Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Seasonal birthdays?

Are birthdays hereditary? I take after my mother's side of the family, specifically her father and all have our birthdays in July/August. My mother's brother also takes after his father and fits the pattern. My sister takes after my father's side, and his father, plus his brother, and all of them have February/March birthdays. On asking people which of their parents they look like, then what are their respective birthdays, this pattern is almost always followed. Not to the month but to a couple of months usually. Maybe this research will demolish my theory but if not, is it co-incidence or a biological pattern?
Total votes: 291
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:38:41 +0000Coincidence ID:3711

Postcards

I buy sell and collect old postcards, I purchased a Louis Wain cat postcard from the continent, which I intended to sell (hopefully for profit). When it arrived I was extremely disappointed to find that it had been tampered with, the back was old but the wrong publisher and it was thicker than usual, I deduced that a Louis Wain front had been stuck to another old postcard, I had been caught. With nothing to lose I carefully peeled off the front layer and to my amazement underneath was an Arthur Moreland card. I have collected Arthur Moreland postcard since the 1960s and this was a very rare previously unseen (by me) postcard. It now sits proudly in my collection. How about that.
Total votes: 452
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:38:23 +0000Coincidence ID:3710

Euston Station

I live in Chester. A colleague lives in Blackburn. In May 2007 he was working in Lambeth, staying in London from Monday -Thursday. I had been doing some research for a contract in Blackpool when I was invited to an interview for a contract in Westminster. My colleague was also interested in the Blackpool contract so I collected some information about the work and loaded it onto a cd with the intention of posting it to him. I was travelling from Chester down to London on Thursday and intended to post the cd on the way to the station. The post office queue was such that I thought I would miss the train so I didn't post the cd but decided to post it once I got to London. On arriving at Euston I was walking across the main station concouse to the tube station when I saw my colleague walking towards me heading for a train to Manchester. Saved me the cost of posting the cd!
Total votes: 319
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:38:06 +0000Coincidence ID:3709

Unbelieveable - the circle is complete

My husband is Australian, I am Irish. We have lived in Cambridgeshire for 21 years. Two years ago I started researching family history. My husband's paternal great, grandmother, Martha, married aged 16 to William aged 20 in 1872 and immigrated to Australia in 1873. Martha came from Brampton and William from Alconbury Weston. We live in a village five minutes away from Brampton and ten minutes from Alconbury Weston. What a coincidence and so unbelieveable! Alana
Total votes: 294
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:38:04 +0000Coincidence ID:3708

Unbelieveable - the circle is complete

My husband is Australian, I am Irish. We have lived in Cambridgeshire for 21 years. Two years ago I started researching family history. My husband's paternal great, grandmother, Martha, married aged 16 to William aged 20 in 1872 and immigrated to Australia in 1873. Martha came from Brampton and William from Alconbury Weston. We live in a village five minutes away from Brampton and ten minutes from Alconbury Weston. What a coincidence and so unbelieveable! Alana
Total votes: 340
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:38:04 +0000Coincidence ID:3707

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.
Total votes: 313
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:37:21 +0000Coincidence ID:3706

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. We were speaking to a lady who was also a Scot and it turned out that she had been brought up in the small town of Kilsyth - outside Glasgow - where my wife had lived for a short time as an infant. When the lady asked where I came from, I said 'Arran'. "Ah" she said, "Machrie Bay". "Yes", I replied and she told me that she had spent a guide camp there in 1962 and that the boy from the farm had helped dig their latrine trench. "Yes" I replied, "and I still have the blisters". By coincidence, I was that boy! The second incident took place in Tobago last year where we met a Scots couple. I was born in Prestwick, on the Ayrshire coast, in a nursing home near the sea. The only other person I knew to have been born on the same nursing home was my sister. To my amazement, the lady had been born in the same nursing home just a few months after me. The third event concerns our daughter. When she was at university in London, she went into a M & S store and, whilst brousing, turned round to fine her Godmother standing behind her. On a more sombre note, I had a dream one night where our grandson and I were at Heathrow watching planes take off and land. In the dream, we were watching Concorde take off and, as she cleared the bank near the M4, I noticed flames coming from the engine of the aircraft. She made a turn to the left as the flames grew more intense and eventually crashed. To my horror, that is exactly what happened as she took off from Paris a few days later.
Total votes: 382
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:36:34 +0000Coincidence ID:3705

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! The spine of the calendar is untouched so no-one has removed the page (in any case I now live on my own and no visitors would tamper with it). In a second related coincidence, I bought a white hardy fuchsia to plant in the garden where we scattered my husband's ashes (since there was no room for another tree). I researched what I was looking for on the internet and purchased a specimen on line. It is a single white fuchsia called 'Hawkshead'. Despite being a fairly keen gardener, I had never heard of it, neither had any of the family. Last week, I was getting rid of a BBC Gardeners' World calendar for 2011. If of course has lovely photos and I just casually looked through in case there was any I wished to keep. Imagine my surprise when I came to May (the month of my husband's death) and found a picture of Fuchsia Hawkshead on that page. By May, my husband was in our local hospice so I was hardly at home and don't think I even went into the room where the calendar was, so I certainly did not see it. Strangely enough, I mentioned both these events only yesterday at a bereavement support group I am attending at the Hospice; everyone there found it a bit weird. I am now waiting for coincidence number 3! Incidentally, Bill's toy Snoopy (which I bought him 30 years ago, a constant companion!) was on his pillow when he died and was cremated with him - their ashes are therefore both buried with the fuchsia, a nice rounding up of both stories. Sheila Brown
Total votes: 321
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:36:25 +0000Coincidence ID:3704

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. She replied Cornwall- and as we were used to Australians and Americans asking if we knew specific people when they realised where we came from, my partner was prepared for the next question- 'oh do you know John and Sue in Hayle' he asked - slightly taken aback my partner recognised the names and replied "do you mean John and Sue XXXX"- "yes" he replied, "I used to be married to Sue!"
Total votes: 391
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:36:15 +0000Coincidence ID:3703

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. We were neighbours, but went to different infant/junior schools because it was more convenient for one of the families to attend a school further away. A few weeks later, having finished that day's consultation, the homeopathist said 'I think we were at the same infant school.' We compared notes and photographs and indeed we were. So, two former schoolmates within one alternative therapy practice which employs a very small number of people. And although in the same town, not in the same area where our school had been. On first thinking of telling you this I thought it would have been more of a 'coincidence' to have had all three of us at the same infant/junior school. We were after all in the catchment area for the same school. But I wonder if it is more statistically interesting to meet one friend from an infant school and one from a senior school?
Total votes: 370
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:35:44 +0000Coincidence ID:3702

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