There will be no sewing done today.
My trusty Singer 514 has a problem whereby it runs without the foot pedal being depressed. After a bit of investigating and searching online it would seem that this problem is not uncommon. Apparently the capacitor in the foot pedal dies and then needs to be replaced in order to rectify the situation. I've ordered said capacitor and now I'll have to wait until next weekend to perform the required surgery.
At least I know that the machine is running because while it was chugging along on its own I managed at least to wind a bobbin. No weird electrical smells coming from the machine. Only the pedal.
I have achieved one thing with this machine today. It's clean. There's no amount of fluff that you can pull from a sewing machine. Once I got started I kept finding more. After about an hour I was satisfied that the tweezers, paint brush and cotton buds had retrieved every bit of cruft that I was likely to find this time around.
If the fix works I'll be very happy to have only spent £4. If not then I have eliminated one possible cause of the fault, the next potential solution I suspect will cost a lot more.