Hallsmead Ait. The ait is the wooded island on the right,
and the western arm of the river swings sharply right around the north side of it, past the moored narrowboats.
© Copyright Derek Harper and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

1632:  John Taylor - "Haules Weare?"

1794: Report of a survey of the river Thames between Reading and Isleworth ... John Rennie (the Elder)

At Hall's Mead ayt [ the channel should be contracted, and a part of the lower end ballasted away]

1881: George Leslie, "Our River" -

All the way up from Shiplake to Sonning the stream is exceedingly strong, the river bending and twisting considerably, with a number of eyots situated in the sharp turns.  Much ingenuity on the part of the punter is called for in taking advantage of the many eddies;  it is one of the great attractions of punting, that the very sharpness of the stream against you always has its counter balance in your favour by the many eddies;  in these bends, with a proper knowledge of the ground, a punter can easily hold his own against an ordinary rowing boat, which must necessarily keep oar's length from the bank.  For my own part I prefer punting against the stream to going with it, provided I am in no hurry, as the art is far more varied and scientific.

Buck Ait

Tiny Islands upstream of Hallsmead Ait