This means that I have full support for the wifi chips I needed to use and really early activation of the fbtft screen (good for seeing if there are any boot time errors).
In the end i used the following process.
(note some extracts taken verbatim from notro's site)
rpi-update is used to install this kernel.
It must have REPO_URI support (auto updating doesn't work, since it overwrites the REPO_URI variable):
Install the kernel
Enable modules to drive the screen hardware
and add/uncoment the following lines
spi-bcm2708 i2c-bcm2708 i2c-dev stmpe_device cs=1 chip=stmpe610 blocks=gpio,ts irq-pullup irq-gpio=24 irq-base=330 sample-time=4 mod-12b=1 ref-sel=0 adc-freq=2 ave-ctrl=3 touch-det-delay=4 settling=2 fraction-z=7 i-drive=0 gpio_backlight_device gpio=252
and add the following
fbtft_device.name=pitft fbtft_device.rotate=270 fbtft_device.speed=48000000 fbtft_device.fps=50 fbtft_device.debug=0 fbtft_device.verbose=0 fbcon=map:10 fbcon=font:8x8
this can be done by using the Adafruit guide at their site so I won't reiterate it here.
Controlling the backlight
Backlight control outside of FBTFT
# Turn off backlight echo 1 | sudo tee /sys/class/backlight/*/bl_power # Turn on backlight echo 0 | sudo tee /sys/class/backlight/*/bl_power
and that's it.
hopefully this will give you the necessary pointers to get this up and running for yourself