Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Mother-in-laws early meeting!

I took my then girlfriend now wife of 30+ years home to meet my mother. On meeting you could sense that my mother was slightly twitchy about something but she couldn't work out why. She asked Julia, my girlfriend "What's your mothers name" and was told Topsy Woodwark which didn't mean anything to her at all. Then with no prompting and completely out of the blue my mother said "Elizabeth Glendinning" which blew Julia away because those were indeed her mother's christian and maiden names.

Taxi coincidence

In 2001 I got a temporary job in Melbourne. After getting out of the airport I got a taxi to take me to the house where I would be staying for the first couple of weeks. The following day I went to the office to meet the people I'd be working with. We went out for drinks after work. Still feeling a little jet lagged, I left early in the evening, flagged down a taxi outside the bar we were in and it happened to be the same taxi driver who had picked me up from the airport the previous evening!

Birthday coincidences

My sister's first daughter was born on my birth date and my daughter was born on the birth date of my wife's brother - so both uncle's had their first nieces born on their birth dates

phone box wrong number was for passer by

In the mid 80s I lived in south Birmingham and after the pub my friends and I would walk home past a row of shops and then peel off to our various houses. One day when walking home the public phone box on the row of shops was ringing (this was about 11.30 at night). One of our group decided to answer it for a laugh and when he answered it the call was for him!

Drinks Party

Still recovering from the fact that our respective mother-in-laws had at the age of ten shared a cabin on a banana boat as they were evacuated to the West Indies, we just had to go to Barbados for our honeymoon. A friend of mine, Bill, heard about this and told me he had a house on Barbados and we must come and see him and gave me his phone number. I forget the exact number but let's say it was 26075.

Chance meeting

In about August 1983 my family and I were visiting an aunt who lived in Burngate, Dorset right by the RAC Gunnery School. We were awakened on morning early by the sounds of tanks firing. In those days there was an observation post just down from the bungalow and I took my children down there as they wanted to see the tanks shooting. While we were there a young Army captain wandered over and began chatting. He asked my job and I explained I was an officer in the Merchant Navy.

Missing petrol cap and shopping coming to exactly £4.00

A few years ago I was shopping at Sainsburys in Bedford and purchased about 5 items including loose bananas ie they had to be weighed, not pre-priced. The bill came to £4.00. Strange? To me it was strange, as I had never before had to pay a round figure for an assortmant of items. I know this must happen but with many items being priced at a figure ending in 99 pence, it did seem odd. I left the store and drove into the Sainsburys petrol station to fill up. When I opened the filler flap I found that my petrol cap was missing. That had never happened before.

off track schoolfriends

I was in Dusseldorf visiting friends in 1996 when the airport burnt down, so rather than fly home I needed to get a train to Holland. Not speaking German, when I got onto the platform I migrated towards English voices. Coincidentally they happened to be 2 schoolfriends from 20 years previously, over on business. (approx 1500 pupils at the school, 300 per year group, 90 per 'county')

My new landlord was my friend's lodger

My friend Nick was living in a flat owned by his friend Adam. Adam moved to Bath to study, so I moved into the spare room in his flat. Meanwhile Adam found a room in Bath, and his new landlord was Craig, who was was one of my best friends from University. Very strange!

off track schoolfriends

Derek I was in Dusseldorf visiting friends in 1996 when the airport burnt down, so rather than fly home I needed to get a train to Holland. Not speaking German, when I got onto the platform I migrated towards English voices. Coincidentally they happened to be 2 schoolfriends from 20 years previously, over on business. (approx 1500 pupils at the school, 300 per year group, 90 per 'county')

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