Thanks to all for answering. Did put me off in the right direction. Had I been able to script this it would have been simpler but couldn't find an easy answer. Nowhere are there instructions for getting mail out of Earthlink Totalaccess. Just ways to get it into it.
Here is how I did it.
1. Select each individual message from folders (inbox, etc). Cannot do with mulitiples.
2 Do a File-save as and click the drop down for *.eml. Save it to a folder with the same name as the mailbox folder and give the message any name. ie 1,2,3,etc. Do this for every message you wish to transfer.
3. Start Outlook Express and create folders in the mailbox for each of the folders you have saved *.eml messaages to.
4. Select the Outlook Express folder and make it active. Select the folder you copied your *.eml messages to and do edit select all. Drag these *.eml files to the Outlook express folder and they will be automatically accepted. Do this for all the messages you wish to transfer.
5. Close Outlook express and start Thunderbird. Do a tools import and select Outlook Express. All will be imported under a folder called Outlook Express. These can then be manipulated in Thunderbird.
Hope this helps someone else.