A Victorian philanthropist, with modern day links to the Isle of Wight, will be celebrated at a virtual festival in her honour next week.

Born in 1840, Dame Agnes 'Aggie' Weston supported sailors and their families when pay in the Royal Navy was low and conditions were poor.

On what would have been her birthday, Aggie Fest 2021 will be streamed on YouTube and Facebook, on Friday, March 26.

2019 saw the first Aggie Fest, with a series of events in the Monkton Street area of Ryde.

During her lifetime, Aggie wrote to serving sailors and opened a Sailors' Rest in Plymouth in 1876, followed by one in Portsmouth in 1878.

Isle of Wight County Press:

In 1892, Queen Victoria issued bestowed the “Royal” title on the Sailors' Rests.

These days Aggie's is a charity set up to help serving members of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and their families, providing pastoral support and helping families to stay connected.

Aggie Fest 2021 will raise money for the charity.

Ryde resident and organiser, Maureen Forster, said: "There are many ex-Navy people living on the Island.

"My partner, Allan, joined up when he was just 15 years old.

"March 26 would have been Dame Agnes Weston's birthday and we wanted to mark the occasion with an evening of music and memories.”

Isle of Wight folk singers, John Bentley and John Hacker are helping organise this year's event, which will feature local and mainland performers and songs about the seafaring life.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Sea shanty group Guith are performing

Devon's Jim Causley is among those on the bill, along with sea shanty group Guith.

There will also be poems, a children’s story and more what the Aggie Weston charity means to the Isle of Wight.

Those tuning in will be asked to make a donation to Aggie Weston's.

  • Visit the event's Facebook page, or watch the festival streamed on YouTube – search for Aggie Fest 2021.