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It serves me right I suppose after my decision to abandon going out and doing some DIY instead. It seemed like a good idea after some wally dropped a load of chemicals over a local stretch of the M25 resulting in its closure. The result of that was heavy traffic locally as an alternative route.
After the dark winter months I finally got around to replacing the non working outside porch light with a new lantern with a PIR motion detector. I figure that by the time I get it working the darker nights will be returning.
Step one take down the old lamp then replace the broken light switch in the porch. The old lantern had no lamp holder just three twisted wires poking out which I decided to untwist. Now it is lucky that I was wearing rubber soled shoes and did not have my feet in a bowl of water as I got one hell of a shock off the earth wire.
Ok I was stupid not to have removed the lighting fuse first so I did that second instead. I removed the old fitting trimmed back the wires and fitted the new lamp and very smart it looks too. Now for the light switch.
Undo the screws drop the switch forward and found a three core cable with the green 'earth' wire connected to the red Live wires. In the back of the metal switch box a black 'neutral' wire was connected to the earth. I took that out and replaced it with a proper earth wire.
After much frustrating attempts to trace which wires went where and did what, I gave up and disconnected the whole lot from the lighting circuit. I shall try again tomorrow to trace the wiring and make the whole lot legal again having completely run out of patience today.
This evening I built up my reserve of patience on the computer.