Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Seeing Dave Sexton

I was sitting on the Heathrow Express (don't know if it was called that back then) at about lunchtime Monday 10 September 1979. I was very excited - it was not long after my 21st birthday and that very morning I'd managed to get a standby BA ticket to New York - my first ever visit - my first ever flight. I was relaxing into the idea that I was at last going to meet my family in America.

American Civil War

I have an interest in history in general, and in pursuit of this I purchased a book called ""The Civil War- an Illustrated History", about the American Civil War 1861-1865. The book has 425 pages. One evening in the summer of 1995, my partner and I were at home. I was reading my civil war book, but to be honest I can't remember what she was doing. Each week in those days a man used to drive into our street with a boot full of videos to hire.

The New Job

Back in 1963, I was returning from Stoke Poges to my bachelor flat in London on a very wet rainy Sunday night and driving down the Earls Court Road I was obliged to stop at the pedestrian crossing outside Earls Court Underground Station. Glancing in my rear view mirror I was alarmed to see that the vehicle behind me, a three wheeled Meschersmit, was not going to stop in time and was skidding on the wet road.

holiday acquaintances

In 1982, I was holidaying in Florida and met a couple of English guys in a bar in Key West. We got chatting and I told them that I was staying in the local Quality Inn motel and that it was very nice. We hung out for a couple of days and then went our separate ways. We all exchanged our addresses in England but did not expect to meet each other again in Florida. Twelve days later, after I'd driven all the way up the Gulf coast, across to Cape Kennedy, and down the Atlantic coast, I pulled into the Quality Inn in Fort Lauderdale to spend the night.


As a child growing up in Eastbourne I went with my older sister to the beach one Summer's day. As we approached the beach I remarked that it was very windy there and my sister replied with something like "did you say Wendy's here?" I said no and mentioned the wind again but, moments later, when we arrived at our chosen beach, there was her friend Wendy, along with her boyfriend. Only a small coincidence but one I've remembered for almost 60 years.

Help from the radio!

An extract from my Journal dated Saturday 24th March 2007: 'Stratford today "The Merchant of Venice". In the Swan by an American Company. Modern - smart suits, bad haircuts, Apple ibooks for the caskets. It worked very well. Shylock played by a famous person whose name just now escapes me. He was very good - very subtle - his downfall was shocking! Antonio - in love with Bassanio, but in a way hard to be sympathetic because he played it very anti-semitic. I rang Lesley sitting in the car before driving home as she had left a couple of messages.

relation coincidence

A few years ago my wife was in a vegetarian restaurant in Shrewsbury during the Easter School holidays , when she came aware of a converation between a very capable granddaughter and her grandmother. About a month later, the only time in her life she has attended Chelsea Flower Show, the aforementioned grandmother was seen by my wife. Then later, on the May Bank Holiday, at the local Church Fete at Wentnor,Shropshire, the self same grandmother appeared on the scene. My wife felt she was being 'haunted' by this woman and so she approached her and the above sequence was confirmed.

Dr Richard M

Some years ago I was listening to the Gymnopedie no1 by Erik Satie on a CD in my house and switched on to Classic FM where exactly the same piece of music was being played.

coincidence 20 years apart.

My sister and I both married men who are seven years our junior. Both our husbands' suffered two serious (life threatening) illnesses within the first two year of marriage. My sister was married in 1978 and I was married in 1998.

The same names

My parents are Ronald and Dorothy H (nee T). When my birth was registered the registrar was a lady by the name of Dorothy T-H. To have a mother who was Dorothy T who became Dorothy H and a registrar called Dorothy T-H has always seemed a strange coincidence to me. This occurred in late 1956 in Lancashire. Steve H