Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Mobile phone coincidence

When shopping in a local supermarket I bumped into a friend whom I hadn't seem for some time. While we were chatting, my mobile phone, which was in an inside pocket of my jacket, began to ring. Before putting the phone in my pocket I must have forgotten to lock the keypad and, reacting to my movements, the phone had set itself to the Contacts list. As I took the phone out to silence the ringtone, I glanced at the screen. It was displaying the contact details for the friend to whom I was talking .
Total votes: 465
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:39:00 +0000Coincidence ID:3481

Watch incident!

I was shopping at the all night Sainsburys in Islington, when I looked at my watch and noticed the bezel was missing. My heart sank,as it was a Rolex submariner, and nothing Rolex comes cheap! The trolley I was pushing,was empty,(I'd only just arrived) except for a watch bezel! I picked it out and put it safely in my pocket. When I got home, I pulled out the bezel, hoping that I might be able to replace it myself, only to find, it wasn't the bezel from my watch, but a completely different make.
Total votes: 430
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:38:55 +0000Coincidence ID:3480

Barry Higgs Pastetable and file

I needed an additional pastetable for a boot-sale and set off to buy one but down the road I found one lying in the road. I was due to hand over a rented property but the replacement key I had had cut didn't work. At 9.15 I visited a local ironmonger to buy a file to adjust the new key. The shopkeeper was very edgy. 'What's the problem' I asked. 'It's Monday' he replied, 'I've been open 15 minutes and you are the third person to come in and all each of you has bought has been a file. What the hell is going on'.
Total votes: 418
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 08:38:42 +0000Coincidence ID:3479


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: 430
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: 424
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: 478
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: 508
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