Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Lucky ticket!

My two sons - one in the army, one at university - arranged independently to got to a pop festival a couple of hundred miles away, each with their own friends. They both had the tickets sent to my house. The student set off a day early to stay with friends but realised as he arrived that he'd forgotten his ticket! He rang me and I was able to locate the ticket and give it to the soldier in the hope that they'd meet up. No need to worry, as they both turned up at the same gate at the same time before they'd had a chance to arrange anything!

"Chance" train meeting

In October 1981 I travelled from England to Germany I got off the night ferry at the Hook of Holland and boarded a long train for my onward journey to Heidelberg I chose a carriage at random,it had 6 seats and the only other occupant was a female student from Manchester We chatted and had a pleasant journey,sharing lunch in Cologne and boarding the same train for our onward trip,saying our goodbyes at my destination In May 1982 I did the same journey (for the first time since the previous October) I chose a carriage at the Hook of Holland,it was empty......and then in walked the same girl

Wedding Name Double

In May 2009, before my husband and I were married, we went to go and look at a venue for our wedding reception (Wilbraham Barns, Great Wilbraham, Cambridgeshire). We turned up for a 3 o'clock appointment and I told the events coordinator Simon that my name was Lucy Harrison and we were due to look around the venue. He looked a little confused and it turned out that another 'Lucy Harrison' was also looking around the venue at the exact same time! We introduced ourselves, it was very strange meeting someone with the same name as me!

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!!

Familiar Cottage

In the late 60s when I was a young teacher I travelled by bus every Saturday morning to Wath -on -Dearne where there was a music centre. Part of the journey was on the Dewsbury to Barnsley road.The road was one I hadn't travelled along before. I enjoyed looking out at the countryside. Along the route I passed a pair of cottages which were adjoined and set at right angles to the road. I always looked at one of them in particular which had an apple tree in in front of it.

Date of birth

My dad Jack, his date of birth is exactly the same (when written numerically) as the year he is born 1935. He was born the 1st day of the 9th month (september) in the year 35 = (1935).

Swearing in Swahili!

Nursing patients with artificial hips, it was often my job to walk them down the ward soon after their operation. Some were nervous but they had to be 'got going' on the new joint. One day I was about to escort a splendid elderly gentleman for his first walk. To reassure him, I said 'It might sting a bit so it's OK to swear, as long as it's in Swahili!' - that being the first language I could think of. He gasped in surprise and asked 'How did you know THAT? I spent 20 years with the Army in Kenya and I am fluent in Swahili!

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.

Related ancestors

1) I have been researching my family tree and realised a name which came up on my tree was the maiden name of someone in my department at work (we had been discussing maiden names one day). I thought no more about it but then, out of curiosity, asked my friend if any of her family came from Somerset and she, after confirming with an uncle, was able to say that yes, they did. After a bit of research, it turned out that my 5 times great aunt by marriage and her 4 times great aunt by marriage were sisters!!