Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Was this God sent?

Ten years ago at the age of fifty I decided to become confirmed in the Christian faith. I didn't have a bible so went to buy one. Whilst on the way to town my husband and I passed a bric a brac shop we'd never been in before and decided to have a look in. Whilst in there I spotted a really nice bible in good condition so thought I'd buy it. When I went to enquire about the price the man said he couldn't sell it to me, I was disappointed but that was that. However, just as I was about to leave the shop he called after me, 'I can't sell it to you because it's a Gideon Bible and I'm not allowed to sell it but you can have it for nothing.' What we are calling coincidence here I've always thought as a little gift from God and the thought has always thrilled me to bits.
Total votes: 479
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:58:16 +0000Coincidence ID:3590

Three at a time?

I grew up and went to school in Northumberland, in the north of England. At school, I was good friends with two girls, Debbie and Morag, who were best friends with each other. I didn't keep in contact with either when I left school and went to University, in Brighton, at the opposite end of the country. Four years later, I started a job in Kingston-upon-Thames, on the west side of London and over 200 miles away from Northumberland, and had forgotten completely about these two girls. One day, after work, I popped into Sainsbury's in Kingston to get some shopping done. Whilst wandering around with my basket, I saw a woman pass by the end of one of the aisles. 'That looked just like Morag' I thought, but dismissed it as I didn't get a really good view. A couple of minutes later, in another aisle, someone said 'Hello', and I turned round to see Debbie, who I'd obviously not seen for 4 years. We both said what a coincidence that the two of us should meet such a long way, and so many years, from our school. I mentioned that bizarrely, I'd just seen someone looking like Morag, and had Debbie kept in contact with her? She hadn't, she'd lost contact after school when they both went their separate ways. A moment or two later, Morag walked down the aisle, and met us both again. None of the three of us had seen or heard from either of the others in four years, and we met again within seconds two hundred miles away.
Total votes: 394
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:57:43 +0000Coincidence ID:3589

Twins coincidence

My wife was looking after the driving school office where I worked while the boss was on holiday. She signed on a new young woman pupil who I trained. The fact of my wife's pregnancy encouraged the pupil to knit a blanket for the expected baby and commented that the previous mother-to-be for who m she knitted another blanket had produced twins. Shortly after that my wife discovered that she was also expecting twins, although the doctor had previously only commented that "it would be a large baby". The boys were identical twins and it was some time before I was able to distinguish one from the other.
Total votes: 394
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:57:36 +0000Coincidence ID:3588

Talk of the singer

One evening in the late 1980s I was in a pub in Soho with some friends. One couple had been listening to the Undertones in the car earlier and she was talking about how much she hated Feargal Sharkey's voice. As she said this Feargal Sharkey came in to the pub.
Total votes: 407
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:57:30 +0000Coincidence ID:3587

Dad and 13

My late father, the opera singer Gordon Parfitt, was the 13th child of a Welsh mining family born on April 13th 1913. sadly he died the year I was born in 1953 aged 40, but the number and its multiples has always been seen as significant to us,
Total votes: 366
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:57:23 +0000Coincidence ID:3586

School friends and Ealing

At school in Sussex there were 5 girls and 8 boys in the sixth form. After school I came to live in Ealing - I discovered the house I moved to was a few doors from that of Mary's grandmother and aunt. And that both Peters had been born in Ealing, one in a house opposite my friend's. Lesley and one Peter moved independently and live close by each other in Shropshire. Subsequently Pat moved to Oxford near to my son. And Gill's brother Rob now runs a choir in Rome, in which my Ealing friend Helen sings. Furthermore two others from school moved to Ealing, having married people from here, one living around the corner from me for many years, the other close by. That's just for a start - there must be something about Ealing. I have two friends here whom I met independently - turns out they worked in the same office in Paris. And a lady who just joined our exercise class worked at the consulate in Florence - with a sister of one of them. And when I lost touch with an old school friend at age 13, she contacted my mother in Sussex when she returned to England from having lived in Switzerland - and we were living 5 minutes away from each other in Ealing. And so on..............
Total votes: 399
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:57:06 +0000Coincidence ID:3584

Bike Story

I live in Chorlton, Manchester. I popped into a local newsagent to get a paper one day, parking my cycle outside the shop, neglecting to lock it up as it was only a 30 second trip. On returning the bike had gone. I looked around then borrowed a friend's bike for a better search, to no avail. I went home and called the police to report the theft. They wanted the frame number, which I hadn't recorded, so I rang the bike shop where the bike was purchased, 4 miles away in Rusholme, to see if they had the detail. The guy in the shop went upstairs to check in the office filing cabinet, glanced out of the window and saw a few lads on the estate across the road with a bike he though was my Trek - he had sold it to me a few month's earlier and it was a new model, so quite rare. On investigating he identified it as it had the shop's sticker on the frame. He challenged the lads and knew their story of just having bought it was a lie. They panicked and he retrieved it. I got it back to my astonishment, and his! The panniers and contents had gone, but the bike was intact. How unlikely is that?
Total votes: 449
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:56:57 +0000Coincidence ID:3583

Newspaper account

Our newspaper shop uses a computer to calculate our accounts for papers delivered daily to customers. For while, because of rising prices, my account number, 956, was the same as the amount I paid, £9.56.
Total votes: 408
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:55:46 +0000Coincidence ID:3582

Identical Phone Number When Moving House From UK to Australia

When we moved house from Worthing to Brisbane the new domestic phone number we were given had exactly the same last five digits (in the same sequence) as our previous phone number in the UK. As you know, numbers in the UK have also have a five digit area code. From memory, numbers in Australia at the time were eight digits long.
Total votes: 347
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:55:23 +0000Coincidence ID:3581

See Twig

I was walking the kids to school one wet morning. We passed under a big thick hazel hedge, trying to avoid getting wet. I put the kids on the outside of the pavement and took the inner position myself. A twig poked behind my glasses. As I turned my eyes to avoid it I saw the name on a passing van: C. Twigg. This is the oddest coincidence I have experienced but there have been so many, it almost seems normal. My husband and I have rung each other at exactly the same time so many times, I wonder why we needed a phone. Anne
Total votes: 448
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:54:55 +0000Coincidence ID:3580