ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is thrilled with the success of this year’s annual Early Early Christmas Fair, which took place on 26-27 September in Tidworth, Wiltshire and raised around £40,000 towards our work for the Army family.
The event is one of the longest standing charity fairs in the UK. This year, over 2,000 visitors attended over the two days, and around 120 independent traders exhibited a wonderful range of home goods, arts and crafts, delicious food, clothes and presents for all the family. The atmosphere was filled with the warmth of the holiday season, as families and friends gathered to enjoy a day of shopping and festivities.
We were delighted that John Hiorns, Director Customer Liaison at General Dynamics Mission Systems (International), kindly opened the fair. Among other notable guests were Mr Pradeep Bhardwaj, High Sheriff of Wiltshire, and Mrs Sarah Rose Troughton, Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire and President of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity Wiltshire, who kindly hosted the evening reception. Former Army officer Lt Col Crispin Black, historian Jeremy Archer and cookery writer Torie True also attended to sign their books.
Mrs Troughton said:
“The Early Early Christmas Fair exemplifies the incredible synergy between local businesses, sponsors and the Army community. It was a great pleasure attending the first evening of the Fair. My sincere thanks to Caroline Cary and her team and to the many generous supporters and stallholders.”
Caroline Cary, who organised the fair, said:
“This year’s fair was all about community and the British Army family is a nationwide one, which is why so many people travel far and wide each year to join in the fun. The event is also important for Wiltshire, where the Army presence is huge, so we always value the support we get each year from local military communities. I would especially like to thank our long-standing sponsors, General Dynamics UK and Aspire Defence for their continued support, and to our new sponsors this year AeroGlow International, Warminster School, and Claire Calder Consultancy. A special thank you also goes to our stallholders and amazing volunteers who work tirelessly to make this fair one of the best in the country.”
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