Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Small world

I was in South Africa researching the possibility of my company promoting an ice-skating show in the country. There hadn't been an ice-show there for more than 20 years. Apartheid had just ended and it seemed the right time to bring a show to the country. Travelling on a small plane (12 seats) I was in conversation with the man sitting next to me and after about 20 minutes, it turned out that he was an ice-engineer who worked on the ice-shows some 20 years previously. He was also very close friends with the female promoter who I had wanted to track down to discuss the subject.

Radio coincidence

I listen to Radio 4 (speech radio) all day most of the time. The number of times that I hear the same word as I’m typing (or saying or reading) is so astonishing that I started to note them until the list got too long and time consuming to keep up. These words aren’t common conjunctions or anything, they are often not the sort of word you’d expect to come across in an average day let alone at the same moment, sometimes several times a day.

Ticket birth date

For my father's 70th birthday my brother-in-law bought three tickets to watch England play cricket at Lords, three generations, my father, himself and his son were to go together. At random he put one ticket inside his birthday card. My farter noticed his tictet was 1517, he was born on 1st May 1917, his birth date was 1.5.17.

School friend on holiday

1967. Met a school classmate (12 of us doing A Level French) in a bookshop in Paris. Neither of us knew we were going to France. 2000s. Torremolinos. I slipped on steps. Someone said "careful" and grabbed my elbow. I recovered my posture, threw a quick "thank you" behind me. Only when I got home did I only found out that it had been a firefighter from the local fire station where I am chaplain - he was one of about 90 firefighters on the watches I visit. He hadn't shouted after me at the time.

Birthday coincidence

I was born on the 20th July 1979 (which, I have heard, was 10 years to the day after the first moon landing). My half-sister (same Dad, different mums) died of cancer on the 20th July 1988, and then my half-brother had his first daughter on the 20th July 1993.

Mrs M S and July 18th

My father was born on July 18th, his father died on July 18th, I had a miscarriage on July 18th and 1 year later my son was born on July 18th

Mrs Sylvia W

My father, John Edward B, was born in 1913 and was the eighth child in the family born on the eighth day of the eighth month (August)

A Change Of Perception

In the Seventies I was a young single Police Officer in a rural force.

telephone boxes

I was on holiday in London in the old days of concertina wooden doors to telephone kiosks in Piccadilly Underground phoning my Aunt and I asked her when she had last seen her brother - my Uncle. I moved position in the box and discovered he was on the phone in the next box

Leap year babies

Some years ago I attended a course in Canterbury. Of the 20 or so attenders three of us were parents, with a total of five children. Out of these, two shared the same birthday: 29 February (different years).

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