Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Birthday dates

My parents had four children. The first and third were born on 8th March - in 1942 and 1948 respectively. The second and fourth were born on September 9th - in 1944 and 1953. Only two birthdays between the four of us. The siblings who share the same birthday are facially very similar to each other.

Ms

My Mother, Hilda, a Nova Scotian, was travelling in the Scottish Highlands, with a young Nova Scotian friend (Joan) who was at the time teaching in Germany. She had shipped her car from Nova Scotia to Gemany and they were travelling in it at this particular time. Joan was out of the car recording somebody singing a folk song. Mother was waiting patiently when a second car (UK registration) pulled up. 'Are you really from Nova Scotia?' was the question. Mother answered in a non-committal way that yes, she was. 'Oh, I was there a few years ago. Do you know the Annapolis Valley'. 'Yes', said Mother. 'Do you know the village of Lawrencetown?' 'Yes', said Mother. 'Well, when I was there I dated a lovely young farmer by the name of Clarence FitzRandolph. Do you happen to know him?' 'Yes', said Mother non-committedly again, 'I married him'. And that was the end of the conversation!

Seasonal birthdays?

Are birthdays hereditary? I take after my mother's side of the family, specifically her father and all have our birthdays in July/August. My mother's brother also takes after his father and fits the pattern. My sister takes after my father's side, and his father, plus his brother, and all of them have February/March birthdays. On asking people which of their parents they look like, then what are their respective birthdays, this pattern is almost always followed. Not to the month but to a couple of months usually. Maybe this research will demolish my theory but if not, is it co-incidence or a biological pattern?

Postcards

I buy sell and collect old postcards, I purchased a Louis Wain cat postcard from the continent, which I intended to sell (hopefully for profit). When it arrived I was extremely disappointed to find that it had been tampered with, the back was old but the wrong publisher and it was thicker than usual, I deduced that a Louis Wain front had been stuck to another old postcard, I had been caught. With nothing to lose I carefully peeled off the front layer and to my amazement underneath was an Arthur Moreland card. I have collected Arthur Moreland postcard since the 1960s and this was a very rare previously unseen (by me) postcard. It now sits proudly in my collection. How about that.

Euston Station

I live in Chester. A colleague lives in Blackburn. In May 2007 he was working in Lambeth, staying in London from Monday -Thursday. I had been doing some research for a contract in Blackpool when I was invited to an interview for a contract in Westminster. My colleague was also interested in the Blackpool contract so I collected some information about the work and loaded it onto a cd with the intention of posting it to him. I was travelling from Chester down to London on Thursday and intended to post the cd on the way to the station. The post office queue was such that I thought I would miss the train so I didn't post the cd but decided to post it once I got to London. On arriving at Euston I was walking across the main station concouse to the tube station when I saw my colleague walking towards me heading for a train to Manchester. Saved me the cost of posting the cd!

Unbelieveable - the circle is complete

My husband is Australian, I am Irish. We have lived in Cambridgeshire for 21 years. Two years ago I started researching family history. My husband's paternal great, grandmother, Martha, married aged 16 to William aged 20 in 1872 and immigrated to Australia in 1873. Martha came from Brampton and William from Alconbury Weston. We live in a village five minutes away from Brampton and ten minutes from Alconbury Weston. What a coincidence and so unbelieveable! Alana

Unbelieveable - the circle is complete

My husband is Australian, I am Irish. We have lived in Cambridgeshire for 21 years. Two years ago I started researching family history. My husband's paternal great, grandmother, Martha, married aged 16 to William aged 20 in 1872 and immigrated to Australia in 1873. Martha came from Brampton and William from Alconbury Weston. We live in a village five minutes away from Brampton and ten minutes from Alconbury Weston. What a coincidence and so unbelieveable! Alana

Anniversary coincidence

On a holiday in New Zealand in 2009 we met and made friends with an Australian couple, Pete and Wendy. When we visited Australia the following year, we met up with them again. During the course of our conversation, Wendy mentioned that they were celebrating their Ruby Wedding Anniversary in October 2011. When I asked her the date I was astonished to hear it was the 2nd October. That is the very day that my husband and I will be celebrating our Ruby Anniversary.

Mr John D Frew

I have four coincidences I would like to submit as follows; I was brought up on my father's small farm on the west coast of the Island of Arran in Scotland. We had a field above the farm that was used as a camp for both scouts and guides. In 1998 my wife and I were visiting my cousin in Vancouver. Her husband is a Presbyterian minister and, on the Sunday we attended his church. Following the service we went into the church hall for coffee and were introduced to other members of the congregation. We were speaking to a lady who was also a Scot and it turned out that she had been brought up in the small town of Kilsyth - outside Glasgow - where my wife had lived for a short time as an infant. When the lady asked where I came from, I said 'Arran'. "Ah" she said, "Machrie Bay". "Yes", I replied and she told me that she had spent a guide camp there in 1962 and that the boy from the farm had helped dig their latrine trench. "Yes" I replied, "and I still have the blisters". By coincidence, I was that boy! The second incident took place in Tobago last year where we met a Scots couple.

Husband's death - calendars

My beloved husband died on 20 May last year. I always bought him a day-to-day peel off "Peanuts" desk calendar as he was a great Snoopy fan. By the beginning of 2011 he was not well enough to interest himself in this, and the calendar has been sitting on his desk ever since. A few weeks ago, on a bad day for me, I casually flipped through it to see which of the characters were on, for example, his birthday, our anniversary etc. I then thought I would check Friday 20 May, the date of his death - and the page for that day was not there! The spine of the calendar is untouched so no-one has removed the page (in any case I now live on my own and no visitors would tamper with it). In a second related coincidence, I bought a white hardy fuchsia to plant in the garden where we scattered my husband's ashes (since there was no room for another tree). I researched what I was looking for on the internet and purchased a specimen on line. It is a single white fuchsia called 'Hawkshead'. Despite being a fairly keen gardener, I had never heard of it, neither had any of the family. Last week, I was getting rid of a BBC Gardeners' World calendar for 2011.

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