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sounds like cylinders are full of diesel you need to pull injectors to relieve pressure on cylinder.. it causes it to lock the engine up .. you might have left the key on with a leaking injector and filled the cylinder with diesel and then it would lock you engine.
pray may i ask what the heck is a X reg ??? is it a secret code ,now do front a rear lights not work down one side of vehicle ,or just the rear light cluster one side ,not sure here but i think having the steering wheel on the wrong side doesnt help either ,its a stick change as well i suppose hope your left handed ?? and go on tell me its a diesel as well so it sounds like a truck and smells as well
if you have the owners manual-look in the index for oil capacity, or fluid capacities. that should inform you of the oil type and capacity (if you change the filter as well, it will prob. take another half-quart or so. the manual should inform you. if no manual get on ford website, and search for escort 1.8L diesel van. precede with the year of model.it may inquire whether you have a/c, 4wd, etc. may need more oil, if so. good luck!
You havent said which engine you have got so I presume it is the 1.8 diesel. Therefore, when you go to start it when it is cold, wait for the glow plug light to go off then wait approx another 15 seconds as the glow plugs continue to heat up after the light goes off before you try to start it.
have you noticed anything else stop working on the car/van ie heating cigaretter lighter etc, if so it could be the fuse box, ford escorts are renowned for the fuse boxes to go. also another suggestion is to check all of the earth straps, mine used to cut out when i used to turn right because of a dodgy earth, then the fuse box packed in