Finally got it to work with my own kernel. Not quite sure of the exact details but the problem was largely me getting to know a completely new system (Debian testing). DKMS and fglrx and my own kernel being apparently a VERY picky combination.
Many thanks to Kano for putting up with me and having faith that it would eventually work.
One final point if you don't play around with systems you never learn anything about them.
Blacksmith signing off having learned a great deal.