Thanks Eric, I now know what I am dealing with.
Here is my idea - who knows, it may be a wishllist feature for the next release.
If you can think of a neater solution, please advise
Add a field to pcms2_contents as a flag as to whether or not to have html formatting.
if no formatting is required, use the php strip_tags() function on the string in the contents field.
edit the contents_insert and contents_update pages accordingly