Hi Bif, thanks for the reply.
I've been pondering the last day or two and have ordered a set of damaged forks off ebay so hopefully the axle holder problem will be solved. I can also look at the springs etc in these as well so if/when I get round to doing some cartridge swaps I have a few spares.
I was also thinking of blocking off the air holes because as you say it looks like the new springs should work Ok without any extra air pressure and at the moment as they have an air leak they have been operating with what would amount to an "infinte air gap". The sag was a bit on the high side so blocking the air holes will help this.
How have people blocked the holes? I was thinking of a blob of solder, I could braze but didn't want to put loads of heat into the stanchion.
I'm really looking forward to getting the new rubber on as the existing front is 18yrs old and the rear "only" 14yrs...