therefore relatively easy to enter an industry in its infancy. With the help of extremely good press reviews throughout the late eighties and nineties plus various television appearances, her agency went on to become the well-respected agency it is today, not least of all because Heather is always careful not to raise clients expectations too high, on the contrary it is all about being totally realistic about the entire process and what an introduction agency can provide for its clients.

Today the agency is run by Heather and her two daughters who will ultimately take over the family business, but they in turn have pledged to retain the values that Heather so firmly believes in. Joining a traditional introduction agency is a safer way of meeting people. As an agency The County Register undertakes to meet and interview every single person who joins the agency, this simple process provides a safety net with a proven success record. There is no upper age limit, the agency has even found three dates for a man of ninety years.

While fewer people are getting married in for example the fifties upwards, they still want to live as couples, perhaps retaining their own homes and house-hopping between the two properties, while keeping their finances separate. Something that would have been unheard of three decades ago.

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