Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Extraordinary Intercontinental Family Intergenerational Collision

Upon graduating from Cambridge in June 1961 I pursued an International Business Career objective of living and working in South America, becoming a trainee with Balfour Williamson in the City, transferring to their subsidiary SACAE in Guayaquil, Ecuador in March 1962. Upon my arrival I was introduced to the English Managing Director of SACAE, whiose name was John W. The first personal question he asked me following the initial business discussions, related to my Mother' name!

how my parents met

My mom and my dad had dated, briefly and not seriously. They both planned to visit Europe at the same time, so she sent him a letter (semi?)-jokingly proposing that they meet on the steps on the Vatican on a particular day and time and tour it together. He never got the letter. He did however decide to tour the Vatican and, remarkably, chose the day and time that she had specified. There she was, waiting for him. They got back together and were married a couple of years later. If that was the plot of a movie, nobody would believe it.

Dream Home

My husband and I were on holiday in Egypt a about 20 years ago and we met a lovely young English girl on the trip who we kept in contact with sending Christmas cards and even went to her wedding. Imagine my surprise when she sent me a Christmas card a couple of years ago and said she had seen the house of her dreams in my home town, but the deal had fallen through and she was disappointed. Turns out she moved in to her (dream home) eventually, a few months later, it is in the next avenue to me and was owned by one of my colleagues at work who was moving down south. What a coincidence.

Wedding & Honeymoon

My honeymoon was arranged by my parents, who purchased everything based on vague instructions (near Carcassone, must have a pool, if I remember correctly). We didn't play any part in it beyond this. The wedding had about 40 guests, and went very well (it happened to be about the only dry day in a very rainy summer, but thats a different - and less impressive coincidence) We arrived at our honeymoon accommodation, and got talking to the owner (who was cleaning the pool). It transpired that he had family near where my wife had just moved from.

same day of the week

My brother was born on September 4 My parents were born on February 27 My parents were married on April 10th I was born on July 17 The above all fall on the same day of the week - regardless of year

Seaside Encounter

In approximately 1989 we had a family gite holiday in France and one day went to the coast and parked on the seafront. At the time we had a cream coloured Montego saloon and upon returning to our car discovered parked next to us was the same model and colour of car. Not only that but it had a British number plate with identical letters and the next number in the sequence. Can't remember now whether it was the one before or the one afterwards.

Lock and key!

My father, Terry, had some friends around for a drink in the 'pub' he'd built under his house. He mentioned that he had to get a new lock for the bought door he'd bought from a reclaim yard, and fitted to the 'pub'. It had no key. One of his guests, John, thought the door looked remarkably similar to one he'd recently taken to a tip. He still had the key on his ring: it fitted!

Lock and key, reunited!

My father, Terry, bought a door from a reclaim centre and fitted it to the 'pub' that he'd built under his house. The lock had no key. Some friends came round for drinks in the 'pub'. My father mentioned that he needed to buy a lock for the nice old door he'd just fitted. One of his friends, John, said that the door looked very similar to one he'd taken to the scrapyard, some weeks ago. "I've got the key on my key ring" he said, handing it over. It fitted!

Bumping into a friend in a large city

I think this is the only coincidence that's stuck with me - it was about ten years ago, and I was in London for the day, planning to do a few things before meeting up with a friend of mine in the evening to go to a gig. It turned out that my friend had also headed into London a few hours early, and we bumped into each other on (I think) Oxford Street - I saw her crossing the road and called out.

Employment coincidence

Early in my employment career I fell into a post in central London which effectively managed the UK arm of a European Youth Programme. Some 25 years and a completely unrelated spell in local government later, I ended up working for a small charity in a tiny village in S E Cornwall which tapped into the very youth programme I had once managed. A case of gamekeeper turned poacher perhaps and probably why I got the job! One of my first tasks was to meet some of my former colleagues as they disembarked from a ferry onto the beach...

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