The wood for the steps came a couple of days early, so that it could be prepainted. Here we have yet another use for an unroadworthy trailer!
To save a bit of time for our expert I removed the old steps. This took about two hours and astonishingly did not involve any self defeating prophetic language (where the second word is "me") or references to the hot place, even when a huge coach bolt needed to be removed. In this process I used just about every tool I own - including the chainsaw and the angle grinder - except the lawn mower.
Having done that, it was important that neither I, nor the smalldog tried to use the steps. Fortunately we kept the tape from when the ford was concreted.