Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Chance meeting in North Yorkshire

In winter 1998 my boyfriend and I were invited to a 30th birthday weekend in North Yorkshire. Around 25 people were accomodated in a secluded camping barn. On the first night we all walked up a dirt track and along an unlit road to the nearest pub. We were living in Birmingham at the time. Also in 1998 my brother began his undergraduate studies in Newcastle. Although we were close we had not been in touch with other for a couple of months. It was before we had mobile phones and we were lazy with letters. Back to the pub in North Yorkshire. We were having a great time. When it was my turn to get the drinks I stood at the bar awaiting my turn and happened to look through the back of the bar to the lounge at the other side of the pub. I saw my brother standing there waiting to buy a drink. I did a quadruple take! He had joined the university walking club and was staying in a youth hostel nearby. Neither my brother or I had a clue that we would both be in North Yorkshire that weekend, let alone stumbling up a remote lane to the same pub. The only pub for miles around.
Total votes: 524
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:50:10 +0000Coincidence ID:3565

birthday coincidence

My son, Jacob, had a sister born on his birthday, 27th September, he married a lady whose sister was born on the same date, one year later, 16th January, and they subsequently had two sons with the same birthday, 7th September. I would love to know what are the chances of this happening!
Total votes: 567
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:50:05 +0000Coincidence ID:3564

House buying

When buying my first house, I looked around dozens of homes for sale in Bristol - somewhere I'd lived for a couple of years (I grew up in East Anglia). After weeks of searching I was shown one home and got the immediate feeling that this was the one to buy. Not unusual I know, but six months later, after buying the house and moving in, my aunt was doing some family research and discovered that my great great great uncle used to live in the very same house. I had no previous knowledge that any of my distant relatives lived in Bristol.
Total votes: 567
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:49:56 +0000Coincidence ID:3563

Late for Work Excuse

I regularly used to be late for work, my supervisor became increasingly annoyed and gave me a good telling off. The next day I overslept so I made up a story about my cat bringing a blackbird into the kitchen and having to wait for my neighbour who liked animals to return from dropping someone at the station so that I could ask her to come in and remove the bird. Since everyone in the office knew I couldn't bear birds the story was accepted and nothing more was said. The next morning, the entire situation happened exactly as I had lied about it the day before. The bird was even a blackbird! Needless to say I couldn't go into work and say it had happened twice so I got into trouble again. I was so spooked by the coincidental occurrence I have never made up any story again.
Total votes: 537
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:49:34 +0000Coincidence ID:3562

Mrs Sylvia W

My father, John Edward B, was born in 1913 and was the eighth child in the family born on the eighth day of the eighth month (August)
Total votes: 536
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:48:46 +0000Coincidence ID:3560

A Change Of Perception

In the Seventies I was a young single Police Officer in a rural force. I transferred to London and was posted to the West End.On my first patrol I was feeling rather lonely and homesick whilst on foot patrol at 0300 in the morning, it was very quiet and didn't know a soul in London. Anyway, time for my first 'stop' in London.I caught up with a man carrying a tool-bag along Oxford Street and searched him, as it turned out he was a GPO engineer and a night worker.I took his name and address. I then realised that I knew his name,when we were both children we had shared a room together for a week whilst on holiday in Jersey,our mothers were teachers and colleagues. London didn't feel so big a place then !
Total votes: 559
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:48:45 +0000Coincidence ID:3559

telephone boxes

I was on holiday in London in the old days of concertina wooden doors to telephone kiosks in Piccadilly Underground phoning my Aunt and I asked her when she had last seen her brother - my Uncle. I moved position in the box and discovered he was on the phone in the next box
Total votes: 650
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:48:39 +0000Coincidence ID:3556

Leap year babies

Some years ago I attended a course in Canterbury. Of the 20 or so attenders three of us were parents, with a total of five children. Out of these, two shared the same birthday: 29 February (different years).
Total votes: 639
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:48:36 +0000Coincidence ID:3555

Telephone Call

When I was 15 or 16 (1960/1961) I decided to ring my pal who lived down the road. I picked up the phone to dial and there wasn't a dial tone. Whilst I was waiting for a dial tone to come on, my pal spoke (to himself) saying something like 'where is he'. I had picked up the phone to ring him at the point in between him dialling the last number at his house and the phone ringing at mine.
Total votes: 543
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:48:32 +0000Coincidence ID:3554

Birthdays down the generations

in three generations, granny has three children girl1, boy, girl2 girl2's older child (a boy) has the same birthday as girl1, the oldest child in her generation and boy's youngest child (in a family with the same pattern as his own: girl, boy, girl) has the same birthday as girl2, i.e. the last child in a family with the identical pattern. From granny's perspective: her oldest child has the same birthday as her oldest grandchild, and her youngest child has the same birthday as her youngest grandchild (of seven), in a family with the same pattern as her own.
Total votes: 591
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:48:32 +0000Coincidence ID:3553