Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Stolen Purse

About 30 years ago my elderly Mother was taken every week to a singing class by one of her friends. I was working at the time as a sales rep and on this particular day had to collect something from a local supplier. I parked my car outside the company on a street that linked a main road to a popular local cut through to a city estate in Nottingham. As I was only going to be 5 minutes I stupidly left my handbag in the footwell of the passenger seat and when I returned about 3 minutes later the lock on the door had been forced and the bag stolen.

Pinewood Studios

During my freelance working life I worked for many years for a well-known film director at his home and at Pinewood Studios when he was making a film. Many years later when we moved from the South-East to the West Country, we bought a cottage in a small hamlet on Exmoor from a couple who (unbeknown to us at the time) had also had connections with Pinewood Studios, where he had been a Director of Photography. Subsequently we met and became very good friends with the lady who had lived in this same cottage and had sold it to this Director of Photography.

Happy returns

We had a weeks family holiday in Fuerteventura April 2010 (which was extended because of the ash cloud). There was another family at the hotel for the same week that we didnt speak to or get to know. In 2011 we booked a 2 week holiday in Gran Canaria August and guess what that same family had booked in as well at our hotel. We spoke to them on the 2nd occassion and were amazed at the coincidence. From the millions of combinations of weeks, countries and hotels, what are the odds of 2 unrelated families booking the same hotel for the same weeks on 2 occassions.


As an 11 year old I started at the grammar school in a class which was alphabetically selected for the first term. A boy called Geoff was in the same class but the family moved away to another part of the country after a few weeks. I never met any of his family. 7 years later I was babysitting for a couple who unknown to me arranged a blind date with a friend of theirs for me. This chap arrived and turned out to be the brother of the chap in my class who had returned to the area to work. We married two years later.

holiday coincidence

My 50th birthday fell on June 27 1999. To celebrate, my husband (Terry) and I (Barbara), enjoyed the last two weeks of June on the Greek island of Crete. We stayed in a small complex of self catering accommodation and became friendly (holiday friendships only, we did not keep in touch) with most other holidaymakers round the pool, who included Grace and Bob an older couple. Over the years It became a habit for us to spend the last 2 weeks in June on other Greek Islands, as our birthdays fall on 26 and 27 June. We were therefore on the island of Zante at the end of June 2011.

double holiday coincidences

Several years ago my husband and me were holidaying in Naples, Florida. One morning my husband got chatting with a hotel resident at breakfast. He asked where in England they were from and the lady replied that she actually lived In Spain. My husband politely asked whereabouts in Spain and the lady replied it was in the area of Murcia. She said that we would not probably have heard of the local town Mazarron, as it wasn't well known and that she lived on a development called Camposol. My husband said that we did in fact know the area well as we too owned a property on Camposol.


I woke one morning and mentioned to my husband that I had been dreaming of Krakatoa the volcano. A little later we did the Daily Telegraph little crossword which always has a word play across the top, the answer was cracker tower (Krakatoa)

Friend In Common

For many years I had a musical friend (we both played in the same amateur orchestra) who I stayed with on occasions at her parents' house. Some 40 years later (having moved from the South-East to the West Country) and now doing freelance office work at a local farm, I was talking to my co-worker of a number of years, and she was telling me about a recent weekend away visiting a friend who happened to live in the same village as my friend of 40 years ago.

Travel Coincidences / Unbelievable Luck

1. In 1995, my wife and I were on our 25th wedding anniversary holiday in America. We had arranged to fly to Hawaii at the end of the holiday but made a snap decision to change our flight by a couple of days. Whilst boarding the aircraft we both saw another passenger looking at us from across the aisle. He got up, came over and said "We know each other don`t we?" Although he did look familiar it was only when he reminded us that we had attended the same Gym in our home town several years previously that the penny dropped.

Meeting at the Races

I had been clearing out my fathers house following his passing and had all sorts of stuff in the boot of the car and when I sorted it out I put back in the boot of my car my dads binoculars and quite randomly a photo of my cousin audrey with her horse. Shortly after sorting It I went to Bangor races with a friend and to my amazement my cousin Audrey approached us in the paddock. She said that as she approached usit was just as though she were meeting my father. I told her about the picture that I had put in the car and she was intrigued why I had put it there to which I had no explanation.