Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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

Wasted stamp

Years ago I went on a cycle touring holiday in the south of France with three friends. After three or four weeks away, one of them decided he'd better send five or six postcards to various friends from college. That afternoon, we cycled into the local small town to find a postbox. Before finding one, my mate saw one of these same friends walking towards him down the street. Also on holiday, and neither had any idea that the other would be in France, let alone the same place at the same time. Postcard duly handed over, stamp wasted.

Distant Relatives

I go to a weekly German class and every year we have a weekend in Germany to improve our knowledge of the language.One evening we were all discussing our reasons for learning the language and one of our frinds said her father's side of the family had originally come from Germany and that she had a great uncle in Leeds who used to run an engineering company,we were amazed because her great uncle is my wife's uncle and all the years we have been friends we never knew.

A newspaper date coincidence

In the early 1990s I was living in an upstairs apartment in an old three-storey house in the small town of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada. The rest of the building was commercial space and it had not been a residence in many years. One day, with time on my hands, I started poking around in the attic, looking through old cardboard boxes that I suppose had belonged to previous residents. I found toys from the 1950s, tax returns from the 1930s, and so on. One box was lined on the bottom with a complete edition of the Halifax Herald, published in the nearest city.

Easy to remember this phone number

My friend and I lived on different sides of Ely but went to the same school. His parents had been at Ely for quite some time before I and my family arrived in 1972 though since we were the same age it's not surprising that we went to the same school. What is surprising is that when BT allocated us our phone number on arrival, it was Ely 36196. Just one digit different to his, being Ely 36197. Very useful. We never forgot each other's numbers.

A popstar calls

My wife and I went to the show "Oh what a night" at the Hammersmith Odeon. It was a great show. Afterwards, I wanted the autograph of the main star, Kid Creole. We were told he didn't do autographs, and left disappointed. The next day we got a call from a girl who wondered if her boyfriend could view the car we had for sale, and of course we said yes, come straight over. Her "boyfriend" turned out to be Kid Creole, who not only bought our car, he had tea with us, and allowed us to take photos. We kept a copy of his cheque too.

Chance meeting in Paris

Whilst in Paris some years ago and trying to cash a travellers cheque. I was directed to various Bureau De Change due to their inability to deal with it. I was diverted 1 final time towards another branch. Whilst standing at traffic lights waiting to cross my wife asked who the guy waving at me was. It turned out to be a work colleague of mine who had just arrived in Paris and was passing through en route to the South of France. Had I cashed the cheque at the first branch I would never have met him however due to a starnge set of circumstances we collided.

Birthday coincidences

My son's birthday is 2nd July, my husband's is 4th July and my late father-in-law's was 6th July. I found out I was pregnant with my son day that my father-in-law died. My Grandfather's birthday was 23rd September, my mother's is 25th September and my daughter's is 27th September. Oh, and me and my sister-in-law share the same birthday - 4th December.

the wheel of chance

We went on holiday to a port in Greece, a lovely place within a walk of a casino. Although we are not gamblers particularly we do enjoy a small flutter occasionally, so one night we went to the casino for some fun. I put a pound on number 14 and the number came straight in. We left immediately and continued with our lovely holiday. The next year we went to Monaco. Since it is famous for its casino we had a look around it. I put two pounds on number 14. It came straight in and we left immediately and continued with our great holiday. The next year we went to Spain.

From one side of the world to another...

I was born in Changi Hospital, Singapore, near the equator. So was a kid called David, in the bed next to mine (well, obviously, next to my Mum's bed really) on roughly the same day as me. I left Singapore at the age of 2 (can't remember my childhood there). 14 years later my parents had long since relocated to Ely in Cambridgeshire and I started my first day at school. In my Tutor class we were allocated our desks. At the desk next to mine was David, the same kid from the bed next to mine.

Family birthdays

My Mum has been married twice. My Dad and his brother were both born on 14th March, several years apart. And my stepfather and his brother were both born on 6th March, a few years apart!

Pages