Workbench is now working perfectly. Somewhere I made an amateurish mistake.
After a computer crash I have just reinstalled Xampp on for Windows 7 on local host. In place of Mysql it uses MariaDB. From my experience and sundry net comments, Mysql Workbench does not work with MariaDB. Does anyone know of an equivalent to Workbench which will work using MariaDB? I use Workbench frequently and this is a major loss.