I managed to get my LCD display working finally.
I tried the alternative USB subsystem and it worked perfectly. It was as simple as that.
My system was using the “uhci” version so I set it to use “usb-uhci” instead.
I have never used USB on that PC before so had never noticed it wasn’t working.
I had to modify
/etc/hotplug/blacklist and change
uhci to specify which to block on boot (thereby allowing the other correct one to load).
I’m pleased to see that LCDproc uses a client/server approach, which means it’s easily controllable from any language that can do sockets.
Next step, program the damn thing!