Ok, to feel play in a sliding pillar without using levers.
Jack car up at front. Either wedge a stick to hold the brakes on or employ an assistant. This removes the small amount of play a wheel bearing should give. Very easy to think from the play the sliding pillar is worn but in actuality, it's the bearing.
Then, grasp the front roadwheel with both hands at 11 to 5, apply a modest amount of lifting force that would lift the roadwheel, the bearing and pillar. You won't see any movement but it is important to lift. Then while doing this, try and rock the wheel. Repeat at 5 past 7. If there is play, you will feel it. Then repeat for the other side.
Pre 59 (or is it 60?) sliding pillars are allowed some movement for the MOT but later cars, none. Quite ridiculous as any sliding pillar will have some play if it is to go up and down. That said, I've never had a problem as most MOT inspectors have no idea how to look for play.
If you think you have too much wheelbearing movement. With car jacked down, undo cover, jack back up, withdraw splitpin, tighten wheel nut until a modicum of drag in rotation is felt. I do this by feel but my guess is no more than 35 foot pounds, if that (I don't do Nm on Morgans). Then undo until first hole and castellation on nut align. If one is nearly aligned without loosening, go for the next one. Slip a new splitpin in, and check wheel is free to rotate and the tiniest amount of play can be felt. If all is well, bend splitpin and replace cover. You can often reuse a splitpin but all the books say "never" and splitpins are very cheap.
An old school mechanic should be familiar with this proceedure, Vauxhall Chevettes, RWD Ford Escorts are like this but no idea if current BMWs and Mercs have this sort of front wheel bearing.
1930 Super Sport Aero 'The Elk'