This month we report on the Grand Order of Waters Rats and more specifically their glitzy ball, which was staged recently in London. Mark Ritchie and his wife Beverley joined the stars at this huge social occasion for show business.
Times have been more challenging than at any other time in their history for The Grand Order of Water Rats. Since the pandemic, during which time many entertainers were told by the man who is now P.M to retrain and get others jobs, the Water Rats cupboard is bare, at least according to the new serving King Rat, actor and comedian Chris Emmett.
As my wife and I joined the stars at The Lancaster Gate hotel, the general feeling expressed by GOWR organisers Anthony Bohan, Mike Martin and Ian Richards, all of whom I chatted to, was one of relief and optimism that this flagship event is up and running once again.
Jimmy Tarbuck gave a performance full of show business nostalgia tales and the general warmth expressed by this master comedian and story-teller was pitched just right.
The celebrity count was high, as it always is at this event, which I have attended many times before. Jim Davidson, Alison Steadman, Tony Hatch and Vanessa Feltz, to name but a few, were mixing and mingling in splendid abandon. The widow of the past King Rat, comedian Duggie Brown gave a touching tribute to her husband, who never got to preside over his own GOWR ball, due to the pandemic. This was followed by a superbly presented short film about Duggie’s life. Moments such as this is where show business memories are made and history is shaped.
If anyone was not already aware, Chris Emmett is following in the footsteps of Water Rats past, such as Laurel and Hardy, Ted Ray, Bud Flanagan and Will Hay amongst others, since the order was formed in 1889 by music hall comedians Joe Elvin and Jack Lotto. There are only ever 200 Water Rats at any one time and by turning the word RATS backwards, we learn more about the order and its show business connections.
On a personal note, I was thrilled to meet for the first time one of my old crushes from many years ago, the delectable Anita Harris. This actress and singing star must have taken some kind of youth potion as she never seems to change or age. A lovely encounter followed, during which I ended up on the receiving end of a kiss from Ms Harris. My cup runneth over!
If you have any items of interest for this nostalgia page, please e-mail to email@example.com. We would love to hear from you.