Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Car plates match

I live in one of three similar houses in a village. Without collaberation, each family owns a dark blue car with the registration beginning WG07.
Total votes: 368
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:22:44 +0000Coincidence ID:3674

Prayer answered or Coincidence ?

As a newly converted catholic in the 1990s, when my father needed a serious operation, I decided to have a mass said for him. The operation was due for February of that year and so in early February I requested a mass be dedicated to my father, rather hoping that it would be at one of the February masses. My father was not religious and would not have welcomed or understood this request. I said in prayer, " I know my dad is very anti God but please let me know you are with him " The date of the mass allocated to my father was 26th March of that year. My father's operation did not take place in February - it was rescheduled for - 26th March at 6 p.m - the very time the mass was being said.
Total votes: 310
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:21:32 +0000Coincidence ID:3673


My son has two children by two different partners, both children were born on 14th February, five years apart. My son shares his birthday with his neice, 34 years years apart.
Total votes: 360
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:21:15 +0000Coincidence ID:3672

Old Friend

My name is Beryl. I attended Holly Lodge High School in Liverpool. Whilst in sixth form I had 2 close friends, Shelagh and Pat. We left school in 1956. We three attended different Universities and lost touch for many years. We were all aware that we had married but because we were no longer close we neither attended weddings nor knew the nanes or professions of the three husbands. During the academic year 1986-87 I studied for a Master's Degree in Manchester University. One of my tutors was Professor Tom Christie. A man for whom I had great admiration. Following an inspiring lecture one morning I was discussing the content with a friend, at that time she was a lecturer in the Shcool of Education, and the conversation turned from the professional to the personal. This lecturer mentioned the nickname of Professor Christie's wife, Boz, in respect of something totally unconnected with the matter in hand. I did not immediately invest this name with any importance. However, much later in the conversation, I asked (apropos of nothing) the lecturer if she was aware of the proper name of Boz. I was prompted by absolutely nothing to ask this question, nor was it important that I should know this person's name. Therefore when my friend informed me that the Professor's wife bore the name "Pat" I confounded both myself and my friend by ststing with some force that this Boz-Pat was one of my best friends from school. I remember that both of us were white faced, trembling and not a little scared! Several days later I was invited to a small party in the University to be given by Professor Christie. This was a surprise to say the least. The party was in full swing when Professor Christie approached me and asked me to look towards the entrance. When I looked at the doorway I noticed several persons amongst whom was a junoesque woman who was clearly appraising me. As she made her way directly towards me I felt no connection. When she greeted me by my maiden name I was taken aback as this was not a name by which I was known in University circles and it was only when I looked directly at her that I recognised the eyes as those of my long ago friend from the sixth form, Pat! She was indeed the Professor's wife. It appeared that the party had been secretly arranged by the Professor to test the assertation I had made weeks earlier. His wife had immediately recognised me from the doorway, for apparently I had altered very little during the thirty years intervening years, and she had approached me in the belief that this meeting was a coincidence. It was of course no coincidence but I believe that my curious connective leap was indeed a coincidence.
Total votes: 367
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:21:02 +0000Coincidence ID:3671

Coincidence Squared?

For the past week I have (for the first time in my life) been researching psychopaths on the internet. I am doing this because of a piece of writing I want to do and have never done research of this type before. This morning I heard an article on Radio 4's Today programme about the analysis of coincidence and less than five minutes later there was a trailer for the programme "Saturday Live" on which Jon Ronson, the author of "The Psychopath Test" was to be interviewed. </p> <p>Coincidence squared?
Total votes: 387
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:20:46 +0000Coincidence ID:3670

ex-colleagues, same event

While working at our local theatre costume hire last Sunday, I encountered an ex colleague whom I hadn't seen for many years. She was hiring a 1940s costume for a 'Secret Cinema' event in London the following weekend. While she was looking for her costume, a second woman came in to hire a similar costume for the same event. She turned out to be another colleague from the same workplace. None of us had been in touch since we left about 15 years ago.
Total votes: 329
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:20:17 +0000Coincidence ID:3669


I have a neighbour who shares my birth date (not a big coincidence), BUT we have discovered that we were both born, (22 years apart) on Easter Sunday 21st April, 1935 and 1957. There were only four or five Easter Sundays on 21st April in the last century.
Total votes: 420
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:19:03 +0000Coincidence ID:3668

Same people

We were in Dartmouth, Devon walking through the town which is having major road closures. The road from the lower ferry was particularly affected with a road which is normally one-way now open to traffic both ways. A gentleman with a huge caravan had come off the ferry and his sat-nav failed to tell him that the one-way road was now two-way. After he had gone round the block twice ! my husband stopped him and explained that he needed to switch off his sat nav and turn left instead of right. Approx two weeks later we pitched up at a campsite in Devon and went for a walk. When we returned we had new neighbours - the same people with the huge caravan who we had helped in Dartmouth.
Total votes: 422
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:18:36 +0000Coincidence ID:3667

Funeral music

After my father died I stayed with my mother and we planned the funeral etc. One piece of music we chose was Geoffrey Burgon's Nunc Dimitis, famous from the television series "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" which my father had enjoyed. It is a very emotional piece and my mother and I discussed the effect this would have on us during the funeral. I suggested that we listen to it repeatedly before the funeral to get used to it but before doing so it was time for bed. Between the time of my father's death and his funeral I wasn't sleeping well so kept the radio on all night. I went to sleep but woke up in the middle of the night to hear the end of one programme on the World Service and the introduction of the next: "Meet The Composer" with Geoffrey Burgon. I listened to the programme which included Burgon talking about his own father's death and played his Nunc Dimitis. I then went back to sleep. At breakfast the following morning I told my mother about what I assumed had been a dream. She checked in the paper and the programme had indeed been on the radio in the early hours of that morning. I could understand waking up if while sleeping I had heard the introduction of the programme and the name "Burgon" but I clearly remember waking up before the previous programme had finished. This occurred sometime in the week commencing 10th September 1984.
Total votes: 368
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:18:30 +0000Coincidence ID:3666

People and Places

When my husband and I were staying in John O'Groats Youth Hostel a couple of years back we were cooking a meal in the kitchen when we got talking to a fellow hosteller. We got around to asking where we lived, she came from around Doncaster and we said we came from near Birmingham. She replied she'd only been in the Midlands once to visit a friend who had moved down there. We don't actually live in Birmingham but about eight miles away in a small village on the outskirts of Walsall but as nobody has ever heard of Walsall saying Birmingham makes it easier. When we narrowed down where she had visited it was actually a street about 300 yards from our house and we even knew the people she stayed with!
You voted 5. Total votes: 398
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:18:21 +0000Coincidence ID:3665