Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

A Rainy Day Coincidence

A couple of years ago I made a train trip from Haslemere in Surrey up to London on business. When I reached Victoria Station I realised I lacked a vital piece of information and the only person from whom I could obtain that information lived in Southend. I rang his landline and his mobile but both were on answerphone. Undaunted I took a taxi from Victoria to the Old Brompton Road. It was pouring with rain, really hard.


I was at home (in Devon) reading a fashion article in the Times about a raincoat on sale in Miu Miu in Covent Garden in London. My son lives and works in London so I rang him on his mobile to ask him if he should happen to find himself in that area to buy it and post it to me. His reply was that he was in Miu Miu at that very moment standing next to the raincoats I was referring to. He is somebody who is not very keen on shopping so that made it more of a surprise.! I got my raincoat. Isobel Langton

One of my customers in Boston, USA

Checked into my hotel in Boston, USA, turned around and there was one of my customers of my fishmongers shop in Reading, UK. The room he was allocated was next to mine.

"Indian" restaurant waiter in New York

Went to an "Indian" restaurant in New York, trying to get away from all that bland food they serve in the USA (or did then). One of the waiters greeted me with pleasure, he was a waiter moonlighting in New York, he usually worked in my favouring restaurant in Reading, Berkshire.

A Meeting in New Zealand

In 1984 my husband and I were visiting our friends in New Zealand and had been lent their car to drive around North Island. We had been told that the Bay of Islands was worth a visit but when we tried to book a trip on the official boat we were told that it was fully booked for the one and only day we could manage. We turned and were about to drive away when we were called back to the boatyard to be told that someone had just cancelled their trip so we snapped up the chance to go out the following morning.

Same name sharing

Many years ago on a day out in Cambridge I went with friends into a church. On leaving I said I wanted to sign the visitors book. One of my friends was looking at the visitors book and said 'But you've already signed it'. When I looked someone else named Sally Hughes had signed immediately before I was going to sign! We were amazed when the 'other' Sally Hughes come over to us, having heard her name mentioned and she was still in the church. Hughes was my then maiden name, she was a Hughes by marriage.

Small world

My son moved to Sydney 18 years ago. A few years ago he and his wife decided to get a dog for the children and someone they knew put them in touch with a friend who wanted to rehome a young dog. My son went to visit the dog and its owner, to find, that not only had she also come from the U.K. but lived in the same town, and even the same road, in fact, just 100 yards up the road from where my son lived, and I still live. This woman also went to the same school as my son, albeit a few years senior than him, but would have been there at the same time for a year or so.

A Hong Kong coincidence

My parents, who lived in London, were on holiday in Hong Kong. While my mother was waiting in the hotel lobby for my father, a man came over to her and started a conversation. He asked where she lived and when told it was London, he said that she must know his cousin who worked in London!! It transpired that his cousin worked for my father and was dumbfounded to be introduced to him.

jigsaw mystery

I was given 2 jigsaw puzzles as gifts by 2 different people. They were made by 2 different companies and purchased in 2 different cities. Having completed the first puzzle I had an extra piece which obviously did not belong. On completing the second puzzle there was a piece missing. Amazingly the extra piece from the first puzzle which for some reason I had kept, was the missing piece from the second puzzle.

Coincidences X Three

1) In 1962 I was called up to my National Service and initially I was posted to the Royal Signals Reg. at Catterick Garrison, N.Yorks. After the initial 13 weeks square bashing and aptitude tests I was transferred to the Corp of Royal Military Police, Inkerman Barracks Woking. Seven of us made the transfer by train and underground arriving at the barracks after We were taken to a dormitory and told to pick a bed space, put our Army kit on the bed and go to the cookhouse for something to eat.At this time the bed next to mine was vacant.