Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Australian connection

Around 2002/03 we went to Australia for Christmas to meet up with my brother and his then-fiancee (Ian and Victoria) who were mid-way through a year-long trip around the world. Australia seemed like a good place for them to stop for Christmas as an old school friend of my brother’s had married an Australian girl (Tom and Mrs Tom) and was living in Sydney, so it meant they would be with friends for the festive break. We arrived the day before Christmas Eve and it was decided we, along with Tom and Mrs Tom, would all have dinner together on Christmas Eve.

Bumping into my Ex

A walk around Lathkill Dale in Derbyshire is about 10 hours. There is a point where a path crosses going into the Dale and coming out. I drove 90 miles, stopping off on the way which I normally don't do, sat on a bridge eating lunch which again I don't normally do, to walk for the 10 hours. At the intersection I bumped into my ex girlfriend with her new boyfriend reading the same OS book of Derbyshire walks. The passing at the intersection would have only been about 30 seconds. We never did that walk when we were together.

Too many links.

In 2005, age 13, I went on a package holiday with my mum to Turkey. Whilst there I met a large group of people my age including one boy called David. After the holiday I kept in contact with some people I met out there although I rarely spoke to David. My mum and I enjoyed the holiday so much we decided to return the following year. Unbeknown to us so did David and his family. 'What a coincidence' we thought. Even more of a coincidence that the year after that both our families returned to the same resort at the same time again without each other knowing.

Phone numbers

Many years ago my sister's home phone number was 22266. Her birthday is 22.2.66. I have lived in homes in Gloucester and Cambridge, and both times had phone numbers ending in 7333.


About 20 years ago I developed a computer font which looks pretty much like real handwriting. This is the only font I've created and eventually it made its way onto the internet and a few people have used it. A few years ago, a printer in Sussex made some greetings cards using illustrations done by my grandmother in the 1960's and 1970's when she was a professional illustrator. For the captions on the cards, and without knowing the connection, they used my font - they were very surprised when I told them!

Holiday coincidence

My friend and I (both born on 20/01/1952 coincidentally) went on holiday to Skiathos May 2011. It was the first week of the summer season and the weather wasnt great. One evening we decided to go to the taverna we went to the night previously because it was a short walk and the weather was awful. The owner recognised us from the previous night and as the taverna was full asked us if we minded sharing a table with a woman on her own if it was ok with her. She agreed so we sat with her. anyway like you do we exchanged pleasantries.

Old School Friend Same date of birth

Some 40 years after I had left school (around 1998), I was on holiday in Bournemouth and whilst in the lounge there got into conversation with several couples. We were saying where our home towns were. One lady from a couple said that they now lived in Nottingham but used to live in Alrewas - a small village near Lichfield but didn't expect anyone would have heard of it. I remarked that I had gone to school in Lichfield with a girl who lived in Alrewas. I said her father had kept the postoffice there.

Seeing the same person at 4 different locations within 1 hour

I was once in the London Underground in mid winter and a girl caught my attention because she was only wearing a vest in the freezing weather. Once outside, I again saw her ahead of me crossing the road. A few minutes later I arrived at my destination only to see her press the buzzer to gain access to the building. I let the door close behind her and pressed the buzzer in turn. I went up the stairs and went towards my client's office. The girl was sitting at a desk in the open plan area!

I don,t belive it.

In 2009 my husband and I went on a coach tour of the east coast of America and citys of Canada. On the tour we met many people from all over the world, one couple we met were Barry and Margaret from Queensland Australia and we became quite friendly as we seemed to share the same sence of humour. Another couple whose names escape me , they were from New Zealand and they became the most avoidable people on the tour for reasons I won't go into.

same problem, same school

In 1995 my youngest son was born with a birth defect called TOF (Tracheo Oesophageal Fistula) which affects 1 child in about 3000-4000 births. For my local hospital this would equate to about 2 in a year. Imagine my surprise when he first went to infant school and a little girl in his class had exactly the same problem. She was born in the same hospital during the same school intake year. I found it amazing that they had both ended up in the same school let alone the same class.