Hosting the 1998 Manufacturing Industry Achievement Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London this week gave us a chance to catch up with old friends from industry as well as rewarding some of the most successful companies of the year. Many guests told us it was high time manufacturers got a chance to celebrate. Too many companies find that despite efficiency gains, high R&D spending and innovative products, there is little to show for it. Profits are still eroded by the high value of sterling, or the stock market value is unfairly downgraded by City sceptics who believe all engineering companies are exactly the same. Hence the awards a chance to recognise what’s really been happening this year. Congratulations, once again, to the winners.