John Betjeman was born on 28th August 1906, near Highgate, London, and became founder of the British Victorian Society, a well-known broadcaster and leading authority on architecture.
He became a member of The Inland Waterways Association in 1955, and soon afterwards became Patron of the London & Home Counties Branch. He became IWA Vice-President in 1966, a position he held for the rest of his life. He took an active interest in IWA, and wrote a poem for the opening of the Upper Avon Navigation, By H M Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, in 1974.
He was knighted in 1969 and in 1972 was appointed Poet Laureate. He died at his home in Trebetherick, Cornwall on 19th May 1984.