VIDEO: Win chance for YOUR child to switch on Sheffield crane Christmas lights

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Forget X Factor stars, Strictly Come Dancing celebrities or those chart-topping music icons - we want a Star youngster for the really big Christmas lights switch on.

And we mean BIG!

HTC Plant Limited's Melvyn Clerehugh with two of the cranes to be lit up for Christmas

HTC Plant Limited's Melvyn Clerehugh with two of the cranes to be lit up for Christmas

For many people Christmas really begins when the festive lights appear on the huge cranes at the side of the M1 near Meadowhall.

This year, at a cost of £10,000, four cranes will be lit up by Christmas spirited owners HTC Plant Limited Tower Cranes and Hoists, at their base in Grange Mill Lane, Sheffield.

But for the first time in 12 years they won’t be pushing the button themselves.

The company has teamed up with The Star to give one lucky primary school youngster the chance to light up the iconic giant cranes.

HTC Plant Limited's Melvyn Clerehugh with two of the cranes to be lit up for Christmas

HTC Plant Limited's Melvyn Clerehugh with two of the cranes to be lit up for Christmas

VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our video report.

The biggest of the four, the one furthest north along the M1 - which has a Christmas star on top - stands a mighty 175ft high, weighs around 120 tons and is worth €1 million.

Our winner won’t have to climb up it to turn on the lights though. They will get to press a plunger with their feet planted firmly on the ground at the entrance to the site - with family and friends invited to watch.

The big light switch-on will take place on Monday, December 1, at around 5.30pm.

Melvyn Clerehugh, HTC Plant Limited’s work’s manager, said: “We’ve been here since 2003 and we’ve always had Christmas lights on the cranes. But this year we wanted to do something a little more special.

“So we would like to invite a primary school aged youngster - somebody up to 12 years old - to come and turn on the lights for us, in association with The Star.

“We will also have a gift for them and give them a good time. We’re sure they will enjoy it.

“They won’t have to climb up to do it. They will be able to switch on the lights from the ground. This will be a first for us.

“We have four cranes now. We put the other two up in the yard furthest from head office. There’s about 500 meters of rope lights on each crane and it costs £2,500 to light up each crane - so, £10,000 to light up all four.

“It’s worth it. We get letters from the public, from the Bishop of Sheffield - everybody talks about it. Christmas starts when our lights go on.

“We send staff up to test the lights, like you might do on your tree at home. But we don’t just replace a bulb. We have to change a complete strip of rope light.”

For a chance to win our prize for your child, young relative or friend enter our free draw by post, email or Twitter.

Please get the approval of the parent or guardian of your nominated child, who must be of primary school age, up to 12 years. And ensure the child and family can attend the site for the lights switch on, Monday, December 1, 5.30pm. Transport not included.

Post your details, plus the name and age of the nominated child, to Crane Lights Competition, StarCompCRANE, Graham Walker, The Star, York Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 1PU.

You can also email all details, with StarCompCRANE in the subject field, to

Or follow Digital Editor Graham Walker on Twitter @GW1962 and tweet him with #StarCompCRANE.

If winner is by Twitter entry, we will ask for details via Direct Message,

Deadline for all entries is Thursday, November 27, 2014, 10am. Usual SNL rules and data marketing terms, below.


These apply to all competitions in SNL titles and online, unless otherwise stated or as amended in association with specific promotions. Usual SNL rules apply - copies or requests, to SNL Promotions Manager, The Star, York Street, Sheffield. The Editor’s decision is final. No cash alternatives available. No correspondence will be entered into. Transport not included, unless specified. The winner(s), who must agree to publicity, will be the first correct entry drawn at random after deadline, or as indicated. A parent or guardian must enter or endorse entries on behalf of children aged under 18. A responsible adult must accompany any child winner or guest. SNL is not liable for failure to attend or for cancellations of any event. No photocopied entry forms or tokens allowed. Where applicable, unless otherwise stated, one web entry form, token or other web entry per person only. Individual entry forms and tokens by detailed request, with a stamped self addressed envelope, to the competition address. No purchase necessary. Failure to agree to terms and conditions makes winning entries void. Winners will usually be notified within 10 working days after deadline, or as specified.

This is a Johnston Press Group competition. For full Johnston Press t&cs go to


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