Yes smallest front largest rear is the easiest gear. If it is not easy enough you need to make the largest on the rear larger or the smallest on the front smaller.
As you can't change the rings on the front without changing the whole chainset your cheapest option is to change the sprockets on the back (the freewheel). I'm guessing that you currently have a 14-24 (lowest gear of 46.2") you should be able to get a 14-28 (lowest gear of 39.6") on there without any problems which would help. A new freewheel should cost about £10 or so and no more than £5 to have it fitted at the lbs.
You can change the chainset which would be a nice upgrade and allow you to run a small chainring of 39 as opposed to your current 42 (lowest gear of 42.9"). Cost of that would be between £30 - £50'ish for a budget one.
Hope that helps!
Thank you once again i have wrote all that down and will have a word with my LBS at the weekend,its all double dutch to me lol but i trust what you say ,
As for the hill climbing i am doing all i can to improve the power in my legs but i have been diabetic since i was 12yrs old and im going on 60 now so time takes it toll but onwards we go ,no mountain too high as they say ,thanks again ,best wishes Brian.