David Wain lives in Chester where he was born in 1927. He was educated at the King's School. Prior to serving in the Royal Air Force (1945-49), he worked in the family business which he took over as chairman and managing director upon his father's death in 1956. The Firm- 'Inland Cruising Association Ltd' (later Inland Hire Cruisers Ltd) was one of the first to hire out holiday craft on Britain's canals, beginning in 1935.
From 1954 to 1963, David was a committee member of IWA's North West Branch. He served for 7 years as Hon. National Secretary (1962-1969) and from 1969 to 1974 as national chairman of Pleasure Craft Operators, the national trade association for the inland waterways tourism industry.
In 1968, he was appointed a council member of the Government's newly created, under the 1968 Transport Act, advisory body on Inland Waterways, the Inland Waterways Amenity Advisory Council, and was appointed chairman of the Council in 1977, a post which he held to his retirement in 1992.
In 1974 he created a Canal Museum at Llangollen in North Wales, which received the British Tourist Authority's top award for that year's outstanding Tourist Development in Great Britain. He was appointed an OBE in 1983 for his services in the development of tourism and recreation on Britain's inland waterways.
In 1992 he became an IWA vice president. David is also a vice-president of the British Canoe Club, Vice President of the Trent and Mersey Canal Society, Vice President of the Shropshire Union Canal Society, a trustee of the Anderton Boat Lift Trust and the Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port. Previously he served as a trustee for the Rainbow Boats Trust for the Disabled (1979-1997) and The Waterways Trust (1999-2003), as President of the British Canoe Club (1975-1990), and as chairman of the National Waterways Museum (1994-2001).