Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

Professor David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University wants to know about your coincidences!

Music request from Australia

Just after Christmas 2011, I went to Tesco's to re-stock. Came out, packed away my shopping and got in the car to drive the 10 minutes journey home. Switched on the radio - I don't always do this but when I do, as on this occasion it's Classic FM. There was a lovely piece of Mozart playing and I thought that I must listen at the end of it to see which piece it was. To my huge surprise, after the announcer said it was the Jupiter, he went on to say it had been requested for all UK family and friends and former colleagues by my nephew in Adelaide.

Coincidences within coincidences!

In the late 1970s my friend and I went to London from the Wirral for a day out. We were in a shop on Portobello Road when I was approached by a young woman of similar age who had spotted the fish [Ichthus] symbol on the lapel of my coat. She asked me if I was a Christian and I replied that I was. She too was a Christian and had just set up a cafe near the V&A. Our conversation revealed that she had the same name (Amanda) and it transpired that she had lived as a baby in the same road (and village, obviously) as I lived.

I Met Barry after 40 years

I went to school in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and my best friend was another boy in the same year called Barry. After we left school in 1969 we went our separate ways. I married and had two sons. My wife, myself and our two sons left South Africa in 1992 and returned to the UK. One son never settled in Europe and returned to South Africa soon afterwards. He lived in Johannesburg for many years, married and had a son of his own. We visited them approximately every two years. Then he and his wife decided to leave Johannesburg and move to Cape Town.

The influence of Number 13

I was on 13 April to parents who were born on 26 (2x13) Feb and 13 July. I was asked to a Ball by my future husband as a first date - the ball was on 13 May. We were engaged on 26 june ~ 26 months later and married on 26 July~39 months later. There are many other coincidences but we moved house and initially our offer on teh existing house (no 13) was tuned down but then accepted on 26 Sept, Mortgage odff 13 Oct and the price and the mortgage were altered with no influence from us and were divisible by 13. Both our children have lived in No 13 houses/flats.

Educational Coincidence

As a 10 year-old boy in 1943 I lived temporarily in Anglesey to avoid the bombing, and I was sent to school in the neighbouring village of Moelfre. I was somewhat mystified to find that the two schoolmistresses who ran it were not only a mother and her daughter but also that they were Germans - with whose country Great Britain was at war. Almost half a century later, I retired from a full career in the RAF to a cottage near Chichester.

Lady and son Dartmouth

My daughter was 3 years old and her father and I took her to the zoo while holidaying in Darthmouth, we sat facing a lady with a child who wore a helmet, even got half a photo of her on the same small train ride. We never spoke.


My identical sister and I both gave birth to our first children , both girls in April but three years apart. We then both had sons in October, two and a half years after our daughters. We did not plan to do this! My grandparents both died on the same day, 21st October 1996 having been married for over sixty years. Grandma died at 5.45 a.m in one hospital and Grandad died at 12.45 p.m in a nursing home. They were 92 and 93 years old and had a double funeral. They had known each other all their lives as their parents were friends.

Completing a set

At a flea market I suddenly felt compelled to buy an old-fashioned tall mug featuring a drawing of a Lanchester car. When I took it home, my daughter grabbed it, saying that her friend collected these mugs! It turned out that the Lanchester mug was the exact one he needed to complete the set and he'd been after it for years. 50p well spent!

Star sign coincidence

I was skiing in Italy with a group of about fifty or sixty, staying in a lodge. One morning it was minus 24 degrees, so cold that no one wanted to go out skiing. Only four of us, three men and one woman, insisted - we did not want to waste a day's prepaid skipass. Grumbling, our busdriver had to build a fire under the diesel engine of the bus to get it started, while our friends told us we were mad to go up the mountain in that freezing weather, but we stood our ground.

Holiday with a friend :)

Coincidences happen to me all the time. For example my dad gave me a dvd to watch which I had never heard of but I didn't watch and sent it back to his film rental place, the next day when I went to the gym it was on the screen, it was being shown on tv. But probably the most strange coincidence is a couple of years ago, I booked a holiday to go to Canada with my then partner who lived near London. I live up North so agreed to fly from Gatwick.