Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Strange meeting

One day in the 1970's I was in a residential street in York during a day trip from Richmond. A party of schoolchildren approached from the opposite direction. I recognised the man in charge as someone who taught with me at Fairfield Boys High School in Sydney during 1964. He was now teaching in East Anglia, and was also on an excursion. We talked briefly.

One Road

Between the ages of about 4 and 12 I lived in Mayfield Road, Weybridge in Surrey. This was a road with I guess around 30 houses. At the age of 25 we moved to a house in Sutton Coldfield near Birmingham. When we got to know our next door neighbours, we discovered that she had also lived in Mayfield Road, Weybridge, and what is more she recalled my elder sister. A few years later we got to know another couple in Sutton Coldfield and she had also lived in Mayfield Road, Weybridge but did not recall any of our family. Pat

A chain of eleven coincidences

I went on holiday to Crete with a student group in 1961. I was eighteen. We went to Knossos. It was very touristy. We persuaded our driver to take us somewhere less crowded. We drove 40 miles down the coast to a temple complex which was completely deserted, apart from an englishman aged about 35 and his pre-raphaelite-looking wife and two young children. We briefly exchanged greetings. Six months later, the same englishman climbed a stile into our garden in our isolated holiday house in Snowdonia where I was staying with a university friend.

Tattoo's & Scaring

On the 19th October 2008 (I know because I wrote this down) myself, my husband and another couple went to the Warren House Inn, near Mortonhampstead on Dartmoor for lunch. They have lots of interesting magazines there and my friend handed me one called 'Geography'.


We emigrated to South Africa in 1983, eventually we lived in the Weltevreden Park area of Roodeport in Jo'berg. My wife shopped at the Hyperama, which is located there. One day, a lady waiting at the checkout ran the trolly into my wife's heel. After much apology, they ended up chatting and went back to the house for coffee. Both families ended up great friends, and the couple became God parents to our daughter in 1987.

Swiss level crossing

My parents, my three brothers and I had arrived at a camping site in the small town of Visp, near Brig in Switzerland sometime in the mid 1960s. As an avid trainspotter, my eldest brother decided that the four of us should walk over to the nearest level crossing out on the valley floor to see some trains going by. We'd just crossed the line when the warning siren sounded and the barriers came down. There was no-one else about but, as we waited, a lady and gentleman walked up to the barrier and stopped.

Pink Floydd

On Sunday 12th October 2008 me and my husband were at a friends house and we had about a 20 min walk to get home. On the walk home, for no apparent reason I started singing Pink Floyds 'Another Brick in the Wall'. I say for no reason as I am not a massive pink Floyd fan, if I had heard it at some point during that day, I cant recall, I just sang a few lines. Just as we got back to our flat we had to walk past a bar/club. This bar was playing; yes you guessed it, Pink Floyd 'Another Brick in the Wall'! Yet again, I found this so funny that I actually wrote it down!

Going Cuckoo

I was reading Leslie Thomas's book "Kensington Heights" at home one evening while listening to a CD of Beethoven symphonies. One of the characters in the book was going to hear "The Pastoral" played at the Wigmore Hall. I was listening to "The Pastoral" myself which felt spooky - but then it got stranger. The character in the book explained that he couldn't take his wife to the concert as she always joined in the "cuckoos" loudly and embarrassed him.

School Friends

When I went to College in 1998 in Brislington I made friends with some girls that had gone to a different school to me. It transpired that this girls parents had actually gone to my parents wedding as even though my parents were living in Wales at the time, my dad worked in Bath and had worked with her dad. I even dug out the photo of the wedding day that had them in.


My mum's brother and my dad's brother may have Seen each other as kids at my parent's wedding in the eighties but they first officially met at my wedding this Summer. They realised they recognised each other and then worked out why... Chris was on a plane to visit his kids in Spain, Steve was seated next to him to get to a motorbike race. Neither normally talk to strangers but because Chris nearly had a fight with another guy on the plane it started the conversation, they are both passionate about motorbikes.