Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Ypres Remembrance Day

A group of us from Andorra had been invited by the Anglican vicar of St Georges, Ypres to attend the November 11th Memorial service. On the day, we were told to follow him closely in the Remembrance parade. This was made easy by his flowing, poppy-red robes. As we approached the Menin Gate I saw no way we could get through the crowds. I decided to peal off to the left and try my luck there. Eventually I was brought to a standstill beside a suited, straight-backed gentleman with a tightly rolled umbrella. I glanced at him. He was wearing my father's Regimental tie.

Similar unusual phrase from two sources

I was watching a music education video on Youtube when the phrase "this is music theory; not music fact" appeared on the screen. At that precise time, I received a message notification from a friend living and working over 2000km away stating "these aren't some theory, these are facts".

Harrow Weald

3 big Coincidences [1] when I started work at a stable in Harrow Weald in 1963, 5 miles from my home there was a person, male my age, name Nick . And when I went to visit my cousin in Hatchend [ 5 miles from my home ] I met her husband to be and he was the brother of the same Nick . We had met brothers coincidentally. We married IE cousins married brothers all by coincidence . [2] also at the stables there was a girl Anne who had been at school with me age 5 .

Name coincidence

My mother, who was called Primrose Broomhead, died recently. For her funeral I decided I would wear a black dress but because she loved flowers and her name was Primrose I thought I would like to wear a scarf with primroses on it. I googled scarf and primroses and then looked at the links. One of them seemed to fit the bill and I looked on the website of the person who was selling the scarf. When I looked at the contact details imagine the shock I had when my maiden name jumped out at me, Valerie Broomhead.

Family connection

In 1973 I travelled with my parents to Waldau in the Black Forest to try to find information about the Fehrenbach family from whom my father descended. We found living, my father's 3rd cousin Eduard Spiegelhalter & his wife Berta, who helped us draw up a rough family tree, & told us that the family business in London had been at 81, Mile End Road, East London. Some months later I decided to start collecting old postcards, & went to a huge postcard fair. There were hundreds of dealers & millions of cards, & I chose just one, for the picture.

Strange route to an old acquaintance

This all happened on the same day, 29th November, 2017. </p> <p> I saw, by chance, a reference to a long, long defunct American magazine called 80-US. I remembered being an avid reader, and also having had an article published in it, so I searched on it and found that it was not only well referenced on the web, but some copies were downloadable in a multitude of formats and they included the edition with my article in it. It was the February, 1983 edition. </p> <p>Later that morning a friend called me and I told him about it.

People I Have Worked With

I worked with someone for 10 years and discovered a number of curious similarities. Our mothers share the same name - Sylvia. His father was an amputee, as was mine. His birthday was the same as my husband. We had just one child each, both girls with names beginning with 'C'. Finally, we were both working/living in New York during 1976 although we never met while there. Also, while in New York in 1976, and in the course of my work, I had contact with a travel agent who, noting my accent, mentioned he had a relative who was currently living in the UK - in Surrey did I know it?

Obscure words

Roughly 20 years ago I was sent for work to visit a house in a small village about an hour from where I lived. I had never previously been to the village and the address I was given was fairly nondescript, something like 12, Church Street but no house name was given. On the way down I was thinking of a friend of mine from school days [20 years previously] and his brother, who I knew a little. The brother had recently married a girl who was studying shoe design in London at Cordwainers College, part of the London school of fashion.


Coincidence No. 2. In the 1970s I was a keen birder, and would regularly meet with a friend at a National Nature Reserve at Stodmarsh in Kent - some 100km from our homes. I lost touch with him and didn't visit Stodmarsh for approximately 15 years. When at a conference nearby in 1994, I decided to visit the place again. I parked in the carpark in which another man had just parked. It was of course my friend of 15 years previously, visiting the reserve for the first time since our last meeting there.

Glastonbury savings!

In 1982 I travelled to the Glastonbury Festival, arriving very late on Thursday night after a car breakdown. With friends I wandered around the pyramid stage area, helped a very ill young man to the medical centre, and was on my way back to our campsite when I saw something on the ground. I picked it up and found a roll of banknotes tied with an elastic band. I pocketed it, intending to hand it in the next morning. In the morning I located another group of friends from my former home town, including my best friend from school.