Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Family Bible

My surname is L. In the 1980s we lived in Eccleston, St Helens, Merseyside and were aware from an elderly couple who had lived all their married life in the house next door that our house had been owned in the 1960s by another L family. We are not to my knowledge related. It seems they had had to leave for Australia unexpectedly to avoid the consequences of having guaranteed a debt which had not been repaid. Whilst working in the loft I found a tiny leather-bound New Testament which was inscribed 'To Gabrielle from Uncle Basil' and a date I cannot now remember. We are not Roman Catholic but I had heard of a Father Basil L, the local Priest at Whitehaven in Cumbria, from my own father who had been Town Clerk and knew Father L from his civic activities. I thought there was a chance that Uncle Basil and Father L might be one and the same, and mentioned it to my father who passed on the story. Indeed they were, and I was able to return the bible to Gabrielle in Australia via my father and her uncle.
Total votes: 281
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:46:37 +0000Coincidence ID:3730

broken leg

I was walking on Exmoor near Dunster with a friend on November 30th last year when I fell and broke my leg (I didn't know that at the time). The problem was to get transport back to Taunton to go to A & E at Musgrove Park Hospital. We were sitting on a park bench thinking what to do when two friends appeared walking the same route. Their car was nearby and they took me to Taunton. Hopefully my plaster will be removed next week and I will be mobile again.
Total votes: 284
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:45:51 +0000Coincidence ID:3729

Smartarse revisited

A louche friend was lying in bed in Coventry, puffing on a ciggie, listening to a broadcast of a concert on Radio 3. It was a fairly 'difficult' composer and a piece not often performed, which was what attracted him to it. The end of the symphony was very sudden, and one audience member anticipated this, clapping loudly (and what my friend thought, ostentatiously) before the rest. My friend took a delicious pleasure in berating this person loudly just as it was announced that the concert had been recorded at Warwick Arts Centre in Coventry and he realised that the Smartarse audience member was himself.
Total votes: 388
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:45:25 +0000Coincidence ID:3728

Sisters, does this count?

My sister, who is 6 years younger, and I have often been accused of being twins as we look very alike. We found ourselves in coincidental situations many times:- 1. I, living in London, had not seen her for three years and went to catch up with her in Nottingham - to find she had the same handbag and shoes. 2. Once I was invited to a barbecue in Sussex, didn't know what to wear, settled on blue silk shirt, jeans and blue flat shoes. When I arrived my sister was dressed identically. 3. My sister had been working in Spain. We met in Italy for a holiday - opened suitcases to unpack identical dresses (M&S!). 4. One Christmas I decided to buy her a blue and white porcelain fretted bowl from a particular shop - but when I went back the shop was closed for the day so I bought something else. But when I unwrapped my present from her, SHE had bought ME that same bowl. 5. I moved to my new home in London about the same time as she moved to hers in Sussex. We 'inherited' blue and pink bathrooms, respectively. We had both purchased small plastic 'pig' nailbrushes - in blue and pink, of course. What's more we had both chosen identical crockery - I well remember her opening my cupboard to exclaim, "What are you doing with my dinner service?!" 6. One Christmas I bought her a small glass bottle with a blue bird on the top. The one she bought for me was a different design - but it was still a small glass bottle with a blue bird on the top. Et cet era
Total votes: 338
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:45:09 +0000Coincidence ID:3727

chain of coincidences

1. In 1987 I was living in London in what was then an unheard of area (now very trendy) called Kensal green. No one knew where it was in 1987. I travelled to Tibet and was staying in a hostel in Lhasa . A young guy was really I'll in our dormitory and I spoke to him to see if I could help. Where did he come from? London. 'you won't know the area' - it was Kensal green. He lived 5 minutes away from me. 2. I work in a small school in Camden in central London . One of my colleagues grew up in Cheshire not far from where I grew up. I grew up in a small village in the countryside near delamere forest - a place people like to visit. My colleague recently told me she used to spend her summer holidays with her granny in a caravan site a short walk from where I lived. 3. My dauhgter's best friend's grandfather is scottish as is mine and he worked for ICI in the same place as my father at the same time. Her mother's partner grew up in the nearest town to my village in Cheshire where my younger brother went to school.
Total votes: 377
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:44:43 +0000Coincidence ID:3726

Are left handed people more pushy?

After a gathering in a restaurant 5 of us went back to someone's flat for coffee. There was just one sofa, which 3 sat on. The remaining 2, myself included, sat on the floor. I noticed that the 3 on the sofa were all holding their mugs in their left hand. Indeed, the 3 seated on the sofa were left handed, the 2 on the floor were right handed. Could an explanation for at least the seated on sofa v. seated on floor ratio be skewed by the fact that left handed people are more pushy and they all made sure they secured a comfortable seat?
Total votes: 356
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:44:42 +0000Coincidence ID:3725


Two people came to live in our village from Cornwall and we became friends. They told us they have friends in Cornwall called NEIL and MARGARET who have a SPRINGER SPANIEL called ROSIE. Guess what. I am called MARGARET, my husband is NEIL and we have a SPRINGER SPANIEL called ROSIE !
Total votes: 432
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:44:27 +0000Coincidence ID:3724

Third coincidence

I went to Australia in 1991 to visit relatives who live in Perth. They took us on a trip down south and we went on a leisure boat in the Murray River. It seemed like a very isolated spot. I sat next to a lady I had never met before and we got chatting. I asked her where she lived and she said Busselton which was a small town in Western Australia. I said "I'm going there tomorrow to meet an old friend" (The friend, like my relatives, had emigrated from Devon to W.A.) She said, "What's the name?" and I said, "Perryman". She said, "Oh, the Perrymans. I know them well!"
Total votes: 348
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:44:04 +0000Coincidence ID:3723

One Lump or Two?

In about 1976 I went into hospital to have a breast lump removed ( I was 23). I was stunned to find my best mate in the opposite bed, having had the same procedure on her breast. Mine was my left, hers her right. Although we were best mates she had been living in Holland for some years and had come back home for the surgery as she was unhappy with the treatment she was receiving in Holland and the difficulty of the language as she did not speak dutch. We just happened not to be in touch over that period (I was admitted very quickly following presenting to my GP with the lump) On the day I was admitted she was being discharged. We were both in for two nights. I didn't have a dressing gown so she left me hers. Both lumps were benign.
Total votes: 344
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:43:49 +0000Coincidence ID:3722


I don't know whether this is a coincidence or a prediction. My mother had been widowed for 30 years and for many years now she had said that she knew which day she would die. She didn't know when but she know it would be the 16th of a month. She said that she had worked it out this way...her birthday was the 12th my dads was the 13th they were married on the 14th and my dad died on the 15th so she said that she knew she would die on the 16th. She was so convinced that when she got to 90 she said that she was always pleased when the 16th of a month had gone because she would be ok for another month. She died last year on the 16th September she had had a series of strokes and had been totally unaware of anything or anybody for many days. We all think that this is rather spooky ! Regards Ginny
Total votes: 316
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:43:37 +0000Coincidence ID:3721