Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Lusitania survivors

I was walking my dogs in my local park in Northampton a few years ago when i got into conversation with a lady who i had seen several times,but never really talked to;she was wearing a Grand Canyon sweatshirt,so i said that as a teenager i had often stayed with my couisin in Arizona,and had been there.We got talking about trips to America,and Una (her name!) asked if i had ever been to New York,to which i replied that i had ,and in fact my mother had been born there.I went on to say that as a baby of 3 months she had come over on the Lusitania with her parents and siblings,and that all barring her 2 sisters,and their swedish nurse had survived.She stopped in her tracks,looked at me and said "My Father in law was at the wheel that day,he also survived!"We had lived within 5 minutes of each other for about 5 years and this was the first time we had contact......it wasn't the last,and i set up a meeting for my mum,Audrey Lawson Johnston,nee Warren Pearl,and the gentleman Jack Johnson.If you need to authenticate their names,they are both mentioned in the excellent Diana Preston book,Wilful Murder,the sinking of the Lusitana,Jack's father was called Hugh,which was also my father's name. Sadly,Jack died a few years ago,and mum died last January,aged 95,a wonderful lady who always thought she had been saved for a reason. Jack's father also survived a torpedo attack in the 2nd World War,and it turned out that another gentleman who live about 10 doors up from Jack's house in Northampton,had survived the same attack!I hope you find this interesting,i heard you on the breakfast show this morning,and though you would be interested.Margie Clark.
Total votes: 855
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 10:19:01 +0000Coincidence ID:3310

town coincidence

In the RAF I was once based in Digby north of Sleaford,and for a time went out with a local girl.When I left the RAF I eventually went to a college in Essex,and my colleagues on the course knew I went to Sleaford at the weekend.A few years later I became a salesman and one night was staying in a hotel in Sleaford(I had stopped seeing the local girl some years before).Over breakfast at the hotel the receptionist gave me a letter addressed "Simon Meek, Sleaford"The people who had been on my college course were having a reunion and the only idea they had about my wherabouts was that at one time I used to go out with a girl from that town.The postman had obviously used his initiative and tried the local hotels,and by pure coincidence I happened to be staying there for one night only because my home was too far away to drive to my customers in the morning."Of all the hotels in all the world" to paraphrase that film.
Total votes: 840
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 10:18:04 +0000Coincidence ID:3309

Mother-in-laws early meeting!

I took my then girlfriend now wife of 30+ years home to meet my mother. On meeting you could sense that my mother was slightly twitchy about something but she couldn't work out why. She asked Julia, my girlfriend "What's your mothers name" and was told Topsy Woodwark which didn't mean anything to her at all. Then with no prompting and completely out of the blue my mother said "Elizabeth Glendinning" which blew Julia away because those were indeed her mother's christian and maiden names. It transpired that my mother and future mother-in-law had shared a cabin for three weeks at the age of ten on a banana boat as they were evacuated to the West Indies in 1939/40. They never saw each other again as my mother went to live in Trinidad and go to school in Barbados and Topsy went on to school in New York. They grew up completely separately, got married, had children and then their children met at University and got married. Weird or what!
Total votes: 808
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 10:10:15 +0000Coincidence ID:3308

Taxi coincidence

In 2001 I got a temporary job in Melbourne. After getting out of the airport I got a taxi to take me to the house where I would be staying for the first couple of weeks. The following day I went to the office to meet the people I'd be working with. We went out for drinks after work. Still feeling a little jet lagged, I left early in the evening, flagged down a taxi outside the bar we were in and it happened to be the same taxi driver who had picked me up from the airport the previous evening!
Total votes: 818
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 10:03:31 +0000Coincidence ID:3307

Birthday coincidences

My sister's first daughter was born on my birth date and my daughter was born on the birth date of my wife's brother - so both uncle's had their first nieces born on their birth dates
Total votes: 906
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 10:03:04 +0000Coincidence ID:3306

random shopping

On checking my bank statement I noticed that ASDA BEARSDEN near Glasgow had deducted the sum of £43.36 from my bank on two consectutve days, as I normally shop each day and spend about £10 I thought that I had been charged twice I challeged the shop and on investigation it was found to be correct. I found it amazing that two days in a row I had higher than normal spend exact to the penny. This happened in 2010 prior to October which is as far as I can access my bank statements so I cannot supply the exact dates.
Total votes: 919
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 09:49:34 +0000Coincidence ID:3305

Baby Song

My daughter was born late at night in hospital by Cesarean. I was alone, with my stunning new born daughter in my arms, for what was a serene and special hour whilst my wife was in recovery. Come the time of departure it was perhaps 2:00 in the morning of a freezing cold day in March. After scraping the ice from the car windows, I sat in the cold car, waiting for it to warm up and decided I'd listen to the radio instead of a CD. As soon as I switched it over to the radio, I heard a baby crying and after after a few seconds a smile came over my frozen face as I realised what I was listening to ... Stevie Wonder's celebration song of his own new daughter, "Isn't She Lovely".
Total votes: 1004
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 09:48:32 +0000Coincidence ID:3304

Bus Stop Meet Up

My (NOW) wife Tracy and I were waiting for a bus in a village in Scotland, we had only been there a few minutes, the bus was just coming round the corner, when a family came down a track, they were passing through on a long-distance hike . My wife had met the same family the year earlier when she was on a long distance hike with her ex. We said a quick hello and all went on our way.
Total votes: 1033
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 09:44:36 +0000Coincidence ID:3303

Unlikely encounter

Between 1966 and 1968 I was a post-graduate student in the psychology Dept. of Bristol University. Also working there was Jim (I forget his surname), a negro post doctoral fellow from Washington State, USA. I left the University and went to work at Kamuli College, in Namasagali, Busoga District, Uganda. The school had about 400 students; Africans other than 3 0r 4 Gujarati immigrants. I introduced British A Level English into the school. Rehana Minhas was one of my initial students. Rehana was a good student. In 1970 Idi Amin came to power in Uganda. In 1971 he expelled the the Asian immigrants from the country. Rehana was expelled. In 1972 I left Uganda and in 1973 went to work as a civil servant in Scotland. I was sent on an induction course to Wakefield, Yorkshire. One evening I went by myself to Bradford for an Indian meal. The restaurant was full apart from a table where one man was sitting. It was Jim, the negro from Washington State I had known in Bristol. He was now working at Leeds University. I had heard that Rehana Minhas, the Gujarati I had taught in Busoga District, Uganda, had secured a place in Leeds University and mentioned her. It transpired that she was Jim's flat mate's girl friend.
Total votes: 981
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 09:41:48 +0000Coincidence ID:3302

Halfway round the world - for us both.

My husband & I were on holiday from Scotland in 1991 travelling in the Far East and when in Hong Kong took an evening cruise around the bay. I was chatting to others on board and in particular to one Australian. When it transpired he was in Hong Kong attending a medical conference, I asked which part of medicine he was involved in and he told me Haematology. I said I had great respect for the work they do, as my son had been diagnosed with leukaemia in 1974 and in particular was so grateful for the care and attention he's received from his consultant. I added that unfortunately he'd emigrated to Australia in, I think, the late 70s and laughingly asked that, despite Australia being a big place, did he know him? I named him and the Aussie said, jaw dropping, that he was his closest friend. I was delighted to be able to pass on a message to say my son was thriving and sent him our best wishes.
Total votes: 888
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 09:40:22 +0000Coincidence ID:3301

Pages