I ordered a new seat cover off Ebay because I just happened across it ,and thought I'd better snap it up (that's me all over!). I'm certainly nowhere near that stage yet but at the end of the day - it doesn't matter what you do first.
But maybe I should have had a better look at the seat before splashing out on a new cover!
Time to get the old cover off and check that seat base. Looking a little corroded!
The staples are very rusty but, with gentle leverage, came out of the plastic strips that are rivetted to the seat base. Any sharp bits left were taken out with a long-nosed pliers.
So, as the cover came off, the donkey was able to see the carrot.
Unfortunately, the base was worse than I first thought. Not impossible but it might be better to source another seat rather than try and repair. I'll have a think about this one.
The foam, which I thought was in bad shape, didn't turn out to be too bad. A good wash and I think it's reusable. Yes I'm serious. It's still nice and soft and the rough sections shouldn't show once the seat cover is fitted. I've seen worse.
Sorry if you thought that there might be a shiny new seat sitting at the end - that's how it goes sometimes. Half the battle when restoring bikes is maintaining the motivation when the rust crumbles in your hands - oh, and money, money's always a problem!
Spend time thinking about the solution - not the problem.