Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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


I returned from Northern Nigeria after two years as a teaching volunteer at a college just off the Niger boarder. I went for a drink in London with a University friend whom I hadn't seen for three years. We went for a drink, tried three pubs and ended up in a crowded one in Chelsea. I was speaking about my experiences and the people I worked with, in particular the other volunteer who had gone out with me but left after the first year and I had had no contact with. I described him, a large man with a bright ginger beard. My friend said, "What like that bloke over there?" I looked round and there he was, sitting at the next table.
Total votes: 431
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:38:21 +0000Coincidence ID:3478

Stranger asks do you know

In about 1985 whilst camping in Strontian, a small village in Scotland, we were talking to a fellow camper who asked where we were from. We didn't see the point of being specific but he persisted until we had revealed we were from The Midlands - Northamptonshire - near Silverstone Circuit - until we needed up with our home in Whittlebury. "Do you know Carol Elliott?" he asked. We did. "she taught in my school in Buckingham" he said.
Total votes: 417
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:38:20 +0000Coincidence ID:3477

Renting the same house as the property my father was born in

I applied to study at Manchester Uni, but missed a grade so as usual with other students went through the clearing process. I successfully secured a place at Newcastle University, but accommodation-wise the halls were full. I luckily had two friends planning to study art at Northumbria college and they had secured a flat with a spare room. I moved in. My Father heard the address when I explained where I was going to live and went quiet. It turns out he was born in the house and my great grandfather built it! I had no idea about this, as had never been to the area in my life. Very weird!
Total votes: 425
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:38:04 +0000Coincidence ID:3476

100th anniversary of Sir Malcolm Campbell's First Bluebird

It is the 100th anniversary of Sir Malcolm Campbell's first Bluebird (racing car) which was built in 1912 in Bromley (south east London), where I live. He and his son (Donald Campbell) were born in the area in Chislehurst. I went to my local copy/printers in the town on thursday and asked for a number of copies of an article on this to circulate to friends and family. I asked the little old lady in the queue in front of me if she had heard of him and knew that he was born and is buried locally. She told me that she had worked for a flag-making company at London Bridge and met him! Presumably as part of the 1948 London Olympics. He died on 31 December 1948, 63 year ago....... Michael Lewis
Total votes: 479
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:37:45 +0000Coincidence ID:3475

Three chance meetings in three European cities in three weeks

I went travelling round Europe in 1982, and met a guy called Tony in the youth hostel in Heidelberg. I was pleasantly surprised to find that he was a Cambridge graduate student, as I was going up myself the following October. A week or two later, we were amazed to bump into each other again, quite by chance, in Venice. When we bumped into each other a third time on the Gare du Nord in Paris, he was so surprised he bought me an ice-cream. All three meetings took place within the space of three weeks. Of course, we did bump into each again, this time in Darwin College bar the following Autumn.
Total votes: 424
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:37:41 +0000Coincidence ID:3474

Unlikely meeting

Aged 17, I set off to hitch-hike to the South of France from Manchester with a friend, to the consternation and anxiety of my mother. My parents were due to set out a week later with the rest of the family by car, and were due to meet me by the Med. I had made it as far as an obscure mid-France town called Tain l'Hermitage after being dropped there by a ride. My parents, having had no contact with me since my departure, had to pull off the Autoroute due to an unexpected need for fuel. They pulled off and made their way, quite by chance, to Tain l'Hermitage: I was walking down the street eating peaches, relishing my new found freedom, when who should pull up beside me but my Mum and Dad: my Dad demanded a peach, my mother ensured I was changing my underwear regularly, and then we parted.... Spooky!
Total votes: 510
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:37:39 +0000Coincidence ID:3473

name chance

In hospital after the birth of my first baby, I met a woman whose married name was the same as my maiden name and whose maiden name was the same as my married name.
Total votes: 540
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:37:11 +0000Coincidence ID:3472

Shared boyfriend

At University I became friends with another girl. It transpired that we had both been travelling in our gap years and that both trips had included Malaysia, amongst other countries. Where? The Perhentian Islands. Which One? Small Island. Which beach? Long Beach. Where did you stay? Moonlight Chalets. When were you there? June. When in June? Turns out I had arrived three days after her and stayed in the same place. Not only that but I had snogged the guy she had been going out with!
Total votes: 569
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:36:57 +0000Coincidence ID:3470

Mrs Christine Smedley

My husband was born in Kent and lived in a house near Moat Park. His family used to go there on occasion and there was a painting.of exotic birds on the wall, which he found he he very much liked to look as a child. In his thirties, we moved to Bath and went to a house there, where this painting appeared again, which he thought pretty extraordinary. When my husband was in his sixties, we moved to Guernsey - and, in a local auction room, this same painting turned up fo sale, with it's Kent and Bath provenance. He bought the painting and it lived with it for the rest of his life.
Total votes: 541
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:36:56 +0000Coincidence ID:3469

Cross parent in law birthdays

My wife's birthday is on the same date as my father's birthday. My birthday is on the same date as my mother-in-law's birthday.
Total votes: 473
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:36:46 +0000Coincidence ID:3468