Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Family Reunion

We are from North Shropshire and were on our "once in a lifetime world tour" and reached Rotorua in North Island New Zealand for a one night stopover. We checked in to our hotel and as it was my husband's birthday we arranged to eat early in the hotel restaurant so that we could go out and do as much sightseeing as possible. The booking was in my name ( I have maintained my maiden name Thorley ) so when we walked in to the hotel restaurant the waitress saw my name and suggested that she added our meal bill to the "group booking" bill.

Ms Dolan

Myself and my two sisters all had our first born children on New Year Eve.

Pregnancy and baby DOB coincidences

I have once sold a maternity dress via EBay to a buyer who emailed me to say the dress – although new- had a small tear, never the less, she left me positive feedback. This prompted me to reply and we have kept in touch. We were both pregnant at the time, both expecting a baby (one in Sept and the other one in Oct).

I used to babysit for my son's infant school teacher

When my son (who shares his birthday with his grandmother and also the wedding anniversary of his other grandparents) moved into year 1 in infant school, his teacher looked vaguely familiar. When she wrote her full name in his reading book, I realised that 15 years previously, when I was 18 and she was 10, I used to babysit for her and her sister, in a village 25 miles away from where we live now.

birthday coincidence

When deciding to call my new baby daughter Katherine I wanted to ensure I spelt her name correctly when registering her birth. I remembered that Katharine Hepburn was in a film on television that week so I looked up her name in the cast list in the Radio Times magazine and spelt it the same way. I would joke that Katharine had been named after Katharine Hepburn. A year or so later on reading an article about her somewhere I learnt that Katharine Hepburn was born on May 12th, the same birthday as my daughter's.

stopping clock

My Aunt bought me a small clock for a wedding present, one day it stopped working for no reason. I then found out some weeks later it stopped at the time she had died. It has never worked since

Waiting for a Ferry

My husband and daughter (we live in the suburbs bordering Kent and London), were going to France for a couple of days. Whilst waiting in the queue of cars waiting to drive onto the ferry at portsmouth, my husband was looking into the car next to him in disbelief. His cousin (who lives in Lancashire), was in the car alonsgside my husband with his wife and 2 children. They ended up getting the ferry together and having fun in France until my husbands cousin, continued his journey to Belgium.

telephone number

30 or more years ago we lived in Banstead, Surrey. During that time husband's parents moved from Surrey to the Ramsgate area in Kent. With no phone connection at their bungalow we urged them to get a phone put in so that we could have ease of contact and they made the arrangements. Imagine our surprise when they told us their new phone number - Thanet 3xxx18, our number in Banstead was also 3xxx18 (can't remember the area code).

Old friends

Back in 1960 I did temporary work in London where several Australians were doing similar work. I had my son in July 1961 and then became a stay at home mum. I had exchanged addresses with a girl called Eleanor Clarke but we then lost touch. Many years later, my husband and I thought we might like to visit Australia. I sent a letter to Eleanor to her old address, in Glengowrie. The letter was passed on and on by neighbours and I finally had a reply from Sydney where she then lived.

Business card coincidence

We were out walking one day, and passed a business card which had fallen on the ground. Curiosity got the better of us, so we went back and picked it up... It was a person whose name didn't mean anything to us, however, the address was peculiar, as it was called Percy French Road, on the other side of the city. Interestingly, in our small town, there is a bench dedicated to Percy French, as it was there that he wrote the famous song "The Mountains of Mourne".