Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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


I met one of my 3 brothers on a walk in Macclesfield forest. My brothers live on the Chesterfield side of the Pennines , I live on the Manchester side of the Pennines. We both hd not walked in this area and do not communicate on where we are going to walk. he walks about 20 times a year we walk about 20 times a year but mostly in Wales. It was a nice warm day so decided to go for a walk at short notice, he had planned the walk with friends in advance. What are the chances of us meeting on the same day?
Total votes: 949
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 09:25:48 +0000Coincidence ID:3296

I once met a professor of the public understanding of risk

A few years ago I went to a meeting in Cambridge. On the last evening I was dragged (willingly) to a talk about how J.S. Bach tuned his harpsichord. By some amazing coincidence I bumped into Prof. Spiegelhalter, who is now asking about coincidences. (in context this is more remarkable than it sounds, although not really much more)
Total votes: 1022
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 09:18:35 +0000Coincidence ID:3295

Seats at Twickenham

We met some old friends in Leicester at a party and were very envious to hear they had tickets to a concert there when we hadn't managed to secure any. Anyway as part of our 40th birthday treats my husband promised to go on ebay and see if he could find any tickets being resold for the same day as their tickets. They gave him the number of the stand/block they were going to be in but not the actual seat details. We eventually found some tickets on ebay in the same stand and on the day, when we met up together, we realised we were actually sitting right next to them. Not too sure how many seats there are at Twickenham or seats on a block but it did seem to be a bit of an odd coincidence! Great concert too.
Total votes: 1037
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 09:18:17 +0000Coincidence ID:3294

Have you listened to the radiolab story about the balloon?

The radiolab podcast ( had an episode called Stochasticity (I may have spelt that wrong) Had a story about a girl called Laura Buxton, who lived in Staffordshire, who let a balloon go with a note asking whoever found it to send it back to her. It was found by a girl the same age who was also called Laura Buxton. It's a great coincidence story - give it a listen if you're interested The main guy behind radiolab is on twitter: @jadabumrad if you want to get in touch with him
Total votes: 1033
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 09:16:21 +0000Coincidence ID:3293

The Coindcidental Call

I started a job in a call centre. The very first day that I worked there, in fact within the first hour, a call came through from someone who lived in the town where my Granfather lives and where I had my Christening...I mentioned in passing that my Grandfather lived near him and he asked who my Grandfather was Low and behold he had been a friend and colleague of my Grandad & he had been at my Christening - 25 years previously
Total votes: 907
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 09:13:48 +0000Coincidence ID:3292

meeting neighbour

This happened three years ago. (sorry I can not be more specific with dates) I was visiting the Treck Cliff Cavern, Blue Jon mine in Hope Valley, Derbyshire on business. After the business was concluded I was taken down the mine and cavern by one of the guids. We (the guide and I) were in a bit of the mine not normally open to the public when a party of tourists passed on its way out from the cavern. In that party were a neighbour and his wife. I was so surprised I could not even speak and they passed by oblivious to my presence. To put this in context. Hope Valley is not a through road so has to be a specific destination. I live on the Black Isle, some 400 miles away, and we were 300 feet underground. I am tempted to say "beat that" but no doubt somebody can.
Total votes: 950
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 09:08:27 +0000Coincidence ID:3291

Chance meetings

I live in Durham, was staying in Edinburgh with wife, crowded restaraunt, asked to share table with two women - mother and daughter from NW Scotland mother was cousin of my ex's wife, daughter went to school with ex's children. On another occasion I parked my bike in an office doorway in Kinlochbervie to shelter from rain and sort out a problem withbike, it was a Sunday so didn't think it was a problem, it turned out to office of same ex-girlfriend's husband. Ended up having dinner at their house.
Total votes: 953
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 09:07:05 +0000Coincidence ID:3290

Encounter with a star

Visited the National Portrait Gallery and there was an exhibition of photos of English actors and actresses from the 1950s and 1960s. My wife and I for some reason stopped at the picture of Rita Tushingham and both reflected that we never seem to hear of her these days or see her. Next day we went to Euston Station and, having treated ourselves to first class tickets, were waiting in the first class lounge. Standing in a corner and talking on her mobile phone was . . . Rita Tushingham.
Total votes: 962
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 09:04:41 +0000Coincidence ID:3289

Brother's girlfriend

When I was first working in London as an 18 year old in 1974 I was invited to the opening of a new "disco" called Anthea's in Carnaby Street. It was very 70's, plush seating, waitresses on roller skates - just the thing to impress a spotty 18 year old like me ! Started to speak to a very glam waitress and commented that her accent sounded really nice - she told me she was from South Africa and her name was Eva and she had only been in the uk for a few months. I mentioned that my older brother lived in Jo'burg. "thats where I lived" said Eva, "where abouts does your brother live"? - I told her ihe lived in Hillbrow, "me to" said Eva. "what is his name, i might have met him"? - I told her it was Tony Randall, her face turned to thunder, she turned on her heels and she disappeared never to be seen again !!!!!!!!!! When I phoned my brother later that week I told him what had happened when I "met" the lovely Eva. He asked me to describe her and then confessed that he and Eva were having a very hot fling and when he "dumped" her she decided to go to the UK. So this poor waitress had fled from South Africa to get over a bust-up with my brother and finds herself being chatted up by his little brother in a nightclub in London !!
Total votes: 1070
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 08:59:05 +0000Coincidence ID:3288

Met Wife's ex + coincidental firstborn

I was working at a Backpackers in Brighton in late 90's with a plan to go travelling to OZ and NZ late in 98 with 2 friends. I was 25 at the time. Whilst there a couple came to stay at the backpackers - Michelle & Charlie (they had been there before) . Michelle's younger sister Vicki was herself travelling at that time in Oz. Before I left in the September of '97 for Oz Michelle suggested I try and meet up with Vicki and her boyfriend etc - so wrote down a PO box number and thought no more of it, as Oz was such a massive place. Though Vicki had sent a couple of pictures of her trails in Oz and I must admit to remarking to myself that she looked a 'beautiful girl'. So then off we went to Oz - had a great time down the East Coast, as three 25 year old british 'lads' would have. When we got to Townsville we decided to take a couple of days out on Magnetic Island - 'Maggie Island' as the Oz's called it from memory. Only Mini Mokes were allowed there and it was a beautiful place to stay - dont remember the hostel we stayed in but 1 night there armed with a pitcher of VB someone behind picked up that I had mentioned Brighton and he asked if I knew a backapackers there........then if I knew of a girl called Vicki (She had stayed there previously before my time visiting her sister) I told him that I knew her sister Michelle though. Turns out he had been travelling with Vicki - he was the ex - they had split up, Vicki had gone north towards Cairns and he had travelled down south. Thought not much of it at the time - small world etc. Got back to blighty in the feb 98 - and returned to the backpackers in Brighton - Michelle was now working there and guess who came to visit her ? Within 2 weeks we were 'an item' - left the backpackers to live together within 3 months and were married in 2000. So then coincidence no. 2 - My mum passed away in Apr 92. My most special person in my life at that time and I was devestated. Still life goes on and as above I believe fate, coincidence etc all happens for a reason. So a couple of years after Vicki and I were married we discovered that our first child was to be expected in December 2002. We did not want to know the sex and when we found out the expected due date me, my dad and sisters were quietly more than excited - Due date 8/12. Mum's birthday was the 9th. And true to fate our first child - a girl, Bella was born on the 9th. (Although my Mum's name was Anne her nickname at school was Bella) What other name could she have had ?!!
You voted 4. Total votes: 1131
Date submitted:Fri, 13 Jan 2012 08:58:20 +0000Coincidence ID:3287