Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Holiday Coincidence

Family friends from the Auvergne in France were staying with us in Co. Waterford, Ireland. We all went to visit a local attraction, The Mahon Waterfalls, and spent an hour exploring. As we got back into my car Julian, one of our friends, shouted "Bonjour" to some friends from his university class in Clermont Ferrand who had just got out of a mini bus to begin their visit to the falls. Neither knew the other was holidaying in Ireland and just a few seconds later we would have missed seeing these friends from 1100km away

My sister & me & the number 12

1)My sister and I were born 12 years apart. (1950/1962). We both married at the age of 20 (12 years apart) and we both married men with the surname Smith. (By another coincidence our father's sister had married a man with the same forename and surname as our father.) My sister and I both had two sons and hers followed 12 years after mine. We both live in houses with the number 12, as did our parents when they were alive. My elder son was also born on my birthday. 2) A few months after I was married in 1971my husband and I were invited to a very 'posh' Ladies' Night.


I had visited a rehoming centre for cats. Having found a beautiful cat I liked I left my details with the cattery manager. 4-5 weeks later I still hadn't heard from the centre so I called them. As I said my name the woman on the other end of the phone sounded shocked. I wondered how she instantly knew so much about me and the cat. She was sitting with the paper work and was to going to call me after 'answering the phone'! And yes I did get the cat, still have him and I have been told that he will go to the front door when I am approaching home...

Mr John Rowbotham

(1) On a trip to Australia and on a Boat tour around Sydney Harbour.I Found myself standing Next to an ex work collegue from Nottingham whom I hadn't seen for a few years, He now lives on the Isle of Man, incredible. (2)On another trip to Australia I stopped Off in Kuala Lumpur. We took our evening meal in Private restaurant within the Hotel. One night I started a conversation with the people on the next table. They lived in the East Midlands(so did we). We are from Nottingham, I say. We are from Tamworth, they say. Oh I have an Aunt in Tamworth, I say.

Double Trouble

After I had married my husband I found out that not only was my name, all 3 christian names, identical to his previous wife whom he had divorced, due to her infidelity, but his mother in law, my mum's name, and the name of our first born which we had named without knowing what she had called her first born.

Isolated place visit, then on TV

On Friday 13.1.12 with 6 other mountain bikers I did a route around the Calder Valley. After lunch in Todmorden we climbed north towards Keelham Heights stopping for a rest at SD937261, a crossroads for several routes. As far as I know I'd never been there before and on this junction is a stone carving of a head 9 or 10 feet high which I photographed. On Sunday 15. 1. 12 I switched on the TV at just after 5pm, rare in my case, I usually put it on much later but I wanted to watch the end of a recording I had made.

Village Idiot

My wife Liz' and I married in September1989. We had our honeymoon in Jamaica. On our return Liz needed to find a job. After a few months working in a dairy she found another job processing claims for an insurance company. She was one of dozens of people doing this. Some months passed when Liz' heard that one of the girls, Jo' and her partner John were trying to sell their house. Liz and I were looking to buy a house so Liz asked her about it. Arrangements were made to view and it suited our needs so after some negotiations spanning several months we eventually bought it.

Meaning of life the universe and everthing

Some years ago, shortly after the death of Douglas Adams my wife and I were driving with the car radio on (Radio 4 of course) and there was a programme paying tribute to the late author. A succession of people came on saying nice things about him and then there was a short dramatisation of the bit in The Hitch-hikers Guide the Galaxy where the great computer announces that it has found the answer to Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. There right in front of us was a house with it's street number indicated in large metal numerals - number 42 !!!

The other side of the world

Many years ago I backpacked around the world. Before I left I would regularly discuss some my plans, as much as they were, with friends including a girl who told me her boss was interested in doing the same and would I mind if she shared some tips with him. I duly agreed and for a while, through her, we swapped a few ideas, but never met him before I left. Some five months later I'm staying in an out-of-the-way hostel on the edge of Sydney, Australia when another backpacker arrives.


In 1976, at home in the U.K. on leave from Thailand, my wife and I visited a friend in Southampton, who was working in a restaurant. He suggested he leave work immediately and that we all go on a journey to Stratford-on-Avon. This we did - and decided to leave for Scotland the next morning, where another friend was on leave. We found him in Glasgow that evening. The next morning we all left for Oban, and in Fort William decided to have a meal.