I've decided to go the "private" company route in the quest for fixing the leak. I gave-up trying to get the water company to abide by their code of practice. It could be my very literal interpretation of the code is too ridged. So rather than let the leak under mine the house while I fight it out with the water company I'm paying someone else to do the work. It could save thousands in the long run. I am sure a house falling into a big muddy pit costs much more to put right than the £500 ish I'm paying for a new supply pipe. We'll have to learn to like the taste of water that hasn't been through a lead pipe but I guess you can't have everything ;-)
The noise has just stopped. Yay! Dog has calmed down... Will try and interest her in breakfast.
Just popped my head around the front door to see how they're doing. I had half expected to see evidence of Victorian tiles under the concrete path, but it's concrete all the way down to the dirt. The front garden needs to be lowered because over the years the DPC has been bridged by subsequent layers of dirt, concrete, shingle... but for now I'll just get them to put the path back as was. When it is lowered, I'll replace the path with some Victorian quarry tiles.