Hi, sorry for the slight delay in getting back, I had to work through a few things.
The problem I was having (I'll get to this in a minute) was that start.sh didn't start on bootup, after it was put into crontab. It would work fine if executed from the command line using the same command as in crontab. It did work if the time to run the script was specified.
I had tried several things, including putting the command in rc.local, adding it to the root crontab etc, but couldn't get it to do anything.
Thanks Feek for your suggestion, that worked perfectly, now vlc starts everytime I start the Pi, I am a happy pirate now, just looking for some streams to play. I have found a few BBC ones, just need to carry on looking for others now.
Kenjara, thanks for the chmod comment, I had done that as part of my flailing around, and wasn't sure if it was necessary, it is useful to know I was moving in the right direction.
As far as the @reboot issue is concerned, I haven't been able to find the bug report again, it was a few years old and my search history from the weekend is all over the place from all of the searches I did trying to solve the problem, across a number of devices. I will carry on trying to find it just in case it is still an issue; but happily, my radio appears to be working perfectly.