After a bit of work* we now have an operational website again... So step one of the journey has been completed.
Drupal has matured over the years, which is great to see, but with maturity comes complexity... it's happened before and it will happen again. In this particular case it's a bit more complex than we need it to be so we are looking at getting something lighter and nimbler... and perhaps not as mature... as in having to hand roll themes and so forth.
Anyway, we have a bit of breathing room now so on we go!