Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Cosmic Synchronicity

In likgt of the recent Ship disaster I note that it is exactly 100 yaers to the day - 3 months since the Titanic sank .

Hospital Coincidence

After getting married, my husband and I bought a flat in a small block of 6 flats. Shortly afterwards a new couple moved into the flat above us. It turned out that the wife (who was a retired nursing sister) had been a sister at the private hospital where I had had an appendectomy some 12 years previously, and she remembered me as a patient and I remembered her as the kindest nurse who looked after me.

Mrs Shirley kinge Kirstgein

My husband Theo. was born on 16 January 1934 and I found out that my first child due around 7 March 1962 were in fact twins. They were a boy and girl born prematurely on my husbands birthday weighing 4lb 4oz and 4lb 10oz. Yesterday we had a celebration for 50 and 78 years.

Lost diamond

My husband and I spent a whole Saturday looking at vans for my his business, visiting many dealerships. During the day I realised that a tiny diamond was missing from my engagement ring. I was really upset about it. Late in the afternoon we decided on the first van we'd seen and returned to the first dealer. As I mooched around the van showroom while my husband was in the salesman's office I saw what looked like a tiny piece of grit on the concrete floor, pressed my finger on it and unbelievably it was the minute diamond which had been there all day! Amazing!

Ataturk Airport

I was at Ataturk Airport with my parents in January 2011, after spending two weeks in Turkey on holidays. They were living in London at the time, so I was flying back with them to the UK before heading home to Australia. As we were standing looking at the monitors trying to work out which check-in desk to go to, a casual friend of mine from Melbourne happened to walk past. She was in transit on the way over from Syria.

Alfred Hitchcock's dogs

In the 1960s when I was little we had a Sealyham terrier, a breed of dog that is far from common. I am interested in film trivia. As you are perhaps aware, the great film director Alfred Hitchcock often made cameo appearances in his films. Early on in his film 'The Birds' he is seen leaving a pet shop with two Sealyham terriers on leads. One time while I was trawling the Internet looking at film trivia I came upon the fact that these two dogs were Hitchcock's own pet Sealyhams. Their names were Geoffrey and Stanley.

Bri/yans in Brussels

One evening when my husband and I were on our honeymoon in Brussels we walked quite a way out of the city centre and we met Bryan, the husband of my best friend in Oxford. He was visiting the European Commission for his work and was taking an evening walk with his colleague, Brian. A few days later my husband and I were walking to the railway station to go on to stay with friends in Germany when we met my boss from Oxford. He was also called Brian. Given that my husband's name is Brian, I felt a little outnumbered on this trip. Jo


In the early 1990s I was researching material for a book about the fate of the relics (that is, the bones) of Canterbury and England's great saint, Thomas Becket. The official story was that they had been burned at the time of the Reformation in 1538, but there was circumstantial evidence that they may have been removed from his shrine before the arrival of the King's Commissioners and kept in a secret place by the monks, where they may still lie.

10 years apart!

A friend of mine, Sheila, has the same birth date 10 years earlier than me - her youngest son Graham was born 10 years to the day before my youngest Sarah - Sarah has now moved opposite to Graham and his wife, whom she had no knowledge of, to a town she would never have considered except for a change of job.

Old Friends

We bought an apartment in Tenerife so that I could spend winter in the sun. My husband came out from the Midlands, where we moved some 20 years ago, to visit me but as he had a meeting in London on the Monday, flew back to Gatwick. On the flight, which he would never normally have taken, he met someone he used to play cricket with 30 years ago when we lived in the London area. They asked him if he'd been to see Lyn and Gordon, who live in Tenerife. Lyn was one of my best friends until we moved to the Midlands and we lost touch as she moved too.