jspobuk: I don't want to sound like I'm stating the obvious, but since you say you're new to it then it may have been overlooked.... make sure the serial bitrate in your serial console is the same as the one in the serial.begin line. Without the code to hand I can't be certain, but I don't think there's any "halts" in the code before the first bit of code you post, and mismatched speeds could be a prime culprit there.
Do you have a project thread or some place you post about what your working on
I would like to follow your progress and see how you got it all working
What else do you have planned ?