Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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


In Nov 2004, I went to a garage to buy a new car. There were 2 left. I was given the choice of blue or silver - blue was DGX, silver was DGY. I got the blue. In Dec 2011, i sold something on ebay to a lady in Liverpool. She asked me to deliver it to her mother in law in the next town to me, which I did - only to find the silver car I'd not chosen all those years agoi sitting on her driveway. She'd also bought it from new. Oh yes, we both have only had one problem with said cars - squeaky brakes......

She said she lived in Africa, I replied that I know someone who also lives in Africa

In the mid 80s, while on a flight to London I started a conversation with the woman beside me. When she mentioned she lived in Africa, I told her I knew someone who at that time lived in Africa but I said "you probably don't know him". It was evident she thought I made a ridiculous remark but having experienced a number of odd number of coincidences in my life it wasn't as ridiculous as she imagined. Seeing her reaction, I said "Oh you probably don't know him, he lives in Ghana". "Oh" she replied, "I live in Ghana".

Chance meeting on holiday - twice !

We went to visit Polperro on a day trip from our holiday cottage in Foy. On walking down to the harbour we heard a familiar voice. It was Steve who introduced us as partners over 30 years ago. He had all his family with him and we had a good chat at the pub. We then went off for a coastal walk and stopped in a small bay for coffee on the return journey and met them again. One week prior to this I had met steve at a cricket match. He had just come back off holiday and had no idea he was going on a surprise holiday arranged by his daughter in Polperro.

Mr. Joe H

I live in a city centre side-street where there are many blocks of apartments but very little road traffic. For some years I had a job which required me to leave home at around 07.30. I would walk the short distance down my street to an intersecting street in order to reach my car. Often there would be just one other person (not the same one each time) walking along the intersecting street and we were on a collision course unless one or the other of us changed pace. This happened so many times that I began to anticipate it.

Dog story

I had recently split up with my husband and wasn't in a good place emotionally, morose, depressed and crying a lot. My husband had left a few days beforehand to his home town in South Africa. I was left in the UK with our Cocker Spaniel. I would walk the dog every day on the fields behind the golf course where my husband used to work. Occassionaly there would be other dog walkers, on this walk there was one other person on the other side of the field that I could barely see. My dog was off the lead and began to run towards the other dog.

From here to Australia

In 1996, I was travelling in Australia for the first time when I met a lovely australian bloke. One day he introduced me to one of his friends whose mother came from England. I enquired as to where. "Oh you won't know it, a little town called Redbourn" he said. "Well Redbourn in Hertfordshire is 6 miles from where I live" i replied. Do you know Brache Close, he asked. I replied that I knew the road but that my mum's aunties had lived in the next road to it since the 1920s. "Ask them if they knew XXXX" I was told.


I live in Ireland, but went to Uni in Scotland. By chance I was placed in halls of residence with another Irish girl (from a different county). 5 years later, we were best friends. We decided to go backpacking in Australia and got our tickets. I said i'd sort out the visas and needed both of our passport details. Turned out that both Irish passports were 8 years old, both printed on 22nd April 1999, and our passports had only 1 digit separating them, so were printed 1 directly after the other. This was before each of us knew of each other !

Familiar Cottage

In the late 60s when I was a young teacher I travelled by bus every Saturday morning to Wath -on -Dearne where there was a music centre. Part of the journey was on the Dewsbury to Barnsley road.The road was one I hadn't travelled along before. I enjoyed looking out at the countryside. Along the route I passed a pair of cottages which were adjoined and set at right angles to the road. I always looked at one of them in particular which had an apple tree in in front of it.

Date of birth

My dad Jack, his date of birth is exactly the same (when written numerically) as the year he is born 1935. He was born the 1st day of the 9th month (september) in the year 35 = (1935).

Swearing in Swahili!

Nursing patients with artificial hips, it was often my job to walk them down the ward soon after their operation. Some were nervous but they had to be 'got going' on the new joint. One day I was about to escort a splendid elderly gentleman for his first walk. To reassure him, I said 'It might sting a bit so it's OK to swear, as long as it's in Swahili!' - that being the first language I could think of. He gasped in surprise and asked 'How did you know THAT? I spent 20 years with the Army in Kenya and I am fluent in Swahili!