For these opening and closing tages < /< is there any difference,
have I missed something?
It depends on what doctype you are using (the line at the top of your page). In other posts you've made, you've been using an xhtml doctype, so in that case your closing tags should be />
<img src="" alt="" <font color='"#FF0000"'>/></font>
If you were using an html4 doctype, you'd use this:
<img src="" alt=""<font color='"#FF0000"'>></font>
Even though that's what you are supposed to do, browsers will let you off the hook if you use the wrong one.