The Thames Traditional Boat Rally is, simply put, a huge 2-day display of the very finest-looking traditional boats one can see. It was the dream, back in 1977, of a few keen boaters. Most of these were members of the River Thames Society, others were members of the Inland Waterways Association or Thames boat clubs. Their idea was to encourage owners of traditional craft to cherish and restore them to all their former glory, as well as to continue to use them upon the river.
Among the prewar owners of the Little Ships are many prosperous personalities of the 1930s. Reda was built for a Mr. Austin Reed - for many years thought to have been the head of the successful clothing firm of that time. However recent enquiries have discovered that the Austin Reed who commissioned Claude Whisstock to design his comfortable 45ft yacht at Woodbridge, Suffolk in 1938 was in fact the owner of a chain of 5 public houses in London.