Colchester Master 2500 clutch shaft removal and refitting

Does anyone have any experience of removing and refitting the clutch
shaft on a Master 2500?
A friend and I have just removed the clutch shaft (shaft A in the
hanbook) to get at the idler gear (on shaft C in the handbook). Having
pulled the splined shaft out we ended up dismantling the reverse clutch
pack and taking it out piece by piece to make enough room to get the
rest of the bits out...
There has to be a better way as putting it back together the reverse way
will be nigh on impossible...
Having got the idler gear out and discovered the best part of 1mm of
side play between it and its shaft I think we've discovered the source
of the headstock whine...
Thanks for any and all help!
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Dashed bad form replying to your own posts, but it seems that no-one else is going to! ;-)
I've now done this, so if anyone else is thinking about it let me know and I can pass on the lessons I learned.
The quick version is "don't". It's a pig of a job.
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