Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Breakage coincidence

My wife and I were visiting my elderly mother in Eastbourne a week ago, where she has lived in the same house for 27 years. The house was not new when she moved there, so both her downstairs and upstairs toilets have been there longer than that. I had to take my mother to the local GP's surgery that morning to have a leg wound dressed. Before leaving the house, I used the upstairs toilet but when I flushed the toilet, the handle broke. Removing the cistern lid, I saw that the plastic arm connecting the handle to the flushing mechanism had snapped.

Family connections

About 27 years ago I was working at a software house in London, preparing a bid for a contract with the Navy. The Navy contract officer was based at the Admiralty Research establishment at Portland, near Weymouth. My sister - who I had rather lost touch with and hadn't spoken to for a couple of years was also working at the establishment.


One Saturday lunchtime in 1996, my wife and I (together with a married couple, and good friends) went out in our two MGB's for lunch. it was a remote Inn called the Tan Hill in North Yorkshire - miles and miles from anywhere. 12 years later, and now with a family, we decided to go to the lake district for the day (45 miles away). En-route I noticed the brown sign to the Pub, off the A66. I turned off at the junction and my wife asked why? I said to wait, i had a hunch. When we walked in the door, the couple were sat at the exact same table as 12 years previous.

Random phone call

I was at home trying to recall our old home telehone number from a previous address 12 years before, but not sure entirely why. I could only remember the first three digits and they were 639. The phone rang while I was thinking and on answering I was asked by the lady if I was XX Building Services [my husbands company] I replied 'No you have dialled his home telephone number' and she replied 'Thats odd I have that down as 639659'.....The very number I had been trying to recall.

Presenment ?

I regularly go to the central library i Southampton over 2 years i have had a nodding aqaintance with someone but last year they were more intermitent in thier visits. I hadnt seen them in about 4 months but suddnly I thought that I hadnt seen them around Two days later I walked out of the library and there were police cars and fire trucks this man was threatening to set fire to himself I dont know why perhaps they were going to depoert him. He chose a abd day to get into the paers as a building colapsed in the town centre that had been partly demolished I never heard what became of

Koestler and his book on coincidence (1)

I was reading the book Coincidence in which Koestler recalls a coincidence about grasshoppers. The next day a grasshopper appeared on my work bench. Trivial but this incidence was followed by my son returning home from a temp' job handing me part of a letter signed by Koestler.He found it whilst destroying outdated documents. He knew I was reading the about coincidence and came across the letter by chance. I have the letter 25 years after the incident.

Birthdate coincidence

My partner of 29 years, on changing jobs two years ago and had to hand back his company mobile and get a new number. His new number ends 554926. I was born in 1955 at 4am in September on the 26th. Another odd coincidence Prior to my last visit my sister in South Africa asked if I wanted her, in my absence, to apply at our gym for a PIN Number for me to access the WIFI facility there, so I would be able to use the connection immediately on arrival.

Police, Skype and hospital numbers

I'm a police officer and my badge number is 2535. When my daughter moved to Leeds we both joined Skype to keep in touch and the registration number it gave us was 2535. Also, I'm 48 and recently had to have a minor operation. My hospital registration. Umber is 2535048.

Vietnam/st Margaret's Twickenham

While on a guided tour of Vietnam/Cambodia Nov 2011 with 40 complete strangers, talking to one of the group about where about in the UK we lived and used to live, I mentioned St Margarets Twickenham ,having lived there in the early 70's then thought no more about it. The next day a lady with our tour asked if it was me who had lived there and which street, I told her and she she too had lived in that street and then what number. You've guessed same house. Turns out she had bought the house from me back in 1976! What are the chances of that!

Coincidence meeting

I was moving with my wife and small twins to Liverpool, and called on my uncle, a farmer, and aunt, my father's sister, in Stroud, Gkoucestershire, before we left. If you see a man in Liverpool with one arm, they joked, he's an old friend. Give our regards to him. On our first Sunday in the city in 1958 my wife and I decided to walk with our children to nearby Sefton Park, and called in for a coffee. Sitting at a table was a man with one arm. Just for fun I approached him and asked him if he was, by name, the man my uncle and aunt knew. He was.