Having finally and completely lost all enthusiasm for mechanicking on my knees, or lying on the shop floor, and following a lot of research and soul-searching, because they are quite pricey, I bought an abba Skylift some months ago.
In addition to doing everything it is claimed to do, it removes those two inconveniences
in fine style (and perhaps here I should add that my only connection with the company is that of a paying customer).
The Skylift is, in my view, designed primarily to accommodate modern bikes, and the 1979 Silk is the most modern of mine, but I have found that with a with a bit of ingenuity it will lift all of them securely.
Any Silk owner considering a Skylift will be interested to know that abba's standard fittings will work on it, albeit after application of some of the mentioned ingenuity
In short, I am well satisfied with the Skylift and if any Silk enthusiast is interested in more specific details I will be pleased to give them.