Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

What! The same Hitchicker, again!!

1989: The Hitch Hiker! It was about early June 1989, and I had just left Horsham (S of London), after being interviewed (successfully) for a Head of Technology (Teacher) job at Forest Boys School. I was driving back to Scotland, in one go, and it’s a long way. To relieve the boredom, after stopping at the services at the M25 end of the A1, as I was leaving the services (about 6.00pm) I picked up a hitch hiker.

Meeting friends

My first coincidence happened many years ago - I was adopted at birth and didn't find out until I was 16. Two years later when I was commuting to London, I met a girl on the train who became my best friend. Sadly she died aged 31. When I was 45 I decided to search for my birth family. During my search I was given the information that my adoptive mother had been married before. I obtained my adoptive parents' marriage certificate and found the name of her previous husband - my friend's father! My friend knew, but was sworn to secrecy, and she kept that secret.

Keep in touch

A few years ago my husband and I were due to travel to Bordeaux with my sister and brother-in-law. We were about to leave when my 23 year old son asked me to 'look out' for his old schoolfriend. We had known his friend for many years and knew that he had left the UK a few weeks earlier to seek work and accommodation in Bordeaux. I asked for his friend's address, phone number . . anything. But he had no settled address, couldn't afford a phone, was feeling rather low and couldn't speak French.

The Good Samatitan!

Summer 1987: The Family in Distress. The Background: I had dropped Mary (wife) and Ian (my son) off at the farm (in laws place), and had just set off to drive to Heighington (home, 20 miles away), when I was involved in serious accident in my Cortina. In trying to get out of the way of a skidding new Datsun, I was hit hard on the drivers side and both offside doors and the rear quarter were very seriously damaged. The doors were jammed shut.

Three of a kind

I joined a company, Newtime Foods, on the 1st December 1980 in the Sales Department, which consisted of 8 people including myself. One of the first things that I was told was that I would be expected to be on duty during some part of the period between Christmas Day and New Years Day as there was a special service to our customers for their stocking up after the Christmas rush. I was happy to agree but I expressed the hope to a colleague that I could be excused 29th December for the rota as it was my birthday.


Returning to the UK by plane on leave from the Department of Epidemiolpogy at Otago University (with which Prof Spiegelhalter had associations) I sat next to someone who knew a university friend of mine. We continued our conversation when, coincidentally, we sat next to each other on a flight the following year. While my travel arrangements were quite regular (to the same week or so each year) his were not.

Gelert lives!

When I was a boy, in the 1950s, I was on a motoring holiday in Wales with my parents. My father was a recording artist with the BBC, who needed urgently to contact him - but no-one knew where to find him! Someone in the office recalled that he had mentioned 'something to do with a dog'. And another, more knowledgable, person recalled the 13thC legend of Gelert, the 'faithful hound' of the distraught Prince Llewellyn.

Losing your friends.

I had the misfortune to lose a dear friend to a good woman. First I lost his attention and then when her ambition moved them to another city contact dwindled further. We are however still in touch and I was delighted to hear news of a pregnancy that produced a fine child called Luke. As my friend and his wife submit to the ties of parenthood we are breaking free. Our son, Charlie is now 14 years old. Before our last visit to Graham, Sandi and the now one year old Luke we raided our attic for a few more of Charlie’s childhood treasures.

a few things

my grandaughter has same birthday as my uncle-------I have two half brothers called Mark------my mother was born on the 7th of the month,I was born on 21st of the month(7x3) my daughter was born on the 7.7 on the 7th day of the week( 3sevens) my sister was born on 17th and my Grandaughter was born on 27th

Spooky Christmas Tale

Coming up to Christmas last year I needed the help of a property maintenance company in London and was recommended one called Melchior Gray. At around the same time, our youngest grandson was rehearsing his part in his primary school's nativity play in Edinburgh. His part was that of the Wise Man, King Melchior; and his surname is Gray.