Friday 11th March 1864; "An awful catastrophe took place at Sheffield by the breaking of a dam between the mountains by which about 300 lives were lost herds cattle, trees property of all kinds took place at about 11 or 12 o’clock at night" [238 people died and some 700 animals were drowned; 130 buildings were destroyed and 500 partially damaged; 15 bridges were swept away and six others badly damaged]
Saturday 1st October 1864; "An explosion at Woolwich Arsenal at 6.42AM; a severe shock or earthquake experienced here at Ilford. NB The above was an explosion of a Gunpowder Magazine at first supposed to be at Creek’s Mouth, but in reality was at Hall’s Powder Mills at Erith, 30,000 barrels of powder exploded, & supposed to be between 40 & 50 lives lost in the debris"
Tuesday 6th September 1864; "News arrived in England of Franz Miller’s arrest, the supposed murderer of Mr. Briggs"
Saturday 24th September 1864; "A frightful murder took place at Chadwell Heath. The street lamps were alight for the first time this evening"
Monday 26th September 1864; "Wane, the man that committed the murder on Saturday last had his examination & was remanded till Saturday. The inquest was adjourned till Wednesday next at gaol at 3 o’clock in the afternoon"
Wednesday 28th September 1864; "I, father & Harry all went to hear the inquest on the body of the woman murdered at Chadwell; it took more than 4 hours & the verdict was of course ‘Unlawfull Murder’. We did not get home from Gaol till nearly ½ past 8"
Saturday 12th November 1864; "Heard about Mr. Nicholson & Mrs. Dawson eloping…Went to the gaol in the morning to hear Ferdinand Edward Karl Kopl examination on suspicion for murder at Plaistow, he was remanded. Old Mr. Barker died"
Monday 14th November 1864; "Muller the murderer of Mr. Briggs underwent the extreme penalty of the law outside Newgate at 8AM. I spent the evening at home playing whist, reading Muller's confession &c"
Friday 21st October 1864; "A robbery at Mr. Willett’s during this night at Barking"
Wednesday23 rd November 1864; "The inquest on the body of that was found decapitated in Plaistow Marshes resumed & concluded at the Gaol a verdict of "Wilfull Murder" returned against Ferdinand Karl Kohl"
Saturday 24th September 1864; "An extinct animals tusk was found in Hill’s brickfield it measured 12 ft. long: also a pair of horns but not supposed to belong to the same animal"
Sunday 25th September 1864; "Went to Ilford Church in the morning; to see the large tusk in the Brickfields in the afternoon"
Tuesday 27th September 1864; "Uncle Woolmer came down in the afternoon & we went to see this wonderful Pre-Adamite in the Brickfield again"
Thursday 22nd September 1864; "My brother Willie’s birthday. Miss Cox is to be married to the Black man"
St. Mary’s Church
Thursday 25th August 1864; "Had a meeting at the Reading Room to determine what to do with regard to the Enlargement & decorating & improvement of Great Ilford Church. A new tower is to be erected at the sole expense of the relations of the late J. Davis Esq. as a lasting memorial of the kindness & liberality of the ‘departed one’ to this parish"
Sunday 11th September 1864; "A meeting was held yesterday at the Reading Rooms respecting the pulling down & rebuilding the Church Spire & making a tower"
Tuesday 15th November 1864; "They took the weathercock off the Church Spire. I saw them do it…Mr. Hatton buried at Highgate Cemetery. Father had an invitation to the Funeral but could not accept it"
Saturday 19th November 1864; "Took the bell down at Church"
Thursday 24th November 1864; "Called at Church; the tower of which they are demolishing rapidly"
Sunday 4th December 1864; "Went to Ilford Church in the morning, they have got the brickwork of new tower just out of ground"
Monday 5th December 1864; "Mr Withers finished these cottages and beer shop next to us for "Venables"
Sunday 11th December 1864; "Went to Ilford Church in the morning (they have built the tower about 10 feet at present. Got the entrance well made)"
Sunday 1st January 1865; "I went to Ilford Church in the morning; they have built the tower higher than the main roof of the Church. I should fancy this sharp weather will affect the work considerably"