There was fresh brake fluid in the system as I put a whole can in there as I bled the brakes so I suspect it was just improper bleeding of the brakes.
The invoice just states brake over haul, adjusting brakes and the cost of new brake hardware. I had replaced the brake shoes myself when I was putting it all together so I wouldn't have to worry about that. Replacing the hardware never occured to me as whatever was on there looked fine and for good measure I cleaned everything with kerosene and a wire brush. They didn't charge me for the brake fluid so i think they just topped it up to make up for the fluid lost while bleeding. The master cylinder is brand new and they don't touch the seals in there..they replace the whole cylinder if need be.
It is no surprise that we see perfectly good cars been parted out as its too expensive to get anything repaired. The only other option is to do it yourself. After my scare at the lights I decided in a hurry to seek professional help rather than risk it. In any case the brakes work like a charm and it is raining outside so I wouldn't have been able to take the car to the mechanic today.