Well, new front cylinders and shoes are now on, and it seems to stop. Its not surprising that the back was out-braking the front before - one side was fluid contaminated, and the other side had a seized wheel cylinder. (I knew about the leak - that was why I was fixing stuff, the seized cylinder was news to me however).
A certain amount of fun was had getting the peddle off the floor, but eventually it was done, mostly by adjusting up the back.
A test run seems to suggest they are pretty much balanced, and the 60mph test saw a successful very rapid stop in a cloud of tyre smoke...
Mintex shoes are the future - stops better with them on 4 cyl brakes than it used to with the 6 cyl setup when that was spot on.
As I type
10 years ago