Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Watch incident!

I was shopping at the all night Sainsburys in Islington, when I looked at my watch and noticed the bezel was missing. My heart sank,as it was a Rolex submariner, and nothing Rolex comes cheap! The trolley I was pushing,was empty,(I'd only just arrived) except for a watch bezel! I picked it out and put it safely in my pocket. When I got home, I pulled out the bezel, hoping that I might be able to replace it myself, only to find, it wasn't the bezel from my watch, but a completely different make.

FORMER COLLEAGUE

I returned from Northern Nigeria after two years as a teaching volunteer at a college just off the Niger boarder. I went for a drink in London with a University friend whom I hadn't seen for three years. We went for a drink, tried three pubs and ended up in a crowded one in Chelsea. I was speaking about my experiences and the people I worked with, in particular the other volunteer who had gone out with me but left after the first year and I had had no contact with. I described him, a large man with a bright ginger beard.

Stranger asks do you know

In about 1985 whilst camping in Strontian, a small village in Scotland, we were talking to a fellow camper who asked where we were from. We didn't see the point of being specific but he persisted until we had revealed we were from The Midlands - Northamptonshire - near Silverstone Circuit - until we needed up with our home in Whittlebury. "Do you know Carol Elliott?" he asked. We did. "she taught in my school in Buckingham" he said.

Renting the same house as the property my father was born in

I applied to study at Manchester Uni, but missed a grade so as usual with other students went through the clearing process. I successfully secured a place at Newcastle University, but accommodation-wise the halls were full. I luckily had two friends planning to study art at Northumbria college and they had secured a flat with a spare room. I moved in. My Father heard the address when I explained where I was going to live and went quiet. It turns out he was born in the house and my great grandfather built it! I had no idea about this, as had never been to the area in my life. Very weird!

100th anniversary of Sir Malcolm Campbell's First Bluebird

It is the 100th anniversary of Sir Malcolm Campbell's first Bluebird (racing car) which was built in 1912 in Bromley (south east London), where I live. He and his son (Donald Campbell) were born in the area in Chislehurst. I went to my local copy/printers in the town on thursday and asked for a number of copies of an article on this to circulate to friends and family.

Three chance meetings in three European cities in three weeks

I went travelling round Europe in 1982, and met a guy called Tony in the youth hostel in Heidelberg. I was pleasantly surprised to find that he was a Cambridge graduate student, as I was going up myself the following October. A week or two later, we were amazed to bump into each other again, quite by chance, in Venice. When we bumped into each other a third time on the Gare du Nord in Paris, he was so surprised he bought me an ice-cream.

Unlikely meeting

Aged 17, I set off to hitch-hike to the South of France from Manchester with a friend, to the consternation and anxiety of my mother. My parents were due to set out a week later with the rest of the family by car, and were due to meet me by the Med. I had made it as far as an obscure mid-France town called Tain l'Hermitage after being dropped there by a ride. My parents, having had no contact with me since my departure, had to pull off the Autoroute due to an unexpected need for fuel.

maria m

I have just been on holiday with my husband and 5 other people who did not know each other. 1 couple and 3 singles. The birthdays of the group were 21st Dec my husband, mine 2nd jan, single person 4th jan, single person 5th Jan, single person 5th Jan and one of the other couple 15th Jan. I often find these grouping in teams at work and with neighbours. My ex neighours have virtually the same birthdays as my husband and myself. male and female matches. Also an ex neighbour in the same road has an identical birth date.

BRENDAN C

When on holiday in the island of Minorca I bumped into a co-employee of the same large company. We had only minimal work contact and he worked in Bedfordshire and I worked in London. We had no forknowledge of each other's holiday arrangements. Coincidence 1: We booked the same week. He stayed in the north of the island. I stayed in the south. Coincidence 2: On the Thursday morning of that week we both decided to drive to a large town on the east of the island. Coincidence 3: On walking back to the car at the end of my visit I passed through a small plaza.

Ex-colleague meeting

After a weekend visit I was flying back from London Heathrow to Glasgow and the last two empty seats before take-off were in my row of three. They were taken at the last minute by an ex-colleague who is Japanese and his teenage son. I worked closely with this person doing medical research at Glasgow University around 15 years previously and his son had been born in Glasgow. He was bringing his son for a holiday touring Scotland but I didn't know this until they sat down beside me on the flight connecting them from Tokyo through LHR to Glasgow.

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