Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Three at a time?

I grew up and went to school in Northumberland, in the north of England. At school, I was good friends with two girls, Debbie and Morag, who were best friends with each other. I didn't keep in contact with either when I left school and went to University, in Brighton, at the opposite end of the country. Four years later, I started a job in Kingston-upon-Thames, on the west side of London and over 200 miles away from Northumberland, and had forgotten completely about these two girls. One day, after work, I popped into Sainsbury's in Kingston to get some shopping done.

Twins coincidence

My wife was looking after the driving school office where I worked while the boss was on holiday. She signed on a new young woman pupil who I trained. The fact of my wife's pregnancy encouraged the pupil to knit a blanket for the expected baby and commented that the previous mother-to-be for who m she knitted another blanket had produced twins. Shortly after that my wife discovered that she was also expecting twins, although the doctor had previously only commented that "it would be a large baby".

Dad and 13

My late father, the opera singer Gordon Parfitt, was the 13th child of a Welsh mining family born on April 13th 1913. sadly he died the year I was born in 1953 aged 40, but the number and its multiples has always been seen as significant to us,

Talk of the singer

One evening in the late 1980s I was in a pub in Soho with some friends. One couple had been listening to the Undertones in the car earlier and she was talking about how much she hated Feargal Sharkey's voice. As she said this Feargal Sharkey came in to the pub.

Bike Story

I live in Chorlton, Manchester. I popped into a local newsagent to get a paper one day, parking my cycle outside the shop, neglecting to lock it up as it was only a 30 second trip. On returning the bike had gone. I looked around then borrowed a friend's bike for a better search, to no avail. I went home and called the police to report the theft. They wanted the frame number, which I hadn't recorded, so I rang the bike shop where the bike was purchased, 4 miles away in Rusholme, to see if they had the detail.

School friends and Ealing

At school in Sussex there were 5 girls and 8 boys in the sixth form. After school I came to live in Ealing - I discovered the house I moved to was a few doors from that of Mary's grandmother and aunt. And that both Peters had been born in Ealing, one in a house opposite my friend's. Lesley and one Peter moved independently and live close by each other in Shropshire. Subsequently Pat moved to Oxford near to my son. And Gill's brother Rob now runs a choir in Rome, in which my Ealing friend Helen sings.

Newspaper account

Our newspaper shop uses a computer to calculate our accounts for papers delivered daily to customers. For while, because of rising prices, my account number, 956, was the same as the amount I paid, £9.56.

Identical Phone Number When Moving House From UK to Australia

When we moved house from Worthing to Brisbane the new domestic phone number we were given had exactly the same last five digits (in the same sequence) as our previous phone number in the UK. As you know, numbers in the UK have also have a five digit area code. From memory, numbers in Australia at the time were eight digits long.

See Twig

I was walking the kids to school one wet morning. We passed under a big thick hazel hedge, trying to avoid getting wet. I put the kids on the outside of the pavement and took the inner position myself. A twig poked behind my glasses. As I turned my eyes to avoid it I saw the name on a passing van: C. Twigg. This is the oddest coincidence I have experienced but there have been so many, it almost seems normal. My husband and I have rung each other at exactly the same time so many times, I wonder why we needed a phone. Anne

Radio coincidence

In 2003 Classic FM played two pieces that I had voted for in an evening programme. I had voted for these pieces in the station's annual 'Hall of Fame' vote. On the same programme two pieces were played chosen by someone else who I'd never heard of. My parents leter told me that they knew the parents of the other person.

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