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1st has only part synchro (iirc) and reverse has none (whereas 2-3-4 all all synchronised)

if you are in 2nd gear at standstill, can you slip it into first like that?

could be hydraulics (has the clutch reservoir fluid gone down?)
could be a failing clutch pivot (sure sign of this is the clutch pedal is much lower than the brake pedal)
could even be the gear stick flopping around (it has a pinch bolt at the bottom that can loosen)

what exactly do you mean by screeching? grinding gears noise or something like a slipping fan belt 'screech'

has any work been done recently on the car?
As a stopgap, you may want to try putting it into 2nd, while stationary and -keeping the clutch fully depressed- THEN engage 1st.
Need to repair anyway: Clutch not (fully) separating.
 
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