Ok chaps & chapesses
This was a weird one. Whenever I tried opening the file before anything else it crashed Maya (I've never seen Maya crash this much). If I opened other projects and then opened this scene I got it permanently in wireframe mode it also put the name of the project in front of all of the items in Outliner.
Fortunately, I had a copy of the same file on my USB stick and I managed to get that file open without all this gibberish. I then went through and deleted all the histories on the larger polygon meshes and it seems to have fixed the problem.
In the script editor there was something about couldn't find the split polygon node7 so I think that is what caused the problem… possibly… we shall see
Thanks for all your help, now back to me aeroplane
Tickety boo and ta ta for a bit...