Parv wrote:
and then stops! I have timed it - it stops for between 4 and 5
minutes every time.

Does your screen goes blank just after the above message?  If so,
press [Enter] key, you should see the boot being continued, and
"login:" waiting for input at the end.

No the screen still has all the previous clutter on it, and pressing [Enter] just makes a new line

PS I am conscious that I don't really know the etiquette around
here too well (apart from not mentioning the logo!) - I don't want
to clutter the list with messages of thanks when help is given,
but at the same time I don't want to seem ungrateful - which is

I think everybody appreciates the message when OP tells when/if the
problem is solved.

IMO, there is really no need to generate a message for each person;
a combined (if applicable) public thank you note should be enough.
Thanking people who have helped you give them the incentive to keep
on helping you & others.

  - Parv

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