Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Roger H

Some 40 years ago I inherited a water colour of a view in Bristol which has hung on our wall ever since. My daughter qualified as an accountant in Bristol and I helped her find a flat in Bristol where she lived for three years. During her residence at the flat she happened to notice that the Bristol picture mentioned her road and on examination it became clear that her flat was right in the middle of the picture having been either re built or refurbished. We have taken an up to date picture from the spot where the artist must have sat probably more than 60 years ago.
Total votes: 299
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:05:33 +0000Coincidence ID:3620

Paul R

I was sitting on a plane in Washington DC waiting for it to leave for London and was reading Nigel Lawson's book about his time as Chancellor. I had just read a passage about Sir Alan Waters (Thatchers economic adviser), when Sir Alan sat down next to me. He commented that he did not like the book !
Total votes: 305
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:05:03 +0000Coincidence ID:3619

A pair of Jaguars

A few years ago I bought an immaculate 46 year old Jaguar XK120 sports car . Although it was to be garaged I wanted the extra protection of a dust cover so I telephoned one of the two companies that were advertising a car-specific customized service . "Good morning. I'd like to order a dust cover for my car , please." "Certainly , sir , what make and model is it ?" " Its a 1954 Jaguar XK120." " Very rare . Very nice . Yes we can produce a cover for that model. What name shall we put on the order ?) "Moir _ spelt - M O I R ." (Slight pause in time .) "But you already have a dustcover on order with us . You called us last week and placed the order ." "No I didn't _ this is the first time that I have ever called your number ." "Well I have it here _ Jaguar XK120 _ name Moir ! " "Moir ?? are you sure ? " " Yes sir _ Moir _ a Mr D. Moir " "Wow ! I am Derek Moir _ but I have never called you before today ! It must be another D. Moir !! _ with another XK120 !!!! " The man in the dustcover shop agreed to telephone his first D.Moir , giving him my phone number , and D.Moir (1) telephoned me . We had the expected conversation which revealed that his name was Duncan (his wifes name was Linda _ as is my wife's name !) and he had just bought his XK120 . We could not trace our lineage back to a common ancestor _ but agreed to meet at the next Classic Jaguar Car rally _ to explore the coincidence further . He never showed up ! Moir is not a common surname . There can only have been 50 or so XK120's on the road in the UK in the year 2000 _ when this event took place .
Total votes: 266
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:04:29 +0000Coincidence ID:3618

Friends experience.

In a hotel on the North Norfolk coast we always met an old friend from Nottingham. We live in Germany.Also we met with a group of young men from Billericay in Essex who came to play golf. Sitting in the bar before dinner the young lads said that an older man sitting up a corner was their old school headmaster. So starting to talk with our friend from Nottingham it came about that in the war he was away from home and in the Marines. This old headmaster had studied in this time in Nottingham and had lodged with the friend from Nottinghams mother. They had never before met and it was now almost 2000, the lads had not seen the headmaster since leaving school - coincidence!!
Total votes: 296
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:04:19 +0000Coincidence ID:3617

Holiday destination

Last September we booked a holiday in South Africa from 17 November to 11 December. Once place we booked to go to was a small town called Tzaneen because there is a factory making tapestries sewn by local tribespeople. We have bought these particular tapestries (Kaross) on previous visits to SA but only discovered very recently that the centre was in Tzaneen. In October I hurt my back and needed to go for physiotherapy. I had not previously seen the physiotherapist who treated me as she was new to the practice. Her accent was obviously South African and we got into conversation. Her parents live in Tzaneen and are best friends with the factory manager. They go to the small (and very good) factory canteen for lunch every week. They arranged a special tour for us, met us at out hotel and had lunch with us. A wonderful coincidence. When I told my brother, who has lived in Tasmania for 30 years and used to be a prospecting geologist 40 years ago, he said that he had worked in Tzaneen and described the local area, asking me to look out for a particular fruit farm.
Total votes: 319
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:04:12 +0000Coincidence ID:3616

Meant to be?

My 22 year old son was killed in a road accident when his sister was on her honeymoon. The two siblings were very close and lived together on leaving home. The following year my daughter and her husband were looking to buy their first property, I and my daughter went to look at a small house 9 miles from her current home. She liked the property and during viewing she chatted to the owner. Unknown to us the lady selling the house was the policewoman that had attended my sons accident and spoke to him before he died..............................My daughter and her husband bought the property.
Total votes: 417
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:04:07 +0000Coincidence ID:3615


In 1982 when my husband and I were moving from Buckinghamshire to London we were house-hunting in Blackheath . During a viewing in one beautiful semi-detached house , its owner said " it would be funny if you bought this house as our neighbours are also called ' A.... ' . As it is not an uncommon surname we thought nothing of it , and actually bought another property half a mile away . Some months later when we were installed in our new house I answered the door bell . There on the threshold was a jolly looking middle aged man who said "you don't know me , but I am ............. and I believe your husband is my first cousin " . I invited him in and listened to his story , which was riveting . I learnt that he and his wife lived in the other half of the 'semis' we had previously viewed , only half a mile away , and that we had never known of the other's existence until this time . Our cousin's father had disappeared after WWII and only now had the old boy been traced . As a result of finding his long lost father our 'new' cousin was throwing a large party to celebrate this , and had been searching for family members to invite . Thus , my husband , at the age of 55 had the great good pleasure of meeting his new cousin , and but for lack of sufficient finances to purchase the other house we would actually have been living next door to him and his family . Even selecting Blackheath as an area to explore when house hunting was a shot in the dark ... we knew little about it until the early 80s ! There is a great deal more to the story which would take too long to relate !
Total votes: 313
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:03:39 +0000Coincidence ID:3614


Whilst in my car some years ago I ejected a cassette from the radio/player and exactly the same track was playing on the radio in exactly the same spot almost as if i hadn't ejected the cassette and it was really obscure music too.
Total votes: 367
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:03:36 +0000Coincidence ID:3613

birthdate number

on giving our birth certificates to the registrar for details of our fortcoming wedding she was going over the certs. when she stopped with a curious expression on her face,I asked with some concern if there was anything wrong only to be told that my wife and I have identical registry numbers my wife registered in Greenock and myself in was a strange sensation we all felt at this coincidence..
Total votes: 351
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:03:27 +0000Coincidence ID:3612

Roger Waters, Dusseldorf Gig in June 2011

My friend and I flew to Dusseldorf to watch the Roger Waters perform "Pink Floyd The Wall" on June 18th 2011. We used the city's metro system to travel to the concert at the Esprit Arena which has a capacity of over 66,000 people. In the metro train on the way there, we sat opposite a German couple. Nothing unusual there, given where we were. We left the train, picked up our tickets and watched the show. After the concert, we were 'corralled' and directed from the stadium to the nearby metro station along with many, many thousands of other people. We boarded a train carriage and sat down opposite the same couple, who looked equally surprised by the coincidence.
Total votes: 302
Date submitted:Sat, 14 Jan 2012 09:02:49 +0000Coincidence ID:3611