Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Chance meeting

Some years ago my husband and I were driving along one evening in a quiet Hampshire coastal retirement area near our home when we spotted an elderly woman in slippers looking lost and confused in the road. We pulled abruptly to a halt to see if we could help - at the same time as a man driving in the opposite direction did the same. Having established that the old lady was indeed very confused we phoned the police for help. Whilst waiting for them to arrive my husband (originally from Plymouth in Devon) commented on the other man's Devonshire accent .

Birthday coincidence.

My sister had a baby on my birthday, which happened to be a Friday that year. He was born at about 2:30pm, and we were amazed when Mum told us that I, too, had been born at 2:30 on a Friday afternoon.


My Parents and I lived in Australia for over 18 years.During those years several of my Maternal Aunts/Uncles and cousins had also moved to South Australia. When I worked for a Northamptonshire based Company in the 1990's my colleague was planning a trip to visit her Aunt who had emigrated to South Australia in the 1950's too. We chatted about the Aussie life-style and where she would be visiting. I was amazed to learn she was to stay in the same suburb as my Aunt where each road or street on a small housing development built in the 60's uses a female Christian name.

Holiday Coincidence

Family friends from the Auvergne in France were staying with us in Co. Waterford, Ireland. We all went to visit a local attraction, The Mahon Waterfalls, and spent an hour exploring. As we got back into my car Julian, one of our friends, shouted "Bonjour" to some friends from his university class in Clermont Ferrand who had just got out of a mini bus to begin their visit to the falls. Neither knew the other was holidaying in Ireland and just a few seconds later we would have missed seeing these friends from 1100km away

Meaning of life the universe and everthing

Some years ago, shortly after the death of Douglas Adams my wife and I were driving with the car radio on (Radio 4 of course) and there was a programme paying tribute to the late author. A succession of people came on saying nice things about him and then there was a short dramatisation of the bit in The Hitch-hikers Guide the Galaxy where the great computer announces that it has found the answer to Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. There right in front of us was a house with it's street number indicated in large metal numerals - number 42 !!!

My sister & me & the number 12

1)My sister and I were born 12 years apart. (1950/1962). We both married at the age of 20 (12 years apart) and we both married men with the surname Smith. (By another coincidence our father's sister had married a man with the same forename and surname as our father.) My sister and I both had two sons and hers followed 12 years after mine. We both live in houses with the number 12, as did our parents when they were alive. My elder son was also born on my birthday. 2) A few months after I was married in 1971my husband and I were invited to a very 'posh' Ladies' Night.


I had visited a rehoming centre for cats. Having found a beautiful cat I liked I left my details with the cattery manager. 4-5 weeks later I still hadn't heard from the centre so I called them. As I said my name the woman on the other end of the phone sounded shocked. I wondered how she instantly knew so much about me and the cat. She was sitting with the paper work and was to going to call me after 'answering the phone'! And yes I did get the cat, still have him and I have been told that he will go to the front door when I am approaching home...

Mr John Rowbotham

(1) On a trip to Australia and on a Boat tour around Sydney Harbour.I Found myself standing Next to an ex work collegue from Nottingham whom I hadn't seen for a few years, He now lives on the Isle of Man, incredible. (2)On another trip to Australia I stopped Off in Kuala Lumpur. We took our evening meal in Private restaurant within the Hotel. One night I started a conversation with the people on the next table. They lived in the East Midlands(so did we). We are from Nottingham, I say. We are from Tamworth, they say. Oh I have an Aunt in Tamworth, I say.

"Get off my train"

A few years ago I visted New York for the first time with friends. We went on the subway to Grand Central Station and commented it was like a scene from the film "Ghost" when PAtrick Swayze meets a slightly mad ghost who berates people to "get off my train". We arrived at out destination and left the subway. Guess who was walking towards us - the actor who played the mad ghost - I still don't know his name to this day!! Later that evening we went to a speakeasy bar in Greenwich Village and were discussing how bizarre this event had been.

Double Trouble

After I had married my husband I found out that not only was my name, all 3 christian names, identical to his previous wife whom he had divorced, due to her infidelity, but his mother in law, my mum's name, and the name of our first born which we had named without knowing what she had called her first born.