Of course, I hope that the magazine does provide an interesting read each month when it arrives, and gives everyone an excuse to have a cup of tea and a biscuit and a change of pace for a little while during their working day.

However, each issue also forms part of a broader resource. If you’re looking for a guide on the latest developments in lifting attachment technology, for example, or you’re interested to know how lifting equipment can benefit and potentially transform your waste-to-energy processing plant, I would encourage you not to wait until the next time we cover those topics in Hoist, but to access the most recent relevant article through our website (www.hoistmagazine.com) where you’ll find the majority of our editorial, both as web articles and also via an archive of digitalised versions of our issues.

The one section of the magazine that might not always stand up to being revisited a few months or years down the line is this comment column; I do sometimes attempt to ‘look ahead’ but, as the old saying goes, when men make plans, God laughs. Certainly, when I wrote around this time last year that I looked forward to seeing you all at the various trade shows 2020 had in store—Logimat, Cemat, Modex and LiftEx—I hadn’t foreseen how the year would unfold.

So it’s with a slight degree of trepidation that I suggest that 2021 might, possibly, potentially, with a number of caveats notwithstanding, perhaps be an easier year to navigate than 2020 has been.

Why? Well, there’s been good news recently regarding Covid-19 vaccines, which have been developed with impressive speed by various medical research teams. That’s going to be key to restoring people’s confidence in a return to normal life, which in turn is key to getting economies and a wide range of industries back on track.

I read recently about the co-ordinated worldwide vaccination effort that helped to eradicate smallpox. It’s an inspiring story, and illustrates what people can achieve when everyone’s pulling the same direction. With today’s technology we can all be hopeful that a mass vaccination programme is a very real possibility. Whether it comes soon enough for the first round of 2021’s trade shows to take place, we shall have to see, although here at Hoist we’re ready to travel if we can—or indeed to speak with exhibitors remotely if that’s what is required.

Perhaps another reason why 2021 could seem slightly smoother sailing than 2020 is the flexibility that we’ve all been forced to adopt this year. Countless plans have been made and then cancelled or postponed this year, from business trips through to holidays, and eventually it becomes just something you have to accept. So, here’s to an unpredictable, but manageable, new year.