Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Genealogy searching

Coincidences One of the incredible number of co-incidences which happened to me on my second trip to Slovakia was this one: I'm in my little blue Czecho hire car, taking a last possible photograph of our great-grandmother's building - stolen time as I should already have been on the road back to Prague. I'm there because the previous evening when I was in Prejta I met people who told me where the house was and invited me in to their house and by the time I came out it was too dark to take a picture..


When I was 2 years old, it was discovered that my heart was on the right instead of the left. I have a condition called dextrocardia and situs inversus. There was no family history of this. Aged 34 I had my first child, at 8 months he needed a chest x-ray and it was discovered that he had the same condition. Apart from this reversal of all internal organs we have no adverse effects from it.

First day of school

On my first day at junior school, aged 4, I became best friends with a boy called Kevin. Over the course of the next few days, we discovered we shared the same birthday. A little later it turned out our mothers also shared the same birthday and further investigation revealed that our fathers and older brothers (both six years older than us) both had birthdays ten days apart from each other. We were inseperable for the next seven years.

Old Friend

My husband and I met Tony & Fred (Winifred) on a plane whilst migrating to Australia in 1964 (£10 pommies)- we were both very young and just married. We stayed in Australia and kept in touch, even sharing a house together at one time. On the day we heard my mother-in-law had died we heard that Tony's dad was dying of cancer so made arrangements to come back to England together, this was in 1966. We both had families and kept in touch over the years, tailing off in the years up to 1985 when I had sent them a Christmas card with a note telling them all of our news.

Just One Cornetto

In the summer of 2007, I was working as a rep and found myself in a motel one evening, feeling rather bored. So I decided to text my son, James who was on holiday in Rome at the time.

Photograph most extraordinary!

Many years ago my eldest daughter Lauren, upon returning from holiday, excitedly showed me her recently developed photographs. We were looking through and there was one of a young lad. I expected that this to be of someone who she had met. But no, she had no idea of whom he was. So, obviously, 'it' had got mixed up with Lauren's at the developers. At the time I was misguidedly running (or ruining) a Sunday football team. About a year later a young man appeared, new to the area, and asked to join the team.


A friend of mine had 2 boyfriends (not at the same time) with the same birthday as me, one of them also the same year.


In the 22 years I had been working in schools, I had never a met a child or a member of staff with the same birthday as myself. I then went to work in a new school where there were not 1 but 5 pupils with the same birthday as myself. Over the years they left one by one until the last one was due to leave that July. I was sad to see her go, as it had been fun to share the birthday assemblies with those children. Then I had an application for a child from another authority who also shared my birthday. Against the odds, he was finally accepted into the school and he left as I retired.

Old Acquaintance

Yesterday I was due to visit Gravesend where I was born and spent the first 8 years of my life (I'm now 39 years old). Having not been there for some years I entered the address I was to visit into Google Maps. I then decided to have a look on street view at the road and house I lived in, out of pure curiosity. I had spent the morning in the office and set off to Gravesend.

Unlikely Meeting

40 years ago I was a young electronics design engineer working at H W Sullivan in Murray Road, Orpington, Kent. I was working on a project for the Post Office (now British Telecom) and was sent to the London Patent Office to check that the design did not infringe an existing patent. To my astonishment, at the Office I met someone with whom I had been at school four years earlier. I do not recall his name. We had not been close friends and had not kept in touch.