ONE of London's smallest museums is being kept open to the public thanks to a dedicated volunteer.

Samantha Brummage will be manning the Grade II listed Toll House at Brentford Lock every Friday so visitors can explore the history of the waterways and understand why the lock played such an important transport role as a gateway to the world.

Mrs Brummage, who lives next to the canal in Brentford, explained why she wanted to help open the Toll House, which was built in the 1900s. She said: "I'm from the local area and am quite interested in the local heritage. One of my neighbours volunteers as a lock keeper so he gave me the idea.

"I would really like to run events such as reading groups and hosting local craftsmen at the Toll House. We are also hoping to borrow some artefacts from the Museum of London to encourage more people to come to this great little museum."

The Toll House used to contain ledgers which recorded the type and weight of cargo passing through the lock.

The Canal and River Trust, who owns the museum, is encouraging anybody with information about the history of Brentford Lock to come and speak to Mrs Brummage so they can build up a better picture of the area.

Debbie Vidler, London volunteer coordinator at the Trust, said: "I’m delighted that Samantha has volunteered to keep the museum open and hope locals, boaters and anyone interested in our fantastic canals comes along to have a look.”

The museum is open every Friday, from 10am until 1pm. For volunteering opportunities contact Debbie Vidler on or 07825 099 167.