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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 then 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 19 September 2016

The GOWR - 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!

www.everyclick.com 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'

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

The latest editions (uploaded 25 February 2016) 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 martinmgm5@aol.com

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:

www.actingforothers.co.uk

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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...

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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
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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.

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THEY MADE IT!!!

The Sir Norman Wisdom London to Cardiff Walk 2016... completed by Preceptor Past King Rat KeithSimmons, Friend of the Water Rats Glenn Ford and Scribe Rat Mike Martin as they arrived in Cardiff at The Gatekeeper Pub (site of the old Hippodrome Theatre) at 1.15pm on Wednesday 10th February.

Just under 170 miles on foot, much of it in truly horrendous weather, supported all the way by the car back-up of Past Test Rat Udo Fontaine.

Please help them to reach their target by making a donation, either by sending a cheque made out to GOWR Charities Fund, to GOWR, 328 Grays Inn Rd., London, WC1X 8BZ or by going to the link below to access the relevant 'Just Giving' page.

Photo by Water Rat John McKenzie

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

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Tribute to Water Rat Barry Kent

We are truly saddened to announce the passing of our Brother Water Rat Barry Kent on11 May 2016. To read the full GOWR obituary to Barry on the Roll of Honour page click here

Water Rat Barry Kent

Scribe Rat Mike Martin recalls an epic trek West…

Read all about this incredible journey from London to Cardiff in honour of Water Rat Sir Norman Wisdom and please make a donation.

Tribute to Water Rat Paul Daniels

Past King Rat Paul Daniels

Another show business legend tragically leaves us... Past King Rat Paul Daniels, who passed away just after midnight on 17 March 2016. Paul was a truly proactive and dedicated King Rat (twice) as well as a genuine star of the world of magic. He will be hugely missed. To read the full GOWR obituary to Paul on the Roll of Honour page click here

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Smashing Artwork, On The Spot!

"RICK’S ROAST" at the Lancaster, London, on 16 March 2016, celebrated by Past King Rat Joe Pasquale, who created this smashing artwork of our Past King Rat Rick Wakeman on the spot. Joe and Rick signed it and over £1,000 was raised as a result of it’s auction!

PKR Joe Pasquale artwork at 'RicksRoast'

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

BOOK YOUR BALL TICKETS NOW… pay a 10% non-refundable deposit and you will be able to secure a Table of 10 or 12 in a preferential position.

Click here to make a booking

Water Rats wishing to book, please access the Member’s page.

GOWR Ball 2016 Joe Longthorne

The Most Prestigious Fundraising

Event of the Year - Our 127th

GOWR Annual Ball!

Book now! The Grand Order of Water Rats Annual Ball taking place again in London's West End at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, on Sunday 27th November 2016. The most prestigious fund-raising event of the year. All Star cabaret with Joe Longthorne MBE and full support, numerous surprises and a host of celebrity guests.

Champagne Reception 5.30pm for 6.00pm. Three Course Meal - including one bottle of wine per two persons.

Ticket price £150 per person - Tables of 10 or 12 available. Dress Code - Black Tie

Booking: Contact GOWR Administrator,
Anthony Bohan, 328 Gray's Inn Road,
London WC1X 8BZ
Telephone: 020 7278 3248
Email: info@gowr.net

Welcome Peter Donegan

Water Rat Peter Donegan

Baby Rat number 898; Peter Donegan, initiated on Sunday 10th July 2016, carrying on the great work of his legendary dad, Water Rat Lonnie. Welcome, Peter, to the wonderful world of the Water Rats.

Tribute to Water Rat Kenny Baker

Another loss to the GOWR ... actor/comedian/musician Kenny Baker who died at home on 13 August 2016. 
Farewell, Kenny; another stalwart of the old school. To read the full GOWR obituary to Kenny on the Roll of Honour page click here

Water Rat Kenny Baker

Welcome Colin Spaull

Water Rat Peter Donegan

A double making… our two new Baby Rats initiated together on Sunday 4th September 2016….actor Colin Spaull (number 899) above and Neil Crossland of Stagewear Unlimited (number 900) below…. Welcome to the wonderful world of the Water Rats!

Welcome Neil Crossland

Water Rat Neil Crossland