Well people thanks for the replies but it does seem as if some of you were on the falling down water last night so let me go over the awning details again:-
Weather Pro POWER awning (fitted with a wind sensor and 12v tubular motor) these two items I think makes it an automatic awning although I still have to push a button to operate it or should I say I did as it is no longer on the coach.
The awning could be operated by a remote and this was hanging in the key safe, this key safe is attached to the rear wall well away from my pocket.
Interesting point about not being able to operate the awning whilst the engine is running, I was not aware of this myself but at the moment I do not have the facilities to verify this i.e. awning.
How this awning managed to extend itself still remains a mystery to me but having spoken to the insurance repair shop it looks as though the motor has pulled out of the front arm because there is very little damage to this arm, the bolt that holds the motor shaft to the arm is missing, this is the bolt that you remove to roll the awning up in cases of power failure but replace when the awning is rolled up, this bolt was in place when it was last stowed as I assume without it the awning would not roll up.
We can see no other reason for this awning to operate itself other than this bolt becoming loose and detaching itself from the awning arm allowing the motor to free roll, it might be wise to check this bolt on your awnings, please let me know what you find. When I get a new awning fitted I will certainly be looking at a switch to isolate the awning motor when not in use and some kind of mechanical lock to stop the awning unrolling when driving.
OK you bunch of loonies you can go back to your falling down water now.