Ah, the sweet satisfaction that comes from solving a problem. This afternoon I turned to the engine block to continue the tidying up I have been doing, mainly consisting of wire-brushing and spraying with black engine paint. Having today completed spraying all surfaces and therefore beginning to concentrate on the details I focused on the distributor which has to date steadfastly refused all attempts at removal. I consulted the manual, which suggested you ‘simply remove’ and poked around it with a torch looking for some fixing or other that remained in place. Having found no clues there, I decided on some gentle shock therapy, so I used the wooden handle end of one hammer and some gentle blows with another hammer to knock it first anticlockwise, then clockwise, trying to get some movement out of it. After a half rotation each way, the distributor was certainly beginning to free up. With a gentle pull, it came smoothly free of the engine block at last.
My intention is to replace the distributor with an Electronic Ignition system, so it needed to be removed. Some such systems re-use the original body of the distributor so I will strip it down on the bench and figure out which bits to retain and so on.
While in the garage I put some more paint on the master cylinder housing and on the other end of the brake and clutch pedals. These are now hanging up to dry in the garage.