Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Birthday coincidence

Neighbours both had visitors with toddler twins (one girl, one boy). I invited them to a twin tea party. It turned out that the two sets of twins were born on the same day of the same year - May 10th - and that happens to be the birthday of my son (aged 43)!

Tim Wilbraham

Some years ago I used to pick up/drop off, on my drive to work, two colleagues. One evening Sue was a little late coming to my car. Val and I chatted for a few minutes, and when Sue eventually arrived she apologised saying that she was late as it was Phil's birthday that day (a person working in her department).

A message from the grave?

After my mother died I was sorting through her papers and came across the rough copy of an amusing poem that she had written and sent to me about five years previously. One of the lines said that she loved me, not a statement that she often made. Where I'd put the copy she'd sent to me I'd no idea. I returned home to Turkey and took the poem with me. A few days later I went upstairs thinking about mum and picked up the poem and sat down and re read it. A little later I went downstairs and into the living room where I saw a piece of paper on the floor.

Holiday waiter coincidence

In 1990, I went on holiday to Majorca with friends. Whilst there we went on a night out (cabaret, dinner etc) and they had a waiter who would pour wine from a traditional bottle directly in your mouth and you could have a photo taken. I did this, and bought the photo. On returning home I showed the photo to my parents who laughed and said they had done that as well, back in the 1960s, on holiday with friends, also in Majorca. Mum went to see if she could find the photo they had had taken which she did. The waiter was the same man!

The Family Home

I am Tom, from Bradley Stoke, just north of Bristol. In 2007, I met a girl at a gig in Bristol, Kirsty, who is now my fiancee. We quickly developed a close relationship and as we did, discovered more about each other. We were both from Bristol - fairly likely considering where we met ! Kirsty told me she was from a reasonably large suburb of Bristol called Horfield. I noted that my mother had been born in Horfield and my grandparents and great-grandparents had lived there - not unremarkable really.


My husband was adopted at 6 weeks old.about 5 years ago a sister from his blood family contacted him.It turned out his biological mother had died about 25 years ago and her birthday was the same date as mine.

Money lost, money found!

I once stayed with friends in the Black Mountains and went out by myself to climb to a hill fort on the opposite hill. It was a hot day and I took my coat off at the top. Unfortunately, I forgot it and when I went back to look for it, my coat had gone. The coat had £25 in and my return rail ticket home. I was a university student at the time so losing £25 meant a lot to me. That same year I spent Christmas witrh parents in Cardiff and one day walking into the city centre I noticed some currency notes blowing around just in front of me. I picked them up and they totalled £25.

Birth and death

My sister was born 1 March 1929 in Bootle and died 22 February 1969 in Walton Hospital. My stepmother was born 1 March 1912 in Bootle and died 22 February 1952 in Walton Hospital. They were only related by marriage but I think it is a strange coincidence. My sister Peg was born 24 April 1924 in Bootle and I was born 24 April 1934 also in Bootle. My sister Sheila was Born 17 March 1937 in Bootle and her son Stephen was born 17 March 1964 also in Bootle Mary

old friend

In 1971, aged 20, I spent a week at the Glastonbury festival and was dropped off at Bath station to catch a train to London to visit my mother. I lived in Bristol at the time. I tried to buy a magazine but was a few pence short. The shop assistant would not help me so, in the spirit of Glastonbury, I turned to the person behind me in the queue and asked them if they would give me 2 pence. The 'person' turned out to be a girl called Celia who I had been friends with at Primary school in Salisbury and had not seen for about 10 years because she moved away.

Old Friends From London

My wife and I were expats in London for almost five years from 2001 to 2005. We leased a home in Gerrards Cross. It was a small community with several other expat families. We were both in our in our early fifties and our children save one were in universities in the US. Our youngest was attending the local American high school. Our next door neighbors were young expats with 2 young sons. We became close friends, especially my wife as I travelled extensively. He worked for a French bottled water company and was the UK rep.