Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

How strange!

I have lived in various parts of the country over a forty year period and moved to my present address in Dorset 5 years ago. I signed on with a new doctor and on talking to the nurse at the 'introductory' medical found we had been born in exactly the same part of town in Portsmouth and later moved to exactly the same part of town at the north end of the island and attended the same school only fifteen years apart.

Of all the basilicas on all the mountains in all the world...

In October 2010 Bradford Cathedral Choir undertook a short tour of Catalonia, singing in and around Barcelona. My son and I have been singing in this choir for a few years and went on the tour. One of the events on the tour was to be a 15minute slot singing in the Basilica at Montserrat, where visiting choirs are permitted to do a short session at lunchtime on Mondays. We duly arrived at the top of the mountain and were waiting outside the Basilica to put our robes on and warm up our voices.

Mr Michael D

I was born and grew up in a small town in Oxfordshire in 1970. I moved to London and became a doctor and one of my good friends from home moved to London and became a lawyer. He became a partner in a London law firm in 2008. In 2010 I became a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon in Hastings in East Sussex. The secretary I was given had lived in Hastings for many years but this was her first secretarial job. One day I was talking to my friend on the phone and my secretary asked what he did. I told her and it turned out her sister worked for the same firm as she was a legal secretary in London.

Flight neighbour

It was about 1995; I was about 55 at the time. I was on a family-related trip to Aus (NSW), decided to go up to Queensland (Airlie Beach) for some SCUBA on the Barrier Reef. Signed on to a 3-day boat trip, with about 10 others, all of them total strangers in their 20s or so, origins from all over the world.

a musical coincidence

In the spring of 1985 I was at an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London, marking the 300th anniversary of the birth of Handel. The exhibition contained several portraits and a number of music scores. Not unnaturally there was some background music going on as one walked round it. At the time I was visiting, the music was the composer's Music for the Royal Fireworks. And on a music stand was the original manuscript of... the Musc for the Royal Fireworks. As I approached the exhibit I noticed it was open at the movement called La Rejouissance. And the music playing was...

Birth dates

My brother and I were both born on the 26th of the month. His birthday 26th October and mine is 26th September.

same town

On the 30th of December I went out with two people for a drink and the subject came up about New Years' Eve. They told me one of them would be in Oxenhope, West Yorkshire ringing bells. I went out on New Years eve with two people I hadn't met before who had been long-term partners many years ago. After midnight a text came through `happy new year from Oxenhope with the ringing of the bells` A few minutes later I was chatting with my two new friends who told me they'd lived together for ten years in West Yorkshire. Where?

David Edwards

In the late 1950's I was coming home on leave from Northern Ireland to my parent's address in Suffolk. It was a journey of some 24 hours and I needed to change London underground lines at Bank. I stood in front of the doors as the train approached the station. They opened and my father (the late Percy Edwards M.B.E.) stood opposite me, waiting to board the train on his way to an appointment.

Happy birthday baby

A friend of my wife is a teacher and the wife of one of her colleagues gave birth. There was much hilarity in the staff room when the sums were done and the date of conception turned out to be his birthday. Two years later she gave birth again on the same day!

Random telephone call

Whilst I was walking past a public phone box, it started to ring. I answered the phone and found it was my aunt. She started chatting to me normally, but after a while I said "I am in a phone box, why did you ring here?", She replied, " I rang your phone number". I explained that it was in fact a public phone box. She had rung an old number which she had not deleted in her address book, from when we had changed our number about 10 years earlier.

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