Guildford ( listen) is a large town in Surrey, England, United Kingdom located 27 miles (43 km) southwest of central London on the A3 trunk road midway between the capital and Portsmouth.
The town has a population of about 80,000 and is the seat of the wider Borough of Guildford which had an estimated 146,100 inhabitants in 2015.
Guildford has Saxon roots and historians attribute its location to the existence of a gap in the North Downs where the River Wey was forded by the Harrow Way. By AD 978 it was home to an early English Royal Mint. On the building of the Wey Navigation and Basingstoke Canal Guildford was connected to a network of waterways that aided its prosperity. In the 20th century, the University of Surrey and Guildford Cathedral, an Anglican cathedral, were added.
Due to recent development running north from Guildford, and linking to the Woking area, Guildford now officially forms the southwestern tip of the Greater London Built-up Area, as defined by the Office for National Statistics. Read more...
Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is an English business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He founded the Virgin Group, which controls more than 400 companies.
Branson expressed his desire to become an entrepreneur at a young age. His first business venture, at the age of 16, was a magazine called Student. In 1970, he set up a mail-order record business. He opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records—later known as Virgin Megastores—in 1972. Branson's Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic airline and expanded the Virgin Records music label.
In March 2000, Branson was knighted at Buckingham Palace for "services to entrepreneurship". For his work in retail, music and transport (with interests in land, air, sea and space travel), his taste for adventure, and for his humanitarian work, he became a prominent figure. In 2002, he was named in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. In 2004, he founded spaceflight corporation Virgin Galactic, based at Mojave Air and Space Port, noted for the SpaceShipOne and SpaceShip Two projects.
In November 2017, Forbes listed Branson's estimated net worth at US$5.1 billion. Read more...