After several phone calls where I was promised a call back and none of them materialized, I decided to call down to Ford Parts anyway. I met Trevor who apparently supervised the refurbishment of my gearbox.
I explained that I wasn’t happy and that it felt very much like the synchromesh was failing. I was experiencing the same problems I had in Southampton. He said he’d have a little drive so we both went out. As soon as he came to a junction and geared down I said “You must have felt that grate into gear slightly?”
He looked at me as if he had no idea what I was talking about, but then said “That noise is from the gearstick block, not the box.” He believes the gearbox is perfectly fine even though we both heard it ‘clunk’ into gear. It’s clear they are not going to admit anything is wrong so my next task is to get a second opinion and maybe even a third.
By the way here are some photos that show the disgusting oily state my van was left in when I picked it up. The mat had to be thrown away because it was so oily.