Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Dead parents house sale

Following the death of my mother-in-law early 2009 her family home was placed on the market. As the months went on the property was a burden, bills to pay, lawns to mow and general security etc. Over 18 months later 9th August 2010 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and given a date for surgery, which would reveal the full extent and whether or not the cancer had spread. On Friday 13th 2010 I had a missed call, on checking the caller's number I was stunned to hear the mechanical voice from 1471 give the number my family had when we were all children and lived at home.

Car Parks

You can park your car in a supermarket, a field at a craft fair, in holiday car parks etc etc and when you return to your car, the person in the adjacent car also returns?? This happens 9/10 times. Why??

The Blind Date.

In the early 1950's I was a teenager living with my parents in Hong Kong, my father was in the R.A.F. working in Kai Tak. Fast forward 30 years I was living in the U.K. a friend asked me to go accompany her on a date, for me a blind date. The evening passed pleasantly and while exchanging life experiences the gentleman I was with mentioned that he had been in the RAF in Hong Kong in the 50's. He had also worked at Kai Tak. After further exchange we discovered that he had been one of my father's lads.

two conincidenrs in one month

In late 1941 travelled in a troopship to Halifax Nova Scotia. There embarked on American transport (They were still neutral). The ship had bcome the USS Wakefield but I had travelled to the USA in 1939 to visit friends when the ship was the USS Manhatten. Later, somewhere in South Atlantic I was having a chat with a young American officer about my own age then 22. I told him about my prewar trip to the USA. He asked where I had been and then the name of the people I stayed with. I told him. They are ny parents best friends he said. We kept in touch for many years after the war.

Address coincidence

A few years ago I and three of my closest friends all lived at number 15 in their respective road or street. I lived, and still do, at 15 Chaffinch Road, Beckenham. My closest male friend at that time lived in Christchurch, Dorset, at a number 15, and two other female friends lived at a number 15 in Penge and Sydenham in South East London. Incidentally, in my childhood and adolescent years, from age 5 to age 27, I lived in a road that formed one half of a horseshoe. For the last 35 years I have also lived in a similar road that forms a half of a horseshoe.

Opera coincidence!

On 11 November 2011, I went to see a performance of the Rameau opera Castor and Pollux at the ENO with a friend who had bought me a ticket as a birthday present. It was the first time ENO had ever done this opera and I believe it was the first professional production in the UK possibly ever, certainly for many years. There were just eight performances. Although we had texted/phoned each other several times since then, I had not seen her again until Saturday 14 January 2012. I would normally see her more frequently than this.

pin numbers

In 1990 I moved from the Bay Area to Minden NV for work. I needed a new bank and new phone, all the basics. Back then the phone company would give you a personal PIN so you could make long distance calls and charge them to your home phone number. It was a four digit number that they randomly generated. I also got a new ATM card with a randomly generated four digit number from my new bank. They were the same number! allen pierson

Meeting Darwin

I was at a writer's lunch party and sat next to a writer called Darwin who turned out to be Charles Darwin's great great granddaughter. This was interesting enough but that afternoon, I went on to stay with my daughter and her family for the weekend. She announced that the following day, we were off to visit Down House which was the home of Charles Darwin. A coincidence, I thought- but that night, I opened a novel I was very much looking forward to reading. It was The Fear Index by Richard Harris.

same road

My sister was travelling up from Tavistock in Devon to St Albans in Hertfordshire to attend the funeral of our mum in March 2003. The traffic on the M5 came to a halt because of an accident, and many of the drivers got out to stretch their legs. She got talking to the person in the next car, who asked where my sister was heading - her reply to a town near London, 'oh yes, where?', ' Hertfordshire.

Message in a book

My sister Pip was a great reader of books, from childhood onwards. We had an aunt, Jean, who gave us lots of books (but not this one). Pip read The Stone Cage in childhood, loved it and, as an adult, was on the lookout for a copy. She visited secondhand bookshops regularly (this was before the days of Ebay and Amazon). One day she found what she'd been searching for - a copy of The Stone Cage. She opened it up and read on the flyleaf 'To Pip, with love from Jean'. She didn't buy it as she said it felt too weird.