OK now I'm a little more worried.
Upgraded to VM V 2.02 - no change.
All Virtuemart components, plugin and modules uninstalled. Including 3rd party.
Deleted relevant folders via FTP.
Reinstalled VMart 2.02 Core and AIO, Cleared the DB's.
The only way to hide the error is to add in .htaccess : php_flag display_errors off
Happy to settle for this alternative at the moment. New .htaccess or existing - path ?
Any help - much appreciated.