Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

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!

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.

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.

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.

maria m

I have just been on holiday with my husband and 5 other people who did not know each other. 1 couple and 3 singles. The birthdays of the group were 21st Dec my husband, mine 2nd jan, single person 4th jan, single person 5th Jan, single person 5th Jan and one of the other couple 15th Jan. I often find these grouping in teams at work and with neighbours. My ex neighours have virtually the same birthdays as my husband and myself. male and female matches. Also an ex neighbour in the same road has an identical birth date.

BRENDAN C

When on holiday in the island of Minorca I bumped into a co-employee of the same large company. We had only minimal work contact and he worked in Bedfordshire and I worked in London. We had no forknowledge of each other's holiday arrangements. Coincidence 1: We booked the same week. He stayed in the north of the island. I stayed in the south. Coincidence 2: On the Thursday morning of that week we both decided to drive to a large town on the east of the island. Coincidence 3: On walking back to the car at the end of my visit I passed through a small plaza.

Ex-colleague meeting

After a weekend visit I was flying back from London Heathrow to Glasgow and the last two empty seats before take-off were in my row of three. They were taken at the last minute by an ex-colleague who is Japanese and his teenage son. I worked closely with this person doing medical research at Glasgow University around 15 years previously and his son had been born in Glasgow. He was bringing his son for a holiday touring Scotland but I didn't know this until they sat down beside me on the flight connecting them from Tokyo through LHR to Glasgow.

Birthday Coincidence

My daughter was born on the same day as her dad, 27th October, her daughter stayed snuggly inside her mummy's womb, waiting to be born on the same day as her mum and grandad. The dr's though had other ideas, so because she was 2 weeks overdue the dr's wouldn't wait a day longer and the baby was induced one day before her mums and grandad's birthday! Also my son's baby is due about his birthday in July?

What are the odds?

I have one PIN number that I use for everything and have used the same 4 digit number for years, for everything from banking to online signups. Several years ago I applied for a credit card and upon acceptance received a randomly generated PIN number. That PIN number was exactly the same as the PIN I've been using for years. I asked the bank about this and was assured all the pin numbers sent out were generated on a completely random basis and could have nothing to do with me personally. I'm no mathematician but you've got to be talking very serious odds on that one.

Richard Gibson

In 2000 I took part in the British Heart Foundation London to Brighton cycle ride. My allocated number was 10106. I have a photograph and entry card showing the number. A few years later, as part of my job with Hampshire County Council I was (unusually) seconded to Hampshire Police to help manage implementation of the new non-emergency number (now live across England and Wales). The non-emergency number is 101 and we went live in 06.

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