The Early Early Christmas Fair

The Early Early Christmas Fair


Caroline Cary – Fair Organiser, Major General Tim Hyams - Chief Executive, ABF The Army Benevolent Fund, Mrs Sarah Troughton - Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire and President of ABF The Army Benevolent Fund Wiltshire, John Horns - Director General Dynamics UK, Lt Col Ian Holmes

congratulations over £40,000 raised for the army family

We are thrilled with the success of this year’s annual Early Early Christmas Fair which took place on 26-27 September in Tidworth, Wiltshire. The event has raised over £40,000 towards our work supporting soldiers, veterans, and Army families. 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 offering unique presents, delicious food and drink ideas, different and original ideas to brighten your home, elevate your wardrobe as well as gorgeous treats for yourself and others

Every sale included a 10% donation to ABF The Army Benevolent Fund .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, the Director of Customer Liaison at General Dynamics Mission Systems (International), kindly opened the fair this year. Once again, General Dynamics UK proudly stands as the Gold Sponsor for The Early Early Christmas Fair.

Among the notable guests in attendance were Mrs Sarah Rose Troughton, Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire and President of ABF The Army Benevolent Fund Wiltshire who kindly hosts the evening reception and Mr. Pradeep Bhardwaj, High Sheriff of Wiltshire

Mrs. Troughton reflected on the event's impact:

"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 and I came home carrying a new large woven basket full of incredibly nice Christmas presents.  My sincere thanks to Caroline Cary and her team and to the many generous supporters and stall holders ”

Former Army officer Lt Col Crispin Black, historian Jeremy Archer and cookery writer Torie True also attended to sign their books.

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 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 thanks to our stallholders who work tirelessly to make this Fair one of the best in the country and who contribute 10% of everything you buy at the event to ABF The Army Benevolent Fund. Most importantly, I would like to thank all those amazing volunteers who every year go the extra mile to help raise money for this Charity.”

We are enormously grateful to everyone who helped make it such a success.

"The fair was not only beautifully organised but was run with professionalism and warmth. It was a real pleasure being part of it - the standard of stalls was as high as ever with all sorts of lovely merchandise. It was the best fair I have ever been part of"
Lisa Butterworth

"The EECF is one of the best Christmas fairs in the calendar. It attracts a wonderful mix of loyal customers and new ones who love to shop and stop by to say hi. I can't think of a better way to kick off the fair season" Loved by Da 

This years supper menu 

A selection of curries from mild and creamy to hot and spicy

With an option for vegetarians and vegans served with rice

Chicken in a white wine & cream sauce (gluten free) – non curry option

Poppadom’s, raita, mango chutney, lime pickle, Tomato & cucumber, coconut flakes.

A selection of naan & artisan breads

Raffle Winners at The Early, Early Christmas Fair 2023

Ticket Number: 05220 Hedges

Ticket Number: 02201 Woodland

Ticket Number: 05130 Meredith

Ticket Number: 05190 Doyle

Ticket Number: 02333 Kennett

Ticket Number: 02379 Christopher

Winner of the £250 Hamper for booking tickets online is Gem Eagles.
The hamper was kindly donated by Ogilvy & Moore (Luxury Hampers and Gifts) one of the stallholders at this years fair.  


Donate to this great cause

The Early Early Christmas Fair is run on behalf of ABF The Soldiers' Charity which is the Army's National Charity. We exist to support soldiers, veterans and their families in need but to do this we need your support.

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Early Early Christmas Fair 2023

We Would Like To Thank You

We would like to thank each and every one of you, whether you were a stallholder, a customer or a volunteer for your incredible support at TheEarly Early Christmas Fair and for making the event such a resounding success. 

Latest News

Our Stallholders

Applications are now open for stallholders for 2024 Early Early Christmas Fair. Please email us at

Our Sponsors & Supporters

We are delighted to welcome three new sponsors this year in 2023

A note to Tony

It is with great sadness that we announce that Lt Col (Retd) Tony Blanch, Wiltshire County Chairman of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, passed away on March 23rd 2023, after a long and courageous fight with cancer. We send his wife Fran and all the family our love at this very sad time. Tony did so much to support the charity and will be missed hugely within the community.