Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Chance meeting

My (late) wife and I live in the UK but own a holiday property in Spain. In 1995 we were on a holiday in Australia and were spending a few days in Brisbane. We took a trip around the harbour on a boat which stopped at various quays and passengers were at liberty to get on and off as they chose as many times as they wished. We spotted an openair quayside cafe at one stop, so got off to have a coffee. We had only been sitting there for a few minutes when in walked a couple we knew from our visits to Spain.

Appendix - double trouble!

My 18 year old daughter woke in considerable pain one day and I took her to the doctors surgery. Whilst waiting for her to come out, I took a call from my 22 year old son who told me not to worry but that he was in A & E at his local hospital as they thought he may need his appendix out.

Star sign coincidence

I was skiing in Italy with a group of about fifty or sixty, staying in a lodge. One morning it was minus 24 degrees, so cold that no one wanted to go out skiing. Only four of us, three men and one woman, insisted - we did not want to waste a day's prepaid skipass. Grumbling, our busdriver had to build a fire under the diesel engine of the bus to get it started, while our friends told us we were mad to go up the mountain in that freezing weather, but we stood our ground.

Identical Christmas cards

My sister and I sent Christmas cards to our parents last month. Although we live over 100 miles apart, not only did we send identical cards to them from ourselves and our husbands but we also sent them identical cards from our children as well. We frequently buy similar cards for them but have never managed to get ones that are completely the same.

Coincidences within coincidences!

In the late 1970s my friend and I went to London from the Wirral for a day out. We were in a shop on Portobello Road when I was approached by a young woman of similar age who had spotted the fish [Ichthus] symbol on the lapel of my coat. She asked me if I was a Christian and I replied that I was. She too was a Christian and had just set up a cafe near the V&A. Our conversation revealed that she had the same name (Amanda) and it transpired that she had lived as a baby in the same road (and village, obviously) as I lived.

Completing a set

At a flea market I suddenly felt compelled to buy an old-fashioned tall mug featuring a drawing of a Lanchester car. When I took it home, my daughter grabbed it, saying that her friend collected these mugs! It turned out that the Lanchester mug was the exact one he needed to complete the set and he'd been after it for years. 50p well spent!


My identical sister and I both gave birth to our first children , both girls in April but three years apart. We then both had sons in October, two and a half years after our daughters. We did not plan to do this! My grandparents both died on the same day, 21st October 1996 having been married for over sixty years. Grandma died at 5.45 a.m in one hospital and Grandad died at 12.45 p.m in a nursing home. They were 92 and 93 years old and had a double funeral. They had known each other all their lives as their parents were friends.

Lady and son Dartmouth

My daughter was 3 years old and her father and I took her to the zoo while holidaying in Darthmouth, we sat facing a lady with a child who wore a helmet, even got half a photo of her on the same small train ride. We never spoke.

Educational Coincidence

As a 10 year-old boy in 1943 I lived temporarily in Anglesey to avoid the bombing, and I was sent to school in the neighbouring village of Moelfre. I was somewhat mystified to find that the two schoolmistresses who ran it were not only a mother and her daughter but also that they were Germans - with whose country Great Britain was at war. Almost half a century later, I retired from a full career in the RAF to a cottage near Chichester.

My Mother and father

My mother died on 23 January 1977<br /> My father died on 23 January 1981