Blue wasn't warming up properly so I replaced the thermostat which cost me just short of a fiver from Champion. The head gasket set had a sealing ring for the thermostat so I was able to use that when I fitted the new thermostat. On reassembly I copper greased the bolt threads and tightened up the bolts carefully as the thermostat housing can break if the bolts are overtightened (been there and had the t-shirt) so it was torqued as per the manual. Blue now warms up as it should.
I bought a set of brake shoes for Becky (£2.99 on eBay) and when they arrived I started to fit them. While I was at it I noticed some more grot as you can see in the photo.
It has since been cleaned up with the trusty angle grinder and plates will be welded on. Why do I keep on finding more corrosion? It would've cost me an absolute fortune to pay for it to be welded. Going back to the brakes I had difficulty getting the drums back on. I found out that the handbrake linkage (which incorporates the self-adjusting mechanism) had seized solid at one end where it is supposed to pivot. Once I'd freed it off (it was the same on both sides) I was able to refit the drums and now the handbrake feels a lot better. It needs adjustment because I'd been turning the adjusting nut all the way in and it was never going to hold the way it was before I'd freed off the linkage so I need to undo the nut. As it is I can only just pull the handbrake on to the first click of the ratchet so it is too tight. I don't want to stretch or break the cables because replacing them means dropping the petrol tank to get at them.