So it has been too long (have a 1 year old will do that!) and I am back at things. I have removed all three sockets by cutting through the wiring. Turns out the sockets are soldered to the wiring and of course, they have bakelite right up and into the solder points. Bah!
So as much as it pains me to say, I am going to go with a pair of new sockets. The third (being for the globe) I am going to leave original as I am sticking with not having a globe.
I have the wiring free and loose, but stuck in the conduit. Is heating it up and melting it the only way or has anyone heard of using an acid or something along those lines? I ask because I was putting some Draino down the shower pipe the other day and got to thinking that surely there must be some chemical that can be poured down which eats or loosens the bakelite up enough to deal with it and in a controlled, safe manner. Not really sure how much I want to be trying to melt out 4-5 feet of bakelite!