Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

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!!


Travelling through Perth I was listening to an audio book (a Smiley Spy story, I think) when I looked at my watch to see the time at EXACTLY the moment the same time was read out by the audio book. Obviously the time in the book was nothing but a passing reference in the plot but it coincided exactly with my time (but not necessarily the actual exact time... though it may have been).

old friend USA

In 1978 (aged 27) after living in upstate New York for 6 months, I went to visit an old school friend from England who lived in San Francisco. The day after I arrived, we went to see Van Morrison performing in a tiny bar in a town called Mill Valley, north of the city. Van lived nearby and it was a 'local' gig for him, so was not advertised widely. The bar was packed and towards the end of the evening I exchanged comments about how brilliant the gig was with the person standing next to me.

Meeting in Boston

Our only trip 'en famille' to Canada and the USA was in 1987. We had been to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia before driving down to Boston where we stayed with friends near by. While there, we went into Boston by underground and at one station, the train made to move off but stopped and the doors opened again for a few minutes. A few more people got on and the train moved off.

cup and saucer.

I received a cup and saucer from an Aunt who used to own a sweet shop,it was used as a display item,It was very large and used to sit on a dresser.An accident happened and the saucer was broken.The next day while walking to work I went a different way passing a junk shop,in the window was an identical saucer,I asked the owner if I could have a look at it,she replied that it was not valuable without the cup! after buying it I explained about how I had broken one the same the previous day and still had the cup,she then explained that she had only put it in the window the day before.

Near Neighbours.

I was walking along a beach with a workmate, walking across the beach gave us access to the forest that we were both working in. We started talking about coincidences, he told me that a local chap who was a diver and sailor was working in the Caribbean recently, sailing a boat around.

unexpected encounter

My coincidence happened on one of our trips to Australia. As we were flying from Heathrow I found myself sitting next to a young girl of about 18 who was going for a gap year. She was rather anxious about the experience and I talked to her for some time trying to reassure her that all would be well and she would enjoy herself. We parted company in Singapore (I think) and she flew on to Sydney whilst we flew to Perth. We stayed with friends for 2 weeks then visited Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane.

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.