Thanks for all the help. I knew someone on here would know the answers.
I have found out some real corkers on the wiring. Plumber reckoned it was the oldest Trip switch 'fuse board' or consumer unit he had ever seen and he is over 50!
That's the trouble with being up north, everything is so far away. I'm halfway up Scotland at the moment which took me longer to get to from my home in Suffolk than it does to get to Hamburg.