Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Student Next Door

In 1962 we moved from Kingston, Surrey, to Mountnessing, Essex. Our daughter Ella was 5 at the time. One family who looked at our Kingston house turned it down, but bought the house next door. Fourteen years later Ella went to Swansea University. She shared seesions with the English tutor with another student. He said he came from Surrey. He was the son of the man who bought the house next door. We had had no contact with them since then. Ella's husband has the same birthdate as my wife. Brian

Meeting American tourist

Many years ago my father took our children to the Isle of Wight for the day. While there, on a Sunday, he was asked the way to somewhere in Cowes by an American tourist. The following day, Monday, the same American tourist asked my father for directions in Victoria Street, London. My father asked him if he found his way in Cowes, the previous day, before directing him again.

same name by marriage

Both my sister and I married men with the initials RG and surname Williams who are not related. So my mother has two daughters with the married name Mrs RG Williams.

Baby bonds

I discovered I was pregnant when my partner was at work so I went over to my friends house to tell her as I was so excited when I walked in as her kids were around I said I have to tell you something in a minute (as I often said) and she said oh my god I know. She somehow knew that I was pregnant. Then told me how she thought she could be pregnant too. Well she was. We both found out we were having girls and her due date was a week after me.

Mrs Virginia Heredia

My great, great grandfather arrived in the north of England from Transylvania, in the 1800s. He married an English girl in the parish of Stockton on Tees in 1848. Three years ago, my son married a girl from Stockton on Tees and last year their son was born and registered in the same parish

The piece of puzzle

Every year when our family meets for Christmas we get out a large wooden hand-cut puzzle of the British Isles. This puzzle is probably 60 years old, about 3' x 5' and contains many hundreds of pieces. It is completed by anyone with a spare hour or so over the days that we are together. This last Christmas we discovered a few shreds of wood on the floor of the kitchen - a sign that my sister's dog had found a dropped piece on the floor and eaten it. This was sad as up until then, the puzzle had been complete.

day trip to London

A few years ago ,with a friend, I planned a day trip to London. The day trip was organised by my union. I booked 2 tickets by coach planning to spend some time in Tate Modern and site seeing. My daughter, who was at home that weekend, then informed me she was intending to spend that weekend in London visiting friends and would leave on Saturday morning returning Sunday evening. The coach left Cardiff early Saturday morning and my friend and I settled down for a pleasant day out in London. On the way we stopped at a service station for coffee.

Birthday coincidence

Richard S our ex next door neighbour shares his birthday with his daughter Helen. Not very remarkable? His date of birth is 29th February 1952 and Helen's birthday is 29th February 1980. I would love to know what the odds of that are.

Meeting in Turkey

About ten years ago I was on holiday on the South coast of Turkey with my partner. We made friends with a man who had a boat and went out a couple of times with him and out to restaurants a few times. After the holiday we had no further contact with him and seven years ago, my partner died. Four years ago, I went on holiday with my sister and brother-in-law, to Turkey, about 200 miles from the place I had been before. In a restaurant, I recognised the man my partner and I had met six years earlier. He recognised me.

Australian connection

About 30 years ago I did a 6-week locum in Brisbane, Australia (during a year's amalgamated annual leave from my normal job). As I was the locum I of course had to do the Saturday morning sessions in a clinic on the outskirts of the city. On the first Saturday I arrived fairly early as I did not know how long it would take me to drive there. The clinic was in a small shopping precinct which included an estate agency, so to kill time I was looking in its window comparing prices and properties with what I might find in the UK. A man rushed out and suggested I came inside.