Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

A coincidental announcement

My parents published my christening in the columns of The Times newspaper in October 1932. Immediately under mine was the announcement of the christening of W.H.(Bill) Liddell. Our families were quite unknown to each other. 13 years later Bill and met for the first time on entering the same House at Harrow School .

Convenient breakdown

Two years ago my wife was driving from her mother's home in Ardrishaig on the West Coast of Scotland to where we live in Yorkshire. When setting off she forgot to disengage the handbreak and must have driven for 45 minutes with the handbreak on before she reached Inverary burning out the brakes in the process . In Inverary the braking system failed completely and she was powerless to stop the car having to let it glide to an uncontrolled halt . She found herself exactly at rest outside the entrance to the only car mechanic's garage for many miles around.

Italian Holiday 2009

My wife and I used to dine out once a month with an old friend and and during the conversation we told him that we were going on holiday to Italy the following day. He replied that his daughter whom we had not seen for many years had gone to Italy the day before but did not know where. A few days into our holiday in Garda we took the boat to Bardolino. Walking up the main street from the pier after getting off the boat I heard a voice shouting "Joe" and turning round who should it be but our friend's daughter.


All of my children share my birthday. My birthday is 11 Aug 1970. My eldest son, Jason was born (2 days late) on 11 Aug 2003 and my twins, Daniel and Dean, were born (on their due date) 11 Aug 2006. After my first son was born I applied for a job with the Civil Service, and my boss' birthday was 11 Aug. Needless to say I got the job! I did submit this information a few days ago, but due to an error with the internet I don't know whether or not the information submission was successful or not.

Waiting for a friend

I was on holiday with my friend Joy in Jerusalem. We entered the hotel lift and it stopped to let some one on. A lady entered and started chatting, she was an Australian. She looked at Joy and asked her if she was too an Australian. Joy said no and the lady asked her if she had ever been to Australia. Yes said Joy, I was there about six weeks ago. Were you in Little Collins Street in Melbourne outside a departmental store on Saturday at 12 o'clock? She was! The lady had recognised her. Joy 2

Made For Each Other...

I met my fiance on Facebook. Setting aside all the circumstances and coincidences that would be needed just for that, something that came to light last summer is absolutely extraordinary. We were invited to a wedding at the registry where my fiance had previously been married. Only after the ceremony did we notice that the name of the suite where the wedding was performed was called the 'Michael Allen Suite'.

Resturant meeting

In the early to mid 90's I was in a dance troupe. There were 6 of us and we lived within driving distance of each other spread across Surrey and South London and occaisionally met up for drinks until the group dispanded in the late 90's.

Three friends

An old friend of mine contacted me on Facebook from a cable laying ship off Labrador to request online friendship and within a couple of hours of accepting, a friend of his who at that time was navigating a yacht out of Gozo also requested friendship. I had not at that time met the second friend but it turned out that the second friend was a close friend of our local pub landlord who is a good friend of mine.

Apple cake all round

I made an apple cake to take to my daughter last week. My daughter lives away from home and we do not see her often, but when we do I take her a cake. This morning a friend said her mother had baked an apple cake last week for her friend's birthday. Yesterday, another friend emailed and offered to bring an apple cake for a gathering at my house. None of us had discussed apple cake and one friend doesn't bake often and I had not been in touch with either very much recently.

Two random trips bring on a strange coincidence

With my family we flew to Skiathos and boarded our sailing boat chartered for the week. We set off for one of the islands, stopped for lunch and eventually moored in a harbour for the night. This pattern was repeated on the next two days. We chose our destination each morning depending on wind direction and sea conditions as my wife is apprehensive of loosing site of land. On the fourth day sitting in a taverna on another random island and in a random choice of resturant (one of many), a young woman came to sit on the opposite side of the block of chairs.