Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Double Fenton trouble

My son used to attend a school in Essex where he was quite a disruptive student. There was one teacher who used to find him extremely annoying. The teacher left and went to work at a school in Paris where By chance my nephew attended. In his class (you guessed it) was a rather disruptive pupil. He challenged the boy, pulled him out to the front of the class and said what's your name boy? He replied Fenton sir! The poor man thought my son had followed him to Paris.
Total votes: 310
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:01:25 +0000Coincidence ID:3606

Old friends

Once on holiday in Dinard or Dinan in France my husband and I climbed the bell tower. We were alone until, first one man with whom my husband had served in the RAF joined us and then a second man from his squadron (not sure if this is the right noun) appeared. They all enjoyed the reunion.
Total votes: 357
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:01:24 +0000Coincidence ID:3605

Down to the last cent

26 December 2011. Visiting Florida to stay with son and daughter-in-law. My wife, my son and I visited Publix the supermarket in Delray Beach. Only I was carrying cash and I had said I would pay the groceries bill. In my back pocket I had \$250 exactly. The three of us then started to buy things independently, more-or-less without consultation. No-one was keeping a record of how much we were spending. We bought 44 items between us. At the cash-out the bill, including Sales Tax, came to \$249.99. I received one cent in change. Seemed pretty rum to me!
Total votes: 385
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:01:21 +0000Coincidence ID:3604

Automatic Writing?

I was trying out a new pen in my classroom and was absent-mindedly writing the words 'poetry' and 'excelsior' on a piece of scrap paper. A few minutes after, I went to the staff room to do some copying. As I was at the photocopier, another member of staff turned to me and asked if I had ever heard of a poem called 'Excelsior' by Longfellow. I had to tell him that coincidentally, those were the very words I had only just been writing in my classroom. We were both struck by the strangeness of this event.
Total votes: 431
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:01:01 +0000Coincidence ID:3603

Meeting up in Barcelona

In the autumn of 1991, aged 23, I and some friends went to Barcelona for a week's holiday. We spent a few days in the city but also travelled up into the hills. On our last day in the city, two of us just went wandering aimlessly among the back streets of the old city. As we walked along one street 3 people came in the opposite direction. It was one of my best friends from primary school, who was in Barcelona for a few months, and his two parents, who had come to meet him for a week. I had not met him for many years, and not seen his parents since I was about 8. I can understand bumping into someone you have met before in a popular place - indeed this happened to me in Sydney, Australia - but it was the fact that we were both in the back streets of a large city that felt so bizarre! The friend I was with was absolutely astonished! Great stories, thanks
Total votes: 302
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:00:57 +0000Coincidence ID:3602

twin name coincidence

I was pregnant with twins but lost our boy, Marly, at 34 weeks. Our surviving daughter, Hope, started at nursery nearly a year ago aged two. In the lobby of this nursery is a wall of pegs for children's coats. All the pegs are double, shared between two children, with the name of each child above. The name of the child with whom Hope shares her peg? Marly. What are the chances of that?
Total votes: 357
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:00:52 +0000Coincidence ID:3601

Bird kill

One day in 1991 I hit four birds in one day with my car whilst driving along minding my own business. Two in London, one in Kent and one in Huntingdon on three seperate trips in two different cars. One sparrow, one blackbird, one pidgeon and one owl. The first three just flew across my path and the owl was just standing in a dip in the road in the dark and flew up into my front grill. I have never before nor since hit any animal with my car nor killed any animal in any other way intentionally nor unwittingly (apart from the odd wasp or ant infestation). I felt pretty bad and buried the first three birds but could not find the body of the owl in the dark. A sad day.
Total votes: 316
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:00:27 +0000Coincidence ID:3600

Meeting at the Cape

I worked for the South Wales Electricity Board (SWEB)for 20 years. During that time I worked in the Neath District from 1962 to 1964. One of the gentlemen I worked with was a Mr Ron Jay. After leaving SWEB in 1974 I worked in the South Africa gold mines for 3 years. In 1977 I made plans to return, with my family, to the UK via Cape Town on the last voyage of the Windsor Castle mail ship. On the second morning at our hotel we came down to breakfast and whilst we were eating my wife noticed that a gentleman, also with his family, was taking a great deal of interest in me. It was, of course, Ron Jay. I don't know if Ron is still with us as I have tried to locate him, via the internet, with no success. So what are the chances of us being in the same spot on the globe, at the same time, in the same hotel (out of hundreds)?
Total votes: 350
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:00:25 +0000Coincidence ID:3599

John Logie Baird

Two years ago in September we holidaying in Ontario, Canada, at the house of a friend. We were given the loan of his car to go shopping and had parked the car in a carpark downtown when we were approached by a somewhat unsteady Canadian who was pointing at the numberplate on the front of the car: "B'deck!" he exclaims, "Tha's B'deck!" This meant nothing to us, so we asked him to explain. The plate was BDK, signifying that it was originally plated in Baddeck, Nova Scotia. "Surely you know of Baddeck.....the place where John Logie Baird built his house and transmitted across the Atlantic?" We had not heard of this place and had forgotten about JLB. Perhaps, by the look of his out of town clothes this gentleman was from Nova Scotia and was a bit homesick. Anyway we had a laugh over it and went our separate ways. Later that day I emailed my daughter-in-law back in Scotland, telling her of the encounter. I thought it would be of interest to her because she had spent some time in Nova Scotia. Straightway she emailed back saying that by an amazing coincidence she had just been helping her son with a homework assignment he had been given by the school: it was a piece of research and writing on John Logie Baird's house in Baddeck, Nova Scotia.
Total votes: 356
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:00:24 +0000Coincidence ID:3598

Neighbours crashing into the same car

A friend of mine was visiting me with her car parked outside my house (this was in my parental home in Inverness about 1988), and another visitor, who was visiting my parents, didn't spot her car when leaving and reversed into it to completely denting one of the drivers door. Then, the next day (there's a chance it was a few days later, hazy on this detail) the same friend in the same dented car was in a car park in a completely different part of town, and someone reversed out of a space and dented her passenger door in almost an identical way. So she now had a matching pair of dents. That's not even the coincidence though.. It turned out that the 2 people who had, on separately occasions, dented a door each of her car, are in fact next door neighbours. That's it.
Total votes: 313
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:00:24 +0000Coincidence ID:3597