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GOWR Homepage

Film Stars to Punch and Judy Men; Pop Stars to Sporting Heroes; Comics to Dramatic Actors; Musicians to Television Presenters; Magicians to Photographers; Radio Stars to Royalty. The Grand Order of Water Rats exists as a wonderful Fraternity and Charitable Organisation.

Our mission statement, as compiled in 2014 by Prince Rat (2014) Ian Richards:

“The Grand Order of Water Rats' charitable fund represents an unselfish giving to those less fortunate than ourselves, providing a stream of support for nationally recognised charities, whilst embracing benevolence of our members, their families and our show business colleagues. It also retains the power to make special awards to worthy individuals or organisations at the discretion of our Trustees.”

Site last updated 31 January 2016

Our Story is the Story of Show Business

We want you to be our 'Friend'

Find out what being a 'Friend of the Water Rats' is all about. You can download a membership application form to join too. Click here

GOWR Functions Galore

We'd love you to get along to one of the Grand Order of Water Rats very special events, so have a look at some of our forthcoming functions. Click here

Raise money for The Grand Order of Water Rats just by searching the web! is an internet search engine with a big difference - it donates half its revenues to charity!

It won't cost you or the Water Rats a penny so to find out how you can help click here

'Everyclick' mascot

Raise money for the Water Rats just by searching the web!!

We are often asked where the money goes! Our Charities Fund - overseen by the Trustees of The Grand Order of Water Rats - gives out all sorts of sums to many deserving causes. To see just some of the organisations we have helped over the years click here

Toastmaster Rat Bryn Williams BEM has a new book out called "Red Tails in the Sunset". For every book sold through this website Bryn will give a percentage of the profit to the GOWR. For full details click here

Water Rat Bryn Williams BEM

If you are lucky enough to own one of our new brochures (Sponsored by The 'Friends' of the Water Rats and created by the Michael Ralph Consultancy) you may want to put a name to a face from that wonderful collection of pictures on the inside front cover. All will be revealed if you click here

The Key to the names of all those Water Rats in our new Brochure

Water Rats On 'You Tube'....

Water Rats On 'You Tube'

You might be interested to have a look at this item on 'You Tube' which was brought to our attention by past King Rat Paul Daniels. To see this clip and other Water Rat clips we have recently discovered. click here

To all Water Rats: 'Lodge Rules' and 'Council Rules' are now available from this website...

The latest editions (updated 20 June 2012) of the Grand Order of Water Rats 'Lodge Rules' and 'Council Rules' are now available to download, through the Water Rats 'Members Area' - to access the 'Members Area' go to the Members Page

The GOWR and the Combined Theatrical Charities

Water Rat Sir Norman Wisdom OBE

Sir Norman Wisdom

"In Lodge there is an empty chair with collar draped thereon..."

To read the rest of the poem to Sir Norman by Water Rat Peter Goodwright. Click here

To see more photos like this click here

2014 King Rat Rick Wakeman

Ian Richards - 2016 King Rat. To read King Rat's message click here

Photo by Water Rat John McKenzie

Be Lucky...

"Be Lucky", the biography of Ray and Mike's father, Past King Rat George Martin "The Casual Comedian", is now available. For details of purchase please email

One Man's Dream...

Now available... Bob Potter OBE; "One Man's Dream" - our revered Companion Rat Bob's book about his amazing life and career. Contact: Lakeside Country Club for details

The Grand Order of Water Rats is a member of the Combined Theatrical Charities (CTC).

Under the title 'Acting For Others' the CTC organises bucket collections every year in theatres all over the country; usually the last two weeks in October - one week in the West End and one in the Provinces.

Between them the fifteen members organisations of the CTC try to cover all aspects of hardship and need within our profession including backstage and front of house staff, performers and their dependants too.

For further information on the work of the Combined Theatrical Charities and 'Acting For Others' please visit:

Tribute to Water Rat Lew Lane

Yet another sad loss to the Order... Past Collecting Rat Lew Lane, who died peacefully in his sleep, at home, on Sunday 15th November 2015, following a long illness. To read the full GOWR tribute to Lew on the Roll of Honour page click here

Water Rat Don Smoothey

Welcome Steve Barclay

Water Rat Steve Barclay

Welcome Kevin Dean

Water Rat Kevin Dean

Welcome Rhys Thomas

Water Rat Rhys Thomas

Newly elected officers for 2016 called to the floor at Grosvenor House... Preceptor Keith Simmons, Chief Trap Gaurd Ian Lavender, Bait Rat Steve Hewlett, King Rat Ian Richards, Prince Rat Adger Brown, Deputy Music Rat Steve Galler, Music Rat Steve Etherington, Asstant Scribe Rat David Capri, Trap Guard Sid Dennis, Collecting Rat Frazer Hines, Deputy Curator Ken Joy and, kneeling in front, Test Rat Ray Martin and Scribe Rat Mike Martin.

Photo by Water Rat John McKenzie at the Grand Order of Water Rats Ball 22 November 2015.

New GOWR Officers for 2016

Mike Martin is presented with Rat of the Year by 2015 King Rat Rick Wakeman

Scribe Rat Mike Martin "following in father's footsteps" as Rat of the Year. (His dad, Past King Rat George Martin, got it in 1967.)

Awards presented at the GOWR Ball 2015 at Grosvenor House...


Past King Rat Roger De Courcey is King Rat Rick's personal choice for the King Rat's Scroll.

Past King Rat Wyn Calvin "The Welsh Prince of Laughter" receives his Lifetime Achievement Award.

Prince Rat Ian Richards gets the feel of the King Rat's collar which he will be wearing in 2016... congratulations to Ian, KING RAT elect!

Photo by Water Rat John McKenzie at the Grand Order of Water Rats Ball 22 November 2015.

King Rat for 2016 Ian Richards


At the 2015 Ball, Water Rat Steve Hewlett, a champion of ventriloquism, oversees the presentation of our late Brother Rat Keith Harris' famous doll, Orville the Duck, for display in the GOWR Museum.

Left to right... Water Rat Steve Hewlett, King Rat Rick Wakeman, Water Rat Keith's wife and daughter, Sarah and Kitty, and Peter Pullon (Orville's creator)

Orville at the Ball 2015

Orville at the GOWR Ball...

Tribute to Water Rat Johnny More

We are truly saddened to announce the passing of yet another great entertainer and Brother Water Rat; Johnny More, who died peacefully in the early hours of 8 December 2015. To read the full GOWR tribute to Johnny on the Roll of Honour page click here

Water Rat Don Smoothey

Tribute to Water Rat Ed Stewart

A sad start to the New Year with the news of the passing of our Brother Water Rat Ed Stewart on 9 January 2016. To read the full GOWR obituary to Ed on the Roll of Honour page click here

Water Rat Don Smoothey

2016 King Rat Ian Richards

A terrific turnout for the installation lodge on Sunday 17 January 2016 as King Rat Rick Wakeman hands over the reins to his successor, King Rat Ian Richards.

Photo by Water Rat John McKenzie

King Rat 2016 Installation Lodge

Latest Baby Rat number 894; comedy entertainer Steve Barclay was initiated as Water Rat on Sunday 20 September 2015. Welcome, Steve, to the wonderful world of the Water Rats!

Latest Baby Rat Kevin Dean, a truly talented multi instrumentalist and busy professional performer, was initiated as Water Rat number 893 on Sunday 6 September 2015. Welcome, Kevin, to the wonderful world of the Water Rats!

Initiated into the GOWR on Sunday 8th November 2015, director/producer/writer/comedian and actor Rhys Thomas (Baby Rat number 895). Welcome, Rhys, to the wonderful world of the Water Rats!


He's off again!

Last year, Friend of the Water Rats Glenn Ford, the world's number one Norman Wisdom tribute artists, completed a mammoth walk from London to Cardiff, emulating the same trek endured by his hero, Sir Norman (who was a Water Rat), all in aid of our GOWR Charities Fund.

Incredibly, he managed to raise over £10,000, and as promised, he is going to repeat the challenge this year, this time with his eye on doubling that amount!

The main difference is that he will be accompanied on his 2016 Sir Norman Wisdom Charity Walk by Preceptor Rat Keith Simmons and Scribe Rat Mike Martin.

They will be setting off from Sir Norman's childhood home in 91 Fernhead Road, Paddington, W9, on Thursday 4th February 2016. and hopefully arriving in Cardiff, at the Wetherspoon's pub opposite Cardiff Arms Park on Wednesday 10th February.

It is also hoped that maximum publicity will be generated along the way, so if you want to wave them off, join them at the end, or walk some of the way with them, they will be delighted to welcome you! Their route takes them mainly along the old A4, and they will be easy to spot.

Donations, please, to GOWR Charities Fund. (Cheques to the office or pledges to our Just Giving page which has just been set up - see below.)

Shown here are the intrepid trio, Mike, Glenn and Keith, at the start of Glenn's trek last year.

Glenn Ford 2016 Sir Norman Wisdom Charity Walk

Click here for the link to our ‘Just Giving’ page so that you can make donations.