Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Lhasa and Essex

My wife and I went to Tibet about 30 years ago very soon after China permitted visitors. Earlier visitors had been few in number. We were a group of 10. When we arrived in Lhasa we visited the main temple, the Jokhang. A monk approached us, spoke no English, but smiled and from out of his robe drew a postcard with a sepia photograph of a village green in Essex. On the green was a group of Morris dancers.

Tale with a religious aspect.

Several years ago (2002 approx) I experienced this coincidence which I still think about from time to time. Although I am not a practicing – ‘anything’, this tale does have a religious aspect to it. I used to work with a person who I knew was a devout Christian, as was his wife, and when I had the opportunity to visit a deaf school in the Holy Land, where my daughter was working, I purchased a number of craft products that the school children had produced. There were some wooden carvings on sale and I noticed that some of these included fish shaped band-saw cut-outs.


Many years ago I was awakend in the night by an old boyfriend who appered to be sitting at the end of my bed smiling at me. I hadn't seen or heard from him for well over 7 years, and hadn't given him much thought either. He was Hungarian and I had spent the best part of 2 years flying backwards and forwards to Budapest to see him, as he was not allowed to come to the West, because at that time, Hungary was still behind the 'Iron curtain'. His vision that night was extremely powerful and I was quite shaken by it.

A Blast from the Past.

Following my divorce I lost total contact with my Ex Wife, several years after the divorce I was on Holiday with my then new partner, we were both looking into a new avenue of employment so we decided to look at some Guests Houses at the resort we were staying at, we got a list of Guest Houses in the Area that were for sale, One in particular took our fancy but the Estate Agent was unable to arrange a viewing appointment so we returned home, later the following week I was chatting to a Friend who also knew my Ex and told them of our intentions and that the Estate Agent had managed to book

Missing ring turns up....

In 1983 my father had his signet ring cut from his finger. It had been a 21st birthday gift from my mother to him and he never took it off till that day when it was found he couldn't. So it was cut off. Then at 13 years old, I picked it up, put it on and under huge trust wore it for many years. When my taste changed from gold to silver I removed it put it in a box and safely hid it away in my tip of a bedroom until a few years later I decided to have it repaired as gift back to my father. To my memory I took it to a jewellers in Camberley high st and left it to be repaired.

Family Tree

I live in Kent & I had been doing my family tree & a distant cousin told me that the family had farmed in Norfolk for many generations during the 1800's. she said that a lot of them were buried in the graveyard at Mattishall, Norfolk. I decided to have a weekend up there to visit the graveyard and also the records centre, in Norwich. we got to the main church of Mattishall and the graveyard was in the surroundings of a small chapel at Mattishall Burgh.

Better late than never

In 1976 I took a customer for lunch in a local pub in Feltham Middx. I was recounting an incident that happened 25 years previously in 1951 while in the army. My final words were " Just after the brigade was sent abroad as he only a couple of months to do he was left behind and that was the last time I saw him". At that very moment the pub door opened and the person in questioned walked in. So I finished by saying "Until now" . It was instant recognition he even remembered my name. He was not local to the area only visiting.

Double cousins

I have a double first cousin. My mother's sister married my father's brother. Each couple had one child, both were born on 2nd February, but six years apart. My cousin was born in 1930 and I in 1936,

Lost at sea

I need to guess at the exact year but it would have been 1988/9 or thereabouts. I live on the North Kent coast and own a 16ft fishing dinghy which was used back then and is still used today for fishing along the Kent coast, normally off Herne Bay, but on other occasions further along towards Margate and Ramsgate. On the occasion in question I decided to fish a few miles off Broadstairs at a mark called ' The Elbow '. This is clearly marked on the admiralty chart and is I suppose 4 or 5 miles off the coast, maybe 6 miles, in the general direction of France.

Baking Coincidence

I was baking a Lemon Drizzle cake whilst listening to The Archers on Radio 4 during which Jill Archer announced she was baking a Lemon Drizzle Cake.