Poet Laureate 1972 - 1984. Conservation campaigner. Credited with saving the Midland Grand Hotel (now St Pancras Chambers) and the station at St Pancras from demolition and helping to achieve their Grade I listed status. This campaign in the 1960s is often given as the beginning of the conservation movement. He also helped save the Queen's Tower at Imperial College and Holy Trinity near Sloane Square. His friend the author Anthony Powell described him as having "a whim of iron".
Born 52 Parliament Hill Mansions, Lissenden Gardens (where oddly, 2014, there is no plaque, despite the Tenants Association having erected at least 6 others). Brought up in Highgate. Died at his home in Trebetherick, Cornwall and is buried in the nearby church of St. Enodoc.
2016: A bust of Betjeman (an exact replica of the St Pancras statue) was unveiled at Wantage where he lived 1951 - 72.