Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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


When I was 18 I met a New Zealander in my home town of Southport Merseyside and when he moved to Perth Australia to live I went with him. One night we were meeting a group of our friends in a bar in the middle of Perth city centre. When we walked in I was absolutely stunned to meet a girl that a couple of years previously I had spent 12 months with at college in my hometown of Southport back in the UK. That in itself was a big "what's the chances of that" moment but then we found out that she was also the new girlfriend of one of our friends.


I was an assistant at a school in France in 1967. On Whit Saturday I was at a party in Paris with a nuber of student teachers. A violent thunderstorm disrupted the evening, electricity was cut and it was 11pm before we sat down to eat.

Meeting sister coincidence

I live near Birmingham my sister at the time lived in Belgium. I had recently started a new job which required me to travel to London which I'd not done before. On one of my first trips on arriving at Euston I needed to take the underground but I mistakenly took the undground train in the wrong direction so got off the train and waited on the platform for the next train. Whilst waiting for the train I spotted my sister on the same platfrom. she had flown over from Belgium and was in London for a business meeting that day.

Motorway coffee break

I had agreed to meet my boss at Toddington Motorway Services for a brief consultation, as we were both travelling on the motorway but in opposite directions. Arriving at the services I was walking past the games area and, galncing in, spotted my son playing one of the machines. My son was in the army and was off to Yorkshire on a training course, along with several colleagues. The driver of their mini bus had chosen that location to take his rest break. What are the chances of that?

Seeing Dave Sexton

I was sitting on the Heathrow Express (don't know if it was called that back then) at about lunchtime Monday 10 September 1979. I was very excited - it was not long after my 21st birthday and that very morning I'd managed to get a standby BA ticket to New York - my first ever visit - my first ever flight. I was relaxing into the idea that I was at last going to meet my family in America.

American Civil War

I have an interest in history in general, and in pursuit of this I purchased a book called ""The Civil War- an Illustrated History", about the American Civil War 1861-1865. The book has 425 pages. One evening in the summer of 1995, my partner and I were at home. I was reading my civil war book, but to be honest I can't remember what she was doing. Each week in those days a man used to drive into our street with a boot full of videos to hire.

3 same day birthdays in a work department of 11

I work in the Business Tax department of the Guildford office of a national accountancy firm. The office is about 120 strong and the business tax department numbers 11. Three of us in the business tax department have the same birthday, with ages varying between 30 and 59.

My sister's photograph

Many, many years ago my older sister was a student nurse at a London hospital. A medical publication needed a doctor and a nurse for a photo shoot demonstrating a new piece of equipment and my pretty sister was selected. About six years later I was a newly qualified secretary and was sent to temp at an office in London.


As a child growing up in Eastbourne I went with my older sister to the beach one Summer's day. As we approached the beach I remarked that it was very windy there and my sister replied with something like "did you say Wendy's here?" I said no and mentioned the wind again but, moments later, when we arrived at our chosen beach, there was her friend Wendy, along with her boyfriend. Only a small coincidence but one I've remembered for almost 60 years.

Help from the radio!

An extract from my Journal dated Saturday 24th March 2007: 'Stratford today "The Merchant of Venice". In the Swan by an American Company. Modern - smart suits, bad haircuts, Apple ibooks for the caskets. It worked very well. Shylock played by a famous person whose name just now escapes me. He was very good - very subtle - his downfall was shocking! Antonio - in love with Bassanio, but in a way hard to be sympathetic because he played it very anti-semitic. I rang Lesley sitting in the car before driving home as she had left a couple of messages.