Have found the problem with the van, the linkage on top of the gear box has come adrift as the cup that held the nylon bush has broken (too nerdy? nah!). I can't fix it so 1st and 2nd gear are still not readily available. Many thanks to Sarah from Truro for this practical idea on how to keep on using Charlie :-)
Captains Log Supplemental: Wimped out of trying to do the repair myself and have booked Charlie into a local garage. The challenge is getting there! Tonight I shall be improvising with good old cable-ties in order to facilitate some sort of gear change possibility (Hill starting a 2 ton vehicle in 4th is somewhat tricky).
Captains Log Supplemental, Supplemental: The Heath-Robinson fix that I have done to get the van to the garage works so well that I am tempted not to get it repaired at all. I'm as chuffed with this as the emergency fix I once did to a friends car windscreen wipers using a Mars Bar, tub of grease and a pair of shorts ...... and thus allowed us to complete a journey to Manchester.