Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Bike Story

I live in Chorlton, Manchester. I popped into a local newsagent to get a paper one day, parking my cycle outside the shop, neglecting to lock it up as it was only a 30 second trip. On returning the bike had gone. I looked around then borrowed a friend's bike for a better search, to no avail. I went home and called the police to report the theft. They wanted the frame number, which I hadn't recorded, so I rang the bike shop where the bike was purchased, 4 miles away in Rusholme, to see if they had the detail.

School friends and Ealing

At school in Sussex there were 5 girls and 8 boys in the sixth form. After school I came to live in Ealing - I discovered the house I moved to was a few doors from that of Mary's grandmother and aunt. And that both Peters had been born in Ealing, one in a house opposite my friend's. Lesley and one Peter moved independently and live close by each other in Shropshire. Subsequently Pat moved to Oxford near to my son. And Gill's brother Rob now runs a choir in Rome, in which my Ealing friend Helen sings.

Newspaper account

Our newspaper shop uses a computer to calculate our accounts for papers delivered daily to customers. For while, because of rising prices, my account number, 956, was the same as the amount I paid, £9.56.

Identical Phone Number When Moving House From UK to Australia

When we moved house from Worthing to Brisbane the new domestic phone number we were given had exactly the same last five digits (in the same sequence) as our previous phone number in the UK. As you know, numbers in the UK have also have a five digit area code. From memory, numbers in Australia at the time were eight digits long.

See Twig

I was walking the kids to school one wet morning. We passed under a big thick hazel hedge, trying to avoid getting wet. I put the kids on the outside of the pavement and took the inner position myself. A twig poked behind my glasses. As I turned my eyes to avoid it I saw the name on a passing van: C. Twigg. This is the oddest coincidence I have experienced but there have been so many, it almost seems normal. My husband and I have rung each other at exactly the same time so many times, I wonder why we needed a phone. Anne

Radio coincidence

In 2003 Classic FM played two pieces that I had voted for in an evening programme. I had voted for these pieces in the station's annual 'Hall of Fame' vote. On the same programme two pieces were played chosen by someone else who I'd never heard of. My parents leter told me that they knew the parents of the other person.

Cambridge CoIncidence

I had posted my story about the Cardiff wrong number, and then decided to look at other posted accounts. The account posted just prior to mine was similar in that it was a chance 'phone encounter'.

Wedding coincidence

My parents married in 1956 a month after Dad finished his national service and their best man Brian was a chap who my father had done national service with. After a few years Brian moved away with his job and they lost touch and didn't see each other for 15 or 20 years. One day there was a knock on my parents door and it was Brian - he had had to visit my parents home town for a work meeting and had looked them up and called in on the offchance.

Guessing a number

When I started as a first year university student, I joined a queue with other students to get a locker allocated and receive a key. Bored, and for not particular reason apart from boredom, I asked myself whether the key would be no. 521. When my turn came, some 15 minutes later, I was given key no. 521. I was so surprised I at first did not take the key and asked why I had been given that one. As can be imagined, I was given an odd look and asked what was wrong with it whereupon I took it and left. In the queue, I had not guessed lots of different numbers, just the one.

Same place, same time

Last weekend I was walking my dogs down a long narrow lane near my home. A couple walking their dog approached in the opposite direction, and as we came closer a cyclist appeared behind them. We all met at exactly the same place in the long narrow lane in a melee of people and dogs! I experience this quite often whilst driving. Why is it that I always seem to meet a bus or lorry at the narrowest part of the road? Why does there seem to be a cyclist on every blind bend just as I arrive?

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