Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Empire State

I was visiting New York and standing in the queue at the Empire State Building. I heard the people in front talking and they were from the same small town in England where my parents live and knew them..

A Face from the past.

In the early sixties i worked for a national TV company which was involved in a change of name due to a government allotment of licenses,I was made redundant. After being paid a lump sum of money and being re-employed in my job I put my windfall to good use and took a mortgage on a small house in High Barnet,Herts. After time due to a couple of additions to the family I decided to upgrade to a brand new house right out past Witham in Essex.

next door neighbours

My mother, Betty, trained as a nurse during World War 2 in Berkshire. One of her fellow students was always called 'Sally' by her friends. After their training Betty and 'Sally' went their separate ways. 'Sally' married a doctor at the hospital and Betty went to various other nursing jobs before ending up back in South Wales, where she had been brought up, and where she met and married my father, a teacher. The 2 nursing friends completely lost touch with each other. After their marriage my parents moved to Surrey and later to Northamptonshire.

right place right time

On holiday in a small fairly remote cottage in south wales with great dane. Good hols but midway after a day on beach the dane seemed distressed and wanted to be sick. 15 mins later looked really poorly. Rang the local vet provided by the cottage owner and got to his surgery 15 mins later. When he looked at Prince he told us it was "bloat" generally terminal in danes (gastric torsion) and that he couldn't help as he was a large animal vet.

Flat hunting coincidence

Two years ago my fiancée and I, newly engaged, moved from London to Sussex so could study for a masters in experimental psychology. We were struggling to find any suitable flats in budget and on our third trip down to view houses were ready to give up and look elsewhere. As a last ditch effort, we had emailed a private landlord on gumtree about a flat that looked totally unsuitable but had no reply. Before our final house hunting trip down there, I had been googling jewellers in the vicinity as we still had no engagement ring and wanted to have one made.

Lucky ticket!

My two sons - one in the army, one at university - arranged independently to got to a pop festival a couple of hundred miles away, each with their own friends. They both had the tickets sent to my house. The student set off a day early to stay with friends but realised as he arrived that he'd forgotten his ticket! He rang me and I was able to locate the ticket and give it to the soldier in the hope that they'd meet up. No need to worry, as they both turned up at the same gate at the same time before they'd had a chance to arrange anything!

"Chance" train meeting

In October 1981 I travelled from England to Germany I got off the night ferry at the Hook of Holland and boarded a long train for my onward journey to Heidelberg I chose a carriage at random,it had 6 seats and the only other occupant was a female student from Manchester We chatted and had a pleasant journey,sharing lunch in Cologne and boarding the same train for our onward trip,saying our goodbyes at my destination In May 1982 I did the same journey (for the first time since the previous October) I chose a carriage at the Hook of Holland,it was empty......and then in walked the same girl

Wedding Name Double

In May 2009, before my husband and I were married, we went to go and look at a venue for our wedding reception (Wilbraham Barns, Great Wilbraham, Cambridgeshire). We turned up for a 3 o'clock appointment and I told the events coordinator Simon that my name was Lucy Harrison and we were due to look around the venue. He looked a little confused and it turned out that another 'Lucy Harrison' was also looking around the venue at the exact same time! We introduced ourselves, it was very strange meeting someone with the same name as me!

Birthdate & birthday coincidence

I flew to New Orleans for a 5 day Mojo workshop in October (last year). There were 20 people on this workshop, mostly Americans, but also Brits, Italians, Irish and Swiss. When I introduced myself I said I had hit 50 that year. Chatting at coffee the next morning Annie mentioned she had also hit 50 that year. It was the same day as me. When we mentioned it later there was another person in the 20 who had the same day, but was 4 years younger than us. June 14th. 1961 Boy George's birthdate too!!!!!!


My parents were visiting from Spain where they have lived for the past 6 years. They bumped into an old neighbour, who when chatting discovered they were both on the same cruise over Christmas., On the cruise they were chatting and got onto the subject of boxing. My father said that his granddaughter did boxing, the neighbour said how funny as she'd just given a cheque to a local boxing club for funding from the royal variety club of Great Britain , to a Carl Barton, that is my son in law said my dad!!