Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Money lost, money found!

I once stayed with friends in the Black Mountains and went out by myself to climb to a hill fort on the opposite hill. It was a hot day and I took my coat off at the top. Unfortunately, I forgot it and when I went back to look for it, my coat had gone. The coat had £25 in and my return rail ticket home. I was a university student at the time so losing £25 meant a lot to me. That same year I spent Christmas witrh parents in Cardiff and one day walking into the city centre I noticed some currency notes blowing around just in front of me. I picked them up and they totalled £25.

Birth and death

My sister was born 1 March 1929 in Bootle and died 22 February 1969 in Walton Hospital. My stepmother was born 1 March 1912 in Bootle and died 22 February 1952 in Walton Hospital. They were only related by marriage but I think it is a strange coincidence. My sister Peg was born 24 April 1924 in Bootle and I was born 24 April 1934 also in Bootle. My sister Sheila was Born 17 March 1937 in Bootle and her son Stephen was born 17 March 1964 also in Bootle Mary

old friend

In 1971, aged 20, I spent a week at the Glastonbury festival and was dropped off at Bath station to catch a train to London to visit my mother. I lived in Bristol at the time. I tried to buy a magazine but was a few pence short. The shop assistant would not help me so, in the spirit of Glastonbury, I turned to the person behind me in the queue and asked them if they would give me 2 pence. The 'person' turned out to be a girl called Celia who I had been friends with at Primary school in Salisbury and had not seen for about 10 years because she moved away.

Old Friends From London

My wife and I were expats in London for almost five years from 2001 to 2005. We leased a home in Gerrards Cross. It was a small community with several other expat families. We were both in our in our early fifties and our children save one were in universities in the US. Our youngest was attending the local American high school. Our next door neighbors were young expats with 2 young sons. We became close friends, especially my wife as I travelled extensively. He worked for a French bottled water company and was the UK rep.

Two brothers

In the early 1970s when I worked for the Inland Revenue a form came in saying that a David Brown (not his real name) was staring work ina local business. A few days later another form came in saying that David Brown was staring work with the same company. Both young men had been born on the same day so I told a colleague the company had made a mistake and sent the tax office a duplicate form. My colleague told me this wasn't so. he truth was that a man's wife and mistress gave birth to sons on the same day by the same father (the husband).

The Family Home

I am Tom, from Bradley Stoke, just north of Bristol. In 2007, I met a girl at a gig in Bristol - Kirsty, who is now my fiancee. We quickly developed a close relationship and as we did, discovered more about each other. We were both from Bristol - fairly likely considering where we met ! Kirsty told me she was from a reasonably large suburb of Bristol called Horfield. I noted that my mother had been born in Horfield and my grandparents and great-grandparents had lived there - not unremarkable really.

travel coincidence

My father, Dr T Barwell, aged 10 days short of 96, reminds me of this story as he heard the Radio 4 item last week. He was on holiday in Russia in 1937 and met a Danish family which included a teenage daughter called Karen-Else Hansen. The following year he was rowing in a regatta in Essen and on the way home he stopped in Cologne to view the cathedral. He met a crocodile of schoolgirls which included Karen-Else Hansen. They were travelling home after holidaying in the Black Forest.

Long-distance coincidence

My Mum (from the UK) was visiting her brother and sister-in-law in New Zealand. They got chatting about their children, and the sister-in-law remarked on my married surname, Plumptre. Her daughter in Hong Kong had a friend with the same surname. The friend turned out to be my husband's sister.

Re births and deaths

Forgot to mention that my son-in-law Norman who married my daughter Carole-Anne was born 11th May 1952 in Wigan and my daughter Debbie was born 11th May 1961 in Bootle

lose a bracelet, look for a bracelet, find a bracelet but not same one

Mr wife and I were living in Devon and went to visit my brother and sister-in-law in rural Suffolk during which we went for a walk in the countryside. On our return home my wife discovered she had lost an expensive heavy gold charm bracelet so on the off-chance we 'phoned my sister-in-law to see if she had left it there. My sister-in-law found nothing in the house but said she would retrace our walk just to see. A little while later she 'phone with the good news that she'd found the bracelet and would send it to us by post.