All done, and yes fairy liquid was the star performer using the original stub hose, some swearing and groping in the dark whilst lying upside down in the footwell with my feet on the back shelf. What a crap job to have to do.
One worrying part was when the refitted clutch pedal locked down on the floor and wouldn't lift up, caused by the new master cylinder arm jamming on the inside of the cylinder. Loosening the end plate of the clutch pedal pivot and levering it up a few mm then tightening it allowed the piston arm to move in and out without locking up. It's a new Bosch part, but I suspect slightly different at the mouth of the cylinder from the original part.
Rear supension was powerflexed/mercedes jointed over the winter and the car now drives silently and as smooth as silk. SWMBO is delighted with it. All is sweetness and light again.