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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 by Prince Rat (for 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 13 March 2015

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

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:

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

Rick Wakeman - 2015 King Rat. To read King Rat's message click here

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 Rat's Acoustic Orchestra", as it appeared at a recent lodge meeting... Mike Martin, King Rat Rick Wakeman, Kev Orkian, Keith Simmons, Steve Etherington and Kaplan Kaye. Available for Armenian barbecues?


An historic meeting between Northern and Southern Water Rats at the Palace Hotel, Manchester; Sunday 1st June 2014. This was an all too rare "special" lodge, arranged thanks to Prince Rat Ian Richards and the wonderful hospitality of the Palace Hotel itself.

It could become a habit!

Tribute to Water Rat Ronnie Ronalde

The GOWR are sad to announce the passing of our Brother Rat Ronnie Ronalde, in Brinsworth House on 13 January 2015.To read the full GOWR tribute to Ronnie billed in Variety as "The World's Greatest Whistler" on the Roll of Honour page click here

Welcome Adam Wakeman

Greetings to Baby Rat number 890; Adam Wakeman... son of our King Rat Rick, initiated on Sunday 1st March 2015. Adam is a real chip off his Dad's musical block... an excellent pianist and guitar player himself, and a true gent! Amongst other things, he is a member of the world renowned rock band Black Sabbath.

Welcome, Adam, to the wonderful world of the Water Rats!

Water Rat Neil Innes
Water Rats Roy Wood and Ken Joy in GOWR Museum

Newly initiated Baby Rat Roy Wood appreciating our museum with Deputy Curator and Past Prince Rat Ken Joy. Ken, along with his wife Anne, have done a wonderful job compiling artifacts and material for what is proving to be a stunning legacy of show business history. If you are interested in a viewing, please contact the GOWR office on 020 7278 3248.

King Rat Rick Wakeman Prog Rock Awards 2014

Congratulations to our King Rat Rick Wakeman on his well deserved win in the live music category of the 2014 Prog Rock Awards.

Welcome John McKenzie

Welcome to our latest Baby Rat (and ace photographer) John McKenzie, son of our much loved, and missed, Doug. Truly "following in his father's footsteps" as a 'Paparazzi Rat' of the first degree! Initiated on Monday 27 October 2014 as Water Rat number 887. Welcome, John, to the wonderful world of the Water Rats!

Water Rat John McKenzie

Congratulations to our King Rat Rick Wakeman on being elected by his Brother Rats for a second year as King Rat! Here he is surrounded by his officers for 2015 at the 125th. GOWR Anniversary Ball at Grosvenor House on Sunday 23 November 2014.

Back row, from left; Frazer Hines (Chief Trap Guard), Ken Joy (Deputy Curator), Adger Brown (Test Rat), Keith Simmons (Preceptor), KR Rick, Ian Richards (Prince Rat), Ian Lavender (Trap Guard 1). Front row, from left; Ray Martin (Assistant Scribe Rat), Kev Orkian (Trap Guard 2), Steve Etherington (Deputy Musical Rat), Mike Martin (Scribe Rat), Chas McDevitt (Deputy Preceptor) and John R. Maxim (Musical Rat).

It was another fabulous Rat's night!


Picture by Water Rat John McKenzie.

Congratulations King Rat for 2015...

Water Rats Buckingham Palace reception 13 November 2014

Who's that with King Rat Rick?

"Who's that with King Rat Rick at the GOWR Buckingham Palace reception on 13 November 2014?"

Congratulations to Past King Rat Keith Simmons (seen here 2nd. from right) for all his hard work and dedication in organizing this highly prestigious event. (Past King Rats Wyn Calvin and Chas McDevitt also seen here, plus numerous other Rats present but out of shot.)


Picture by Water Rat John McKenzie.

GOWR Officers 2015

Tribute to Water Rat John Bardon

The Grand Order of Water Rats is very sad to announce the passing of Past Prince Rat John Bardon who died on the morning of Friday 12 September 2014 following a long illness. A special website has been set up in his memory, for donations and tributes click here. To read the full GOWR tribute to John on the Roll of Honour page click here

Water Rat John Bardon

Tribute to Water Rat Alvin Stardust

We are truly sad and shocked to hear of the sudden and completely unexpected passing of our Brother Water Rat Alvin Stardust who died on the morning of 23 October 2014. Yet another British show business icon leaves us... Blessings to his memory and all the happiness he created.To read the full GOWR tribute to Alvin on the Roll of Honour page click here

Water Rat Alvin Stardust

Welcome Anthony Bygraves

Baby Rat number 888, Anthony Bygraves, initiated on Sunday 9 November 2014. Performer and writer Anthony, as the son of legendary Water Rat Max, is yet another chip off the old showbiz block. Welcome, Anthony, to the wonderful world of the Water Rats!

Water Rat Anthony Bygraves

Congratulations to Friend of the Water Rats Glenn Michael Ford, who set off on his epic walk from London to Cardiff on a chilly morning; 4 February 2015, in the steps of his hero Water Rat Sir Norman Wisdom, who undertook the very same route 86 years ago in search of work. Glenn has generously agreed to donate all of his sponsorship money to the Rat's worthy causes. To support him, please contact our office.

He was sent on his merry way by Water Rats, (left to right), Preceptor Keith Simmons, Past Prince Rat Chris Emmett and Scribe Rat Mike Martin.


Picture by Water Rat John McKenzie.

Congratulations to 'Friend' Glenn Ford

GOWR Officers 2015

He made it! On Tuesday February 10th. 2015 Friend of the Water Rats Glenn M. Ford marched briskly to his final destination in Cardiff, having spent 6 days walking all the way from London to raise funds for our GOWR Charities! A brilliant effort, Glenn, which has earned maximum respect from us all. He was greeted warmly by friends and supporters and a standing ovation from the customers in The Gatekeeper pub (which was once the Hippodrome Theatre, where Water Rat Sir Norman Wisdom tried to get work having completed his own epic trek back in 1929.) Here's Glenn with Scribe Rat Mike Martin, Preceptor Keith Simmons and Cardiff's Deputy Mayor Ali Ahmed. To make a donation in honour of Glenn's amazing achievement, please call our office 0207 328 2748


Picture by Water Rat John McKenzie.

On Tuesday 10 Feb 2015 He Made It!

GOWR Officers 2015

Brotherly love between father and son, as Baby Rat Adam Wakeman is welcomed to the Order by a very proud dad, King Rat Rick, on 1st March 2015.

Welcome Neil Innes

Baby Rat number 889, initiated into the GOWR on Sunday 18 January 2015; musician / composer / performer Neil Innes, regarded by many as the "7th. Python", owing to his long association with the renowned Monty team. Ex member of the legendary 1960's fun combo The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and co-creator of The Rutles. Welcome, Neil, to the wonderful world of the Water Rats.

Water Rat Neil Innes