Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

"Fools never differ"

Many years ago one of my mother-in-law's sisters had been very ill and was recovering in bed. As it was her birthday a few of us had gone to see her with presents. My mother-in-law, another one of her sisters and myself had all bought her the same present!

Were we supposed to meet?

What were the odds that a girl from New York State and a guy from Seattle, WA, would meet in passing far from our homes, fall in love, then find out months later that our relatives had the same occupations? His grandfather and father were professional photographers, and my grandfather and father were professional photographers as well. I was a photojournalist with my own photography studio when we met and he loved photography as well. We always thought it was an interesting coincidence.

Guy Christie

In "003 I purchased an old house. T^he first thing we did on getting possesion was to remove a Lino floor covering. Underneath this were old newspapers. The first paper I picked up was the front page of Sporting Life of 1948. The picture was of Thames rowing club winning the Grand Challenge Cup at Henley. My father was a member of this crew and thus was in the photo!

Delivery in the fast lane.

In my role as a Regional Secretary of The Professional Golfers Association based at The Belfry in Warwickshire, I took a telephone call from a member pro - Eddie Bullock, who was at that time at a golf club in Bedford. He urgently needed a letter from me confirming some contractual matters.

Birthday coincidence

My birthday is 18 March. My friend Emma's is 11 June. Her mum's birthday is 18 March; my mum's is 11 June. What are the odds of that?!!

Stolen Purse

About 30 years ago my elderly Mother was taken every week to a singing class by one of her friends. I was working at the time as a sales rep and on this particular day had to collect something from a local supplier. I parked my car outside the company on a street that linked a main road to a popular local cut through to a city estate in Nottingham. As I was only going to be 5 minutes I stupidly left my handbag in the footwell of the passenger seat and when I returned about 3 minutes later the lock on the door had been forced and the bag stolen.

Pinewood Studios

During my freelance working life I worked for many years for a well-known film director at his home and at Pinewood Studios when he was making a film. Many years later when we moved from the South-East to the West Country, we bought a cottage in a small hamlet on Exmoor from a couple who (unbeknown to us at the time) had also had connections with Pinewood Studios, where he had been a Director of Photography. Subsequently we met and became very good friends with the lady who had lived in this same cottage and had sold it to this Director of Photography.

Happy returns

We had a weeks family holiday in Fuerteventura April 2010 (which was extended because of the ash cloud). There was another family at the hotel for the same week that we didnt speak to or get to know. In 2011 we booked a 2 week holiday in Gran Canaria August and guess what that same family had booked in as well at our hotel. We spoke to them on the 2nd occassion and were amazed at the coincidence. From the millions of combinations of weeks, countries and hotels, what are the odds of 2 unrelated families booking the same hotel for the same weeks on 2 occassions.


As an 11 year old I started at the grammar school in a class which was alphabetically selected for the first term. A boy called Geoff was in the same class but the family moved away to another part of the country after a few weeks. I never met any of his family. 7 years later I was babysitting for a couple who unknown to me arranged a blind date with a friend of theirs for me. This chap arrived and turned out to be the brother of the chap in my class who had returned to the area to work. We married two years later.

holiday coincidence

My 50th birthday fell on June 27 1999. To celebrate, my husband (Terry) and I (Barbara), enjoyed the last two weeks of June on the Greek island of Crete. We stayed in a small complex of self catering accommodation and became friendly (holiday friendships only, we did not keep in touch) with most other holidaymakers round the pool, who included Grace and Bob an older couple. Over the years It became a habit for us to spend the last 2 weeks in June on other Greek Islands, as our birthdays fall on 26 and 27 June. We were therefore on the island of Zante at the end of June 2011.