Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Cat-sitters in Cardiff

A couple of Australian friends were in England on business and arrived in Cambridge on a Sunday evening prior to an appointment the following day. They decided to go out for a drink before dinner and went into a nearby hotel and requested a beer, This being in the age of restricted licensing hours the barman politely told them that he was unable to serve them until after 7pm as they were not residents. A woman sitting at a nearby table spoke up and, as a resident, asked if she might buy them a drink which they gladly accepted.

Place Coincidence

I have Belgian friends who lived in a small village, Ruddervoorde between Ostend and Brugges. A few years ago they were visiting us in the UK for Christmas. My Uncle (married to my father's sister) who lived 150 miles away called in to drop off presents. I did not know he had any connection with Belgium. He had never met my friends and asked where they lived. They said he would never have heard of the place but told him the name of their village. He said 'I've been there. My aunt met a Belgium General during the war and married him and lived there.

Holiday coincidence

In 1970 I traveled from England to Central Finland to stay with the Syrija family who were farmers. I had finished my first year at Exeter University and they had a son, Kari who was 19, 10 months younger than myself. After 4 weeks Kari and I drove to Oulu, "North" known for its market. Kari bought a reindeer skin for me. We were then approached by a Dutch couple who were jugglers working their way around Finland. They couldn't speak Finnish and asked Kari to negotiate a similar skin for them..which he did.

birthday coincidence

my Sister 01 01 1965 her youngest son 01 01 2004 my birthday 29 Dec think our Mother preferred Hospital food to cooking a Christmas Meal

Travel coincidence

About 15 years ago my brother was travelling in Australia. About once a fortnight he would phone my mum to let her know he was ok and then afterwards he would go into an internet cafe to email his 4 sisters. My mum is a dressmaker and had one of her customers in her workroom. They started to talk about their children and mum talked about my brother and the phonecalls. The customer got upset as her daughter was also in Australia but rarely contacted home. Just then the phone rang and it was my brother with his regular call. Mum told him about the customer in her workroom.

"Get off my train"

A few years ago I visted New York for the first time with friends. We went on the subway to Grand Central Station and commented it was like a scene from the film "Ghost" when PAtrick Swayze meets a slightly mad ghost who berates people to "get off my train". We arrived at out destination and left the subway. Guess who was walking towards us - the actor who played the mad ghost - I still don't know his name to this day!! Later that evening we went to a speakeasy bar in Greenwich Village and were discussing how bizarre this event had been.

Chance meeting

Some years ago my husband and I were driving along one evening in a quiet Hampshire coastal retirement area near our home when we spotted an elderly woman in slippers looking lost and confused in the road. We pulled abruptly to a halt to see if we could help - at the same time as a man driving in the opposite direction did the same. Having established that the old lady was indeed very confused we phoned the police for help. Whilst waiting for them to arrive my husband (originally from Plymouth in Devon) commented on the other man's Devonshire accent .

Birthday coincidence.

My sister had a baby on my birthday, which happened to be a Friday that year. He was born at about 2:30pm, and we were amazed when Mum told us that I, too, had been born at 2:30 on a Friday afternoon.


My Parents and I lived in Australia for over 18 years.During those years several of my Maternal Aunts/Uncles and cousins had also moved to South Australia. When I worked for a Northamptonshire based Company in the 1990's my colleague was planning a trip to visit her Aunt who had emigrated to South Australia in the 1950's too. We chatted about the Aussie life-style and where she would be visiting. I was amazed to learn she was to stay in the same suburb as my Aunt where each road or street on a small housing development built in the 60's uses a female Christian name.

Birthday coincidence.

My first husband's birthday was the 6th December, and mine is the 3rd January. He made a friend whose birthday turned out to be same as his own, and we were amazed to find that his wife's birthday was the same as mine.