A very big thank you to everyone who helped make the Baking Industry Awards such a fabulous, fun night - sponsors, finalists and guests (pg 4 and pgs 15-22). John Waterfield won the accolade Baker of the Year, sponsored by Vandemoortele, and I think it made the whole industry proud that such an innovative, quality craft baker, who is up-to-the-minute on everything from new products to waste management, shop design to staff training, walked off with the top prize.

John never says: "We’ve made it, we’ll stand still for a moment," because you can’t. There’s too much pressure, too much competition. And in order to invest money back in the business, you must keep making it. What a great firm!

Joanna Lumley was warm, funny and so professional. She had a smile for everyone, posed for photos and told me what lovely people you all were. Bakery, by its nature, is tactile - even in the plant sector where finished products are still benchmarked against others, squeezed and sampled. So the fact that Joanna just naturally touched and embraced people - with the odd hug thrown in - proved very popular!

The community spirit was evident the whole evening in this single-sector industry where times of prosperity and times of adversity help bind everyone together.

And while price increases peppered many a chat, soon people were hitting the dance floor or clapping the Shirley Bassey look-alike, who belted out her songs with gusto.

Our Special Award winner, John Gillespie (front cover), has done so much more than work for Macphie. He has given his time and talents to many aspects of baking and is still coming up with good ideas about helping to unite the industry and its many associations, so bakery can speak more often with one voice - a more powerful voice!

The supermarkets Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco supported the industry, picking finalists who had excelled. While Délifrance, in turn, sought out the stars of the big four supermarket in-store bakeries, with Asda emerging as the ultimate winner this year - and its Boldon store’s bakery were thrilled!

So once again, a huge thank you to all our sponsors, associate sponsors, guests and finalists for making it such an evening to remember and an industry of which we can all be very proud.