Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Holiday destination

Last September we booked a holiday in South Africa from 17 November to 11 December. Once place we booked to go to was a small town called Tzaneen because there is a factory making tapestries sewn by local tribespeople. We have bought these particular tapestries (Kaross) on previous visits to SA but only discovered very recently that the centre was in Tzaneen. In October I hurt my back and needed to go for physiotherapy. I had not previously seen the physiotherapist who treated me as she was new to the practice. Her accent was obviously South African and we got into conversation.

Meant to be?

My 22 year old son was killed in a road accident when his sister was on her honeymoon. The two siblings were very close and lived together on leaving home. The following year my daughter and her husband were looking to buy their first property, I and my daughter went to look at a small house 9 miles from her current home. She liked the property and during viewing she chatted to the owner.


In 1982 when my husband and I were moving from Buckinghamshire to London we were house-hunting in Blackheath . During a viewing in one beautiful semi-detached house , its owner said " it would be funny if you bought this house as our neighbours are also called ' A.... ' . As it is not an uncommon surname we thought nothing of it , and actually bought another property half a mile away . Some months later when we were installed in our new house I answered the door bell .


Whilst in my car some years ago I ejected a cassette from the radio/player and exactly the same track was playing on the radio in exactly the same spot almost as if i hadn't ejected the cassette and it was really obscure music too.

birthdate number

on giving our birth certificates to the registrar for details of our fortcoming wedding she was going over the certs. when she stopped with a curious expression on her face,I asked with some concern if there was anything wrong only to be told that my wife and I have identical registry numbers my wife registered in Greenock and myself in was a strange sensation we all felt at this coincidence..

Repeating words.

My wife and I are continually surprised when talking , how many times odd words are repeated instantly by the radio or television.

Lady Crossing the road

I stopped to let an elderly lady cross the zebra crossing. My heart missed a beat as the car on the other side did not look as it was going to stop. The lady was so busy waiving to me that she did not notice this.

Advance meeting

One day I was travelling from Lewisham in SE London to South Ealing in W London to visit a friend. I changed from the Northern Line on to the Piccadilly Line at Leicester Square Station. As I got on the Piccadilly Line train I noticed that the carriage was full, apart from two empty seats next to each other in the middle of the train. I approached the nearest seat from my end of the carriage; meanwhile, someone else sat in the other seat. The other person was the person I was on my way to visit.

Telephone Call Coincidence

Summer 1973. I was living in a flat in Bedford which had a telephone and I had to attend an interview in Leeds. So, I thought I'd arrange to meet a friend who was living in Sheffield, on the way back from the interview.

Winning raffles

It has always amazed me how often the same people win raffles. I was for years a member of a dance club and later in life a member of a bowls club. In both cases a weekly raffle was held. There is an expression often used in such clubs, it is "Same old faces" This is because people recognise the fact that the same people seem to win at least every 3 weeks somtimes every week, whereas others are lucky to win once in a year. It surely cannot be just coincidence?