Virgin Active launches in South Africa, taking over the ailing Health and Racquet Club at Nelson Mandela’s request.

Virgin Trains Pendalino Launch

Virgin Trains unveils its first 140 mph tilting Pendolino train

Virgin sells its shareholding of the Virgin One business to the Royal Bank of Scotland while Virgin Direct merges with to become Virgin Money. Different name, same focus on offering great value. 

Virgin Ware steps in to the underwear market in the UK

Virgin Mobile makes its debut in Northern Ireland.

Virgin Atlantic launches its Heathrow to Lagos route.

Virgin Megastore welcomes its first Middle East customers while the Lagardere Group buys the French chain of shops

Virgin Experience (later to become Virgin Experience Days) launches, giving people to the chance to try their hand at everything from driving a Porsche through to scuba diving. And about a zillion things in between.