Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

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).

Telephone Call

When I was 15 or 16 (1960/1961) I decided to ring my pal who lived down the road. I picked up the phone to dial and there wasn't a dial tone. Whilst I was waiting for a dial tone to come on, my pal spoke (to himself) saying something like 'where is he'. I had picked up the phone to ring him at the point in between him dialling the last number at his house and the phone ringing at mine.

House Name

We moved into our home on the 18th December 1998 and decided to rename the property. My Mother in Law thought Holly Cottage had a nice festive ring and we placed this on the deeds. A few years later my Wife's Uncle searched the history of our home and discovered that it used to be a market garden and the owner's name was Henry Holly.

Birthdays down the generations

in three generations, granny has three children girl1, boy, girl2 girl2's older child (a boy) has the same birthday as girl1, the oldest child in her generation and boy's youngest child (in a family with the same pattern as his own: girl, boy, girl) has the same birthday as girl2, i.e. the last child in a family with the identical pattern. From granny's perspective: her oldest child has the same birthday as her oldest grandchild, and her youngest child has the same birthday as her youngest grandchild (of seven), in a family with the same pattern as her own.

Uncle in an anthropological study

I was having tea with a friend of a friend in an Oxford college. We were both from Delhi in India but did not share any common friends or networks from Delhi. We got talking about what we were studying- I was working on inequalities in Britain and her work turned out to be an anthropological study of a tribe in North East India on the Burmese border. She showed me some pictures of her field work and to my surprise l recognised my uncle and his house. Suddenly the world felt a lot smaller than I had thought before.

Twin sister

Whilst visiting relatives in the North of England (I was living in Oxford at the time) we decided to have a day out in Newcastle. On arrival the first thing we did was head for a coffee shop, where I noticed a lady I worked with in Oxford, I went over and said "Hello fancy seeing you here are you visiting too" she looked at me blankly, then smiled and said I think you are getting me mixed up with my twin sister - she lives in Oxford.

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