We decided in 2023 to hang up the Summer Trifle Festival banners for the last time – BUT this does not mean we have ceased to be active. Far from it! We are delighted to announce that we have received a grant from National Lottery for a new Summer Trifle project called ‘Your Stories In Song’.

Thanks to NationalLottery players for making our project possible. We’ll be able to make a positive difference to the lives of many people thanks to NationalLottery funding.

The Summer Trifle Committee

We’re delighted that Summer Trifle has been awarded lottery funding for a new project – ‘Your Stories in Song’. Over the next year we will be organising events across the Wealden area for people to share their stories, be they personal recollections, tales of local people, family history or legends associated with places. In true folk tradition, the duo Milton Hide will be writing and performing songs inspired by the stories gathered and will be inviting audiences to participate.

The project will encourage social engagement across the generations, especially for those feeling isolated and to help ensure your stories don’t disappear into the momentary ether of ‘social media’.

One of these events will be at Pickhams in Summer 2024 (date TBA) but if you have any stories to share in the meantime, please visit yourstoriesinsong.co.uk. Here you will find the current online archive of stories collected so far and can submit your own story. Also, if you have any suggestions of venues or organisations that might like to participate please do let us know.

On to the next adventure!

Your Stories In Song events
(more dates coming)

7 FEB FRONTIER BAR, EASTBOURNE  – public event co-ordinated by Compass Community Arts. 7pm
15 FEB CROWBOROUGH U3A  private event for U3A members – contact for details
13 MARCH  – LIVESTREAM 8.30pm, contact us for details of where to view
15 JUNE  PICKHAMS, Arlington  2.30pm. In the gardens. BYO: chair/drinks/nibbles. BOOK
8 AUGUST. DUNN HALL, RUSHLAKE GREEN. TBC. Rushlake Green Little Arts Festival
25 SEPT.  THE BEACON CENTRE, Eastbourne. Event for WayfinderWoman.
Check back here for more dates as they are added.

Other Milton Hide dates:
Check out www.miltonhide.com for all Milton Hide performances
 Book a Your Stories In Song event?

If you’d like an event somewhere in your community, get in touch by emailing:  yourstoriesinsong@gmail.com

The Final SUMMER ‍TRIFLE Festival 2023

12th and 13th August 2023

2023 Summer Trifle events

We are delighted to be running our the sixth year of Summer Trifle events.

It’s a ‘lite’ version, smaller than previous years but still beautifully formed! Visitors will be able to enjoy refreshments in the gardens on both days.

There will be an Open Mic session on both afternoons, inlcuding original music from songwriters and spoken word.

On Saturday evening Milton Hide will be headlining our evening concer with support by Seffy and Ann. On Sunday Dandelion Charm will be our featured artists for our Bluebell Roots event (note: we have had to reschedule Chloe Levaillant’s visit).

You can see an display from our Arlington Village Pop-Up Museum and the Friends of St Pancras (FoSPA) throughout the weekend as well as artwork by Josie Tipler. We are also inviting Compass Community Arts to participate once again. Josie Will be running an Art Workshop on Sunday morning.

Entrance is free from 12 – 5 but we ask for donations to help with the running costs of the festival. Tickets for the art workshop and the evening music events are now available – keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for any updates.

The Summer Trifle committee

Tea in the Gardens

Tea table

Sat 12th & Sun 13th Aug

Enjoy homemade cakes, tea, coffee (all in aid of Arlington Pop up Museum and FoSPA) or something from the bar, in the gardens of Pickhams. There will be an Open Mic session each afternoon so you can just sit and the enjoy music too.

Entrance by donation to Summer Trifle festival funds – for large groups booking is advised.

Open 12.00 – 5pm

For the BAR – please bring your own drinking vessels

Open Mic

Tea table

Sat 12th & Sun 13th Aug

Open Mic for spoken word and live music. Pop along and put your name down for a spot.

We’re not taking advance bookings for slots but you can book your day ticket in advance below.


Open 1pm – 5pm
BAR – please bring your own drinking vessels


Birds in flight painting by Josie Tipler

Sat 12th & Sun 13th Aug

Art Exhibition

12 noon – 5pm

Work on show by resident artist, Josie Tipler. Original paintings and lino cut prints. Greetings cards.

Sunday 13th August

Be Free as a Bird
Art Workshop

10am – 12 noon

Free up your creativity by re-using and re-purposing in this workshop with artist, Josie Tipler.
You can choose to work on images of birds in flight or go totally abstract.
Bring along cardboard (sides of boxes), old paintings / boards – anything that could be painted on. If you have old, damaged frames, bring them too. Look in the back of drawers for dried up felt pens, gather together all of those paint colours and materials you rarely use.
£20 per person


Live Music – Saturday

Man and woman singing, guitar

Milton Hide

with support by Seffy and Ann (of the Cheer Up Mollys)

Sat 12th Aug, 7pm

Milton Hide (AKA Jim and Josie Tipler) have earned an enviable reputation for entertaining audiences at festivals and venues all over the country, from western Scotland to southeast England, from Northumberland to South Devon and from East Anglia to west Wales.

Musically their influences are eclectic – traditional folk music of the British Isles, indy, blues, pop and country are all in the mix. What comes out are memorable, expertly-crafted songs featuring Josie’s pure lead vocal, 2-part harmonies, beautifully judged guitar and clarinet accompaniment as well as percussion.

Telling stories through original song, Milton Hide have been described as “reminiscent of the Moody Blues” (Living Tradition), “a touch of Fleetwood Mac” and “vintage Steeleye” (Spiral Earth).

Jim and Josie’s songs are inspired the landscapes, local legends and amazing people they have come across whilst touring over the last few years. At times heartbreaking, at times wry, a Milton Hide performance always engages, entertains and charms an audience, leaving them wanting more.

“…so subtle and easy is the music that you don’t realise the stiletto has arrived until it’s slid in” 

RnR Magazine

This is a Pass The Hat event. In other words – there isn’t a ticket price, but we do expect a generous donation. We suggest a donation of £12 per person. Having said that, to avoid our events becoming elitist, our ethos has always been ‘pay what you can afford’. Please bring cash on the night.
There is NO food available at this event – you are welcome to bring your own snacks.
BAR – please bring your own drinking vessels
Bring a torch and a cushion.

Live Music – Sunday

lady playing guitar in front of hedge

Dandelion Charm

and Bluebell Roots Floor Spots

Sun 13th Aug, 6pm

In a change to our advertised programme, we have had to reschedule Chloe Levaillant’s visit (to 2024)  but we will now be welcoming the wonderful duo, Dandelion Charm. 

Newhaven-based Dandelion Charm combine prog, folk and rock influences into a luxurious blend of intricate harmonies, soaring melodies, superb musicianship and heartfelt lyrics. Imagine Fleetwood Mac meets Opeth or CSN meets Yes.
Very much a personal as well as a creative partnership, Dandelion Charm sprang to life in 2015, the brainchild of John and Clare Fowler.
As Clare explains, “The themes we deal with in our songs are not frivolous ones. They are all about aspects of real life, things that we’ve seen or been part of. Fear and self-doubt, optimism and determination, family, relationships and addiction are some of the emotions and situations we explore.”
John brings over twenty years of song-writing and production experience to Dandelion Charm. Clare, meanwhile, is a long-time visual artist and performer and her love of storytelling manifests itself in her heartfelt lyrics and emotive delivery.
“…the brilliance of Dandelion Charm lies in making fist-pumping anthems in a minor-key…”
— Prog Magazine


Your regular Bluebell Roots co-hosts, Milton Hide will join MC Neil Povey, kick the evening off and send you home with a song. There will also be wonderful floor performers. (Please email info@bluebellroots.co.uk if you would like to play)

This is a Pass The Hat event. In other words – there isn’t a ticket price, but we do expect a generous donation. We suggest a donation of £12 per person. Having said that, to avoid our events becoming elitist, our ethos has always been ‘pay what you can afford’. Please bring cash on the night.
There IS food available at this event if booked in advance – you are welcome to bring your own snacks.
BAR – please bring your own drinking vessels
Bring a torch and a cushion.

2022 Summer Trifle events

We are delighted to welcome you to the fifth year of Summer Trifle events (we had a year off when we went ‘virtual’ in 2020) and this year we are generously supported by The Chalk Cliff Trust.

Why Summer Trifle? We could think of no better word than Trifle to describe this wonderful mixture of arts, crafts, open gardens, entertainment and cake….

Step into the grounds of Pickhams and enter a world of creativity. Meet artists, watch craft demonstrations and be entertained with live music and more.

We’ve teamed up this year with Hailsham Artists Network who are running the Meet the Makers Marquee on all 3 days, plus there will be craft demonstrations on Sunday and Monday. Compass Community Arts will once again be participating with visual arts and poetry. The inaugural Sussex Songwriter’s Festival takes place as part of Summer Trifle on Saturday 27th August and on Sunday 28th, Bluebell Roots moves to Pickhams from its usual home of the Bluebell Kitchen in Arlington. On Monday we’ll host a Spoken Word Open Mic in the walled garden which will be followed by another hilarious loosely veiled Gilbert & Sullivan spoof by Slap & Tickle Theatre.

Entrance to the gardens is £5 (under 12’s free) and includes a hot drink or a soft drink.  We will Pass the Hat on Saturday and Monday afternoon for the Open Mics, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.  Tickets are on sale now for the evening live music and other productions..

We do hope you enjoy your visit and will come back and visit Pickhams again for future events.

The Summer Trifle committee

Summer Trifle is a not-for-profit goup. This year we (2022) are also donating profits from our Sussex Songwriters Festival events, the Spoken Word open mic and the craft pitches to Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of Gary Penalver. 

Art & Craft

Josie tipler image

2022 - Sat / Sun / Mon

We are delighted to be teaming up with Hailsham Artists Network who are co-ordinating the ‘Meet the Makers’ marquee. Craft exhibitors include Barbara Butterworth (ceramics), Boship Green Pottery, Jazz the Alchemist (fused glass art),  Jane Walsh (pottery), Liz Cottingham (jewellery), Debi Wheeler (pebble art). Artists exhibiting include Janet Terry, Fran Kazamia, Floss Nicholls, Vincenza Osmond and Julie Caddy. You can also view art by resident artist, Josie Tipler, in her studio.

Compass Community Arts will be joining the festival again. The various groups will be exhibiting some of their work, creating interesting installations around the garden and reading some of their poetry.

The gardens are also open for local sculptors to exhibit works so look around carefully as you explore.

LEO with sculptures

Open Gardens

Lino cutting

2022 - Sat / Sun / Mon

The gardens of Pickhams will be open daily from 11am – 5pm. Wander round the rambling gardens with hidden corners, mature trees, sandstone walls, pond and interesting features. Visit the walled garden with its mosaics and murals.

Craft Demonstrations

Lino cutting

2022 - Sun / Mon

This year instead of individual workshops, there will be some free drop-in craft demonstrations.

Lydia Dixon will be demonstrating spinning and weaving techniques. Barbara Olivier from Boship Green Pottery will be making pots using her own local clay. Robin Holland will be showing how he creates his wonderful lino cuts. Jazz Dixon will be demonstrating how she creates her fused glass pieces – for a small fee, there may also be the chance to have a go.

2022 – Sussex Songwriter’s Festival

2022 - Saturday

UPDATE: Sadly Dandelion Charm can no longer joinus due to COVID

On Saturday we are pleased to host the inaugural Sussex Songwriter’s Festival. Starting with an Open Mic in the garden marquee during the afternoon, this event was inspired by a very special memorial event held at Pickhams last year, to honour the life of Gary Penalver. Gary himself inspired a great many musicians to get up and perform and was a dedicated fund raiser for Macmillan Cancer Support.
For this reason we are asking for donations towards Macmillan for the Open Mic and profits from the evening ticketed gig will also go to Macmillan.

The evening gig, from 7.30pm on the Saturday, will feature great original songs from The Cheer Up Mollys, Robb Johnson and the Irregulars, Andy Melrose, Milton Hide and Dandelion Charm

2022 – Bluebell Roots

Bluebell Roots

2022 - Sunday

On Sunday, Bluebell roots is leaving its regular home of the Bluebell Kitchen in Arlington and taking place at Pickhams.  The evening is a mix of music, starting with an hour’s Open Mic, then we have a break for food (see below) before our invited guests perform their set. This month we are pleased to welcome Friction Farm all the way from South Carolina.

Bluebell Roots is a “Pass The Hat” event. In other words – there isn’t a ticket price, but a suggested donation of £10 per person is expected.

Friction Farm Live Dark Background

2022 – Food

Lino cutting

In addition to the daytime refreshments of tea, coffee and cake (including our ‘Pickhams Pie’ trifle cake!) we are offering evening meals on Saturday and Sunday.  A delicious curry (suitable for vegans) is available to order in advance only, to enjoy in the garden marquee before the evening gig on Saturday. On Sunday, Philippa Vine of Bluebell Farmhouse Kitchen will be cooking up something wonderful to serve during the interval of the Bluebell Roots music event.  Again, tickets for this must be booked in advance for catering purposes. Either click below to pay through Ticketsource for your meal, or email us to pay by BACS

A bar will be open each day from 12 noon until the end of the last event, serving wine, local beers and soft drinks. To help with the environment, we ask that everyone brings their own cup or tankard

If you wish to pay by BACS (Curry ONLY), please email us to request bank details

2022 – Spoken Word


Our Spoken Word Open Mic will take place in the charming walled garden on Monday afternoon. Open to anyone who wants to read or recite. We’ll be taking donations for Macmillan Cancer Support.

2022 – Slap & Tickle

Josie tipler image


One Track Minds – A Saveloy Opera.
The goofballs who brought you ‘Pinafore in Pieces’ return with another loosely veiled Gilbert & Sullivan spoof (so loose it’s now in bits). Expect dodgy accents, hammy acting and more half baked parodies, with some surprisingly decent singing thrown in to divert attention from the dubious plot. Laugh your socks off and then cry them back on again. ADULTS ONLY!

Slap & Tickle Theatre are: Adrian Samuel, Rowan Stanfield, Wendy Dovey, Paul Eccles and Jo Sands, with Oscar Smith on piano.

Bring a picnic. Bar (bring your own cups or tankards).


Summer Trifle is a not-for-profit goup. In 2022 we were are also donating profits from our Sussex Songwriters Festival events, the Spoken Word open mic and the craft pitches to Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of Gary Penalver. 

Summer Trifle 2022 was supported by a grant gratefully received from The Chalk Cliff Trust.

Summer Trifle 2022 was supported by a grant gratefully received from The Chalk Cliff Trust.

Summer Trifle 2023 - Pleased to be supported by PPL PRS

PPL PRS ensure that the people who create music are fairly rewarded for their talent and work. They want music to be accessible to all so they offer charity and community groups the opportunity to apply for a discount on the cost of their licence.

PPL PRS is a joint venture between the UK's two music licensing organisations —PPL and PRS for Music. They rovide a streamlined music licensing service –TheMusicLicence–with a single point of contact to make it easier to legally play and perform music in public.


During lockdown we created Support the Arts and ELSTOAF pages so you could support artists, makers, creators and performers . We have a list of creators and performers with links to their websites and places where you can buy their work or support them in other ways