After having been away from Monero from some time I have uninstalled (hopefully) the old version, deleted the files, and have installed the new gui ( 0.14.0.0 Boron Butterfly). I am restoring from my old wallet and all seems to be going well as monerod is running and downloading the blockchain with the console having been opened automatically and is currently displaying progress. The gui does display the message "wallet is not connected to daemon." with "Network Status" displaying "Searching node" and as such, I am obviously not able to see my balance. Is this normal? Do I merely have to wait for the blockchain to finish downloading for the daemon to connect or has something gone wrong which I need to address?
When you setup your wallet, you will have had an option to use a Bootstrap Node. A bootstrap node allows you to use your wallet whilst your own full node is downloading the blockchain.
This said (and assuming you didn't select to use a bootstrap node), the fact the GUI says it is not connected to the daemon suggests some other issue. Even though you can see in another window the blockchain is downloading, the GUI should still be connected and a progress bar showing progress of the blockchain sync. I suggest killing all Monero processes and restarting the GUI as a first step.