Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Baffled in Brazil

I went on holiday to Recife, Brazil last year having lived there 17 years ago without having been back since. One important reason for going back was to finally sort out some slightly mucky elements from my past which had contributed to my leaving - I had been spurred into action by having read a book called The Velvet Rage last year. I wanted to meet up with 2 Brazilians, Savio and Walter, both of whom I had been in a relationship with, but had lost touch with when I left the country (and was unable to track down on any social networking sites).

Communication coincidence

I was working in Locarno, Switzerland as a disc jockey and my girlfriend who made unique exotic leather handbags, lived in Neuchatel, also in Switzerland. Neuchatel is a three and a half hour drive – some three hundred kilometers away from Locarno on a very indirect route. I was missing my girlfriend and was hoping to see her over the weekend but there was a problem with the telephones and I was unable to confirm her coming.

Name & Date

My Grandfather George Thompson b. 1880 "Place unknown" had father named Henry, married Emily Thompson Nee BENNETT. 1st Child Violet A Thompson b. 09/10/1915 Newport Monmouthshire. { Details confirmed by certificates ] Trying to find George"s birthplace/family I came across the following ;- George Thompson b. 1879/1880 Father named Henry. married to a Minnie Louise Thompson Nee BENNETT , 1st Child Violet E Thompson b. 03/01/1915 Greys Essex.

matching dates

My husband and I met 11.04.1952 The house we bought and lived in for the past 52 years was purchased by the previous owners on 11.04.1952


My mum was on holiday in south whales, she was driving back and stopped at a small second hand book store in a village with her friend. they briefly browsed the books and then got into the car to return home. A few hours drive later, looking in her handbag she found she had accidentely stolen a book she'd picked up in the book shop, it was too far to go back and return it so she kept it. A few days later flicking through the book she saw a picture of herself as a teenage girl, one she didn't even know had been taken let alone know was in the book!

They follow us wherever we go!

Coincidences have always followed us where we have been and still do - I guess if you are gregarious and talk to people it is bound to happen. On a trip to China in 1996, there were 40 of us in agroup from all over the UK. One of the travellers asked me where we lived - after some generalisation he asked me the name of our village in Gloucestershire - when I told him he said his wife worked in the same village at the agricultural stores some 500 yards away from our home. When I asked where he lived he said Pittville in Cheltenham - somebody on the next table said where?

Shared birth dates

My brother was born 7 March 1938 My daughter was born 7 March 1973 My daughter-in-law was born 7 March 1970


I had gone into town shopping some years ago. Whilst walking past a bank of about 6 telephone boxes, one of them started to ring, being the nosie so and so I am, I picked it up. Now remember im in the middle of town along with hundreds of other people, it was my brother on the other end of the phone. He had dialed the wrong number and got the phone box that I answered!!!!

wedding anniversary dates

I was married on 28th September 1974 (we'd altered the date from our first choice of the 21st to fit in with my father-in-law's job.) It was only whilst researching my family tree much later that I found that my grandparents had been married on 28th September 1924 - exactly 50 years to the day before my own wedding.


My paternal grandfather was a pit pony master in a mine in Yorkshire. My wife's maternal grandfather was a pit pony master in a mine in South Wales. Both were long dead before we met and had no connection to each other in any way. Considering this is a fairly rare occupation it is rather odd but the coincidence ends there. I don't like horses but my wife loves them.