The flexible pipe was & is connected. The valves appear to be closed, i.e. at 90 degrees to the pipes. One valve doesn't want to move. (I'm reluctant to force it). The other one moves quite easily, but with no obvious effect.
I respect you advice regarding the filling loop. As this is rented accommodation, and we are only here for 6 months, I think I should contact the landlord..
All done, now. Many thanks for your advice - it put things right/
Landlord happy, too!