No! I printed off an A4 sheet with a scan of Black & White print with no problems. The problem occurs (so far) only with 6"x4" glossy photo paper in portrait mode, where the last inch is skew and smudged. The A4 sheet was not glossy photo paper. I think it is a mechanical problem?
I tried this. It seemed to work with matt card, but when I repeated the operation with glossy paper, the paper feed started to make the same grating noise. It did not persist and the paper made only a one-line skew skip. I'll try again tomorrow when I have acquired a new pack of photo paper: I've used the old one up in failed prints! Thanks so far.
I think you are right, alas. A new test run with 6x4 glossy resulted in the same noises for the last inch, though the actual print was not as badly distorted as before. The printer remains useable, and is OK for A4 text and all but the fussiest postcard size colour prints. I will have to replace the machine eventually (it's 3 + years old) as you suggest, it is certainly not worth paying for a repair. Thank you for your patience and help.
Problem seems to have solved itself: recent use has been trouble free. Thank you, ( but I'm not willing to pay an extra £ 13 just to rate you, however good you've been).