Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Anniversary coincidence

On a holiday in New Zealand in 2009 we met and made friends with an Australian couple, Pete and Wendy. When we visited Australia the following year, we met up with them again. During the course of our conversation, Wendy mentioned that they were celebrating their Ruby Wedding Anniversary in October 2011. When I asked her the date I was astonished to hear it was the 2nd October. That is the very day that my husband and I will be celebrating our Ruby Anniversary.

Mr John D Frew

I have four coincidences I would like to submit as follows; I was brought up on my father's small farm on the west coast of the Island of Arran in Scotland. We had a field above the farm that was used as a camp for both scouts and guides. In 1998 my wife and I were visiting my cousin in Vancouver. Her husband is a Presbyterian minister and, on the Sunday we attended his church. Following the service we went into the church hall for coffee and were introduced to other members of the congregation.

Husband's death - calendars

My beloved husband died on 20 May last year. I always bought him a day-to-day peel off "Peanuts" desk calendar as he was a great Snoopy fan. By the beginning of 2011 he was not well enough to interest himself in this, and the calendar has been sitting on his desk ever since. A few weeks ago, on a bad day for me, I casually flipped through it to see which of the characters were on, for example, his birthday, our anniversary etc. I then thought I would check Friday 20 May, the date of his death - and the page for that day was not there!

Meeting in Distant Parts

In Jan 2009 myself and partner booked into a motel on the Coromandel peninsular in New Zealand. The following morning my partner was wandering in the garden when a man sat outside one of the lodges said good morning, and recognising her accent asked where we were from.

Infants Reunited

In 2010 having returned to my home town after 20 years I googled local 'homeopaths'. The first one was attached to my new GP surgery, although a different medical and legal entity. I chose that one. On the first appointment, after a while, the receptionist asked whether I had had a different surname 'Yes' - was it '....' 'Yes'. The practitioner entered the reception area to find his new patient and his receptionist hugging each other having not seen each other for 45 years, since about 1966. That was lovely.

Two tales of serendipty

FIRST COINCIDENCE In 1967 I was living and working in my home town of Exeter and every day I used to meet a young chap (whose name I've now forgotten) who used to chat me up. One day he told me that he was moving to London to train as a policeman at Hendon. I told him I was going to work in London too so he said, "Give me a ring when you get there". At first in London I worked as a temp in a hotel and there was a pay phone near our canteen. One lunch time I looked up the number of Hendon and dialed.

connection with a stranger

I'd decided to join an Alpha course ( to explore Christianity ), and went alone to the church hall at Beverley Minster - totally unfamiliar to me. I was late and apprehensive at the prospect of joining complete strangers for a meal, which is how the course starts. The smallish room crowded with people sitting at tables with no familiar face and no vacant seat in sight! An organiser made space for me at a nearby table where the people seated seemed to know each other. It was difficult not to want to run away.

Mr g abrahams

Before the time of mobile phones I was in a phone box to phone a friend. There was a break through on the line and I heard two of the directors of the company I worked for discussing financial problems. Ilest the company and shortly afterwards it broke up

old acquaintance

I was born in Derry, NI and had lost contact with an old school friend. I read an article about her brother in our university graduate magazine which included his email address. At the time he was a prof in Astrophysics in Georgia Tech. I emailed him asking him for his sister's address. He picked up my email while he was on sabbatical in Harvard. We hadn't met for 35 years. The following day he went into the library and the librarian picked up his accent, asked if he was from Derry and if he knew my family? Nuala Rosher

Plane Crash in 1943

In 1943 a Messerschmitt was shot down over Woking,It fell in the garden of a house called "Little Ingestree",near Mytchett.In the garden was a circle of Yew trees with a mature Lime in the middle.The plane sliced right through the Lime,and there was considerable fire.Considering that Yew has been associated with death for hundreds of years,I think that this was remarkable.The crew are buried in Brookwood cemetary.Afterwards,a blacksmith made a brace and bolted the two parts of the tree together. It is worth mentioning that Rudolph Hess was held in a house about 100 yards from the