Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Mr David Parker

My eldest son, James Harry Frederick Parker, was born on the 21st July 1998. Through a quirk of the UK's education system we discovered that another James Harry Frederick Parker was born on the very same day. We live in Kent and the name sake lives in the Channel Islands. We are not related and have never met.

Multiple coincidences within 24 hours

I live in Sussex and yesterday I arranged to meet my 20 year old son in Greenwich. We both like old books, and so we went to explore a very ramshackle second hand bookshop. I picked out a couple of books, one for me and one by HG Wells that I thought might interest my son. Having followed different paths round the shop, came up to me and told me that he thought that he had seen a book by HG Wells that he hadn't heard of, but that it had only been a book about him.

birthday coincidence

My father lives at No 26. His neighbour at No 28 has his birthday on 16th July. His other neighbour at No 24 has his birthday on 16th July and his neighbour at No 22 has his birthday on - yes, you've guessed it - on 16th July. As I frequently tell people, I am my father's daughter! and although I do not live with him these days, my birthday is on - 16th July! We think this is a pretty good example of coincidence.....?

I-pod tunes

Some years ago I was working on a project in Ethiopia, travelling backwards & forwards with a colleague who became a friend. We had 4 trips backwards & forwards, lots of hanging about. On one trip, we were stuck in Dubai airport & Dave persuaded me to buy an i-pod as they were so cheap. I got one that stored 800 pieces of music [same as Dave's, but green] which I quickly filled up, using it particularly when travelling. On our last trip, we were waiting for our plane in Gondar airport, sitting on the seats.

Birthday dates

My parents had four children. The first and third were born on 8th March - in 1942 and 1948 respectively. The second and fourth were born on September 9th - in 1944 and 1953. Only two birthdays between the four of us. The siblings who share the same birthday are facially very similar to each other.


My Mother, Hilda, a Nova Scotian, was travelling in the Scottish Highlands, with a young Nova Scotian friend (Joan) who was at the time teaching in Germany. She had shipped her car from Nova Scotia to Gemany and they were travelling in it at this particular time. Joan was out of the car recording somebody singing a folk song. Mother was waiting patiently when a second car (UK registration) pulled up. 'Are you really from Nova Scotia?' was the question. Mother answered in a non-committal way that yes, she was. 'Oh, I was there a few years ago.

Seasonal birthdays?

Are birthdays hereditary? I take after my mother's side of the family, specifically her father and all have our birthdays in July/August. My mother's brother also takes after his father and fits the pattern. My sister takes after my father's side, and his father, plus his brother, and all of them have February/March birthdays. On asking people which of their parents they look like, then what are their respective birthdays, this pattern is almost always followed. Not to the month but to a couple of months usually.


I buy sell and collect old postcards, I purchased a Louis Wain cat postcard from the continent, which I intended to sell (hopefully for profit). When it arrived I was extremely disappointed to find that it had been tampered with, the back was old but the wrong publisher and it was thicker than usual, I deduced that a Louis Wain front had been stuck to another old postcard, I had been caught. With nothing to lose I carefully peeled off the front layer and to my amazement underneath was an Arthur Moreland card.

Euston Station

I live in Chester. A colleague lives in Blackburn. In May 2007 he was working in Lambeth, staying in London from Monday -Thursday. I had been doing some research for a contract in Blackpool when I was invited to an interview for a contract in Westminster. My colleague was also interested in the Blackpool contract so I collected some information about the work and loaded it onto a cd with the intention of posting it to him. I was travelling from Chester down to London on Thursday and intended to post the cd on the way to the station.

Unbelieveable - the circle is complete

My husband is Australian, I am Irish. We have lived in Cambridgeshire for 21 years. Two years ago I started researching family history. My husband's paternal great, grandmother, Martha, married aged 16 to William aged 20 in 1872 and immigrated to Australia in 1873. Martha came from Brampton and William from Alconbury Weston. We live in a village five minutes away from Brampton and ten minutes from Alconbury Weston. What a coincidence and so unbelieveable! Alana