Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

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


When I worked for the BBC it had a large collection of firearms used in drama productions, and retained a small team of retired police officers to deal with security, safety, licensing etc. These were in an armoury with a huge steel door in the basement of the TV studio scenery block. Later these were "outsource" to an agency and we took the, now empty, room to use for storing our IT Network spare parts.

JGR is walking in

When I was a student (many years ago), I spent a year in France as a teaching assistant in a school. During the Christmas break I travelled to Italy (Milan) to visit a fellow student who was also spending her year abroad. During my visit, we often talked about one of our lecturers (JGR I'll call him after his initials) whom we both liked and she had a bit of a 'thing' (intellectual rather than romantic) about him. He was of part Mediterranean background and could easily have been taken for Italian in looks.


I was at university in the late 1980's and after I left I noticed one girl who I knew well by sight, walking around London several times in the course of a few weeks. Later my director of studies got on the Underground train right next to me on one of her few trips down to London and another girl on my course was sitting right next to me at a touch typing course that I paid to go on the following year, back in London.


When I was a student at Cambridge in the late 1980s one of my professors was Timothy Smiley, who had several daughters. I found out in the early 1990s, after I'd returned to work, that one of them was the girlfriend of the person who sat in front of me in the office!

Another UK/Australia link...

Circa 1980: I took the car from home in Nottingham down to London, to attend a concert on the South Bank. Arriving late morning, I parked near the British Museum and spent some time there before doing some shopping. Returning to the car I wondered whether to leave the car there while I went to the concert, or to take it to the South bank. I decided on the South Bank. Once there I had to decide where to park: on the street or in the National Theatre car park? I headed for the NT.


August 2004: Our son having finished his GCSE exams, we took the opportunity to have a long holiday in far-away Australia, our tour ending in Sydney. We went to the Opera House Concert Hall for a matinee concert by the Sydney SO of Brahms and Bartok. The piece played as an encore was unfamiliar to me, and afterwards on the quayside I approached another middle-aged couple and asked if they knew what the piece was.

The Specials

On the way to work one day, I played a one track live mix CD in my car. It was made several years prior by a friend of mine who is an MC /DJ. I put it in the CD player as I was leaving my driveway and it played for about 5 minutes before I stopped and turned the car off at a local petrol station where i picked up a car-sharing colleague and bought a coffee. Got back in the car and hit the motorway. It was late winter and was snowing for the first time that season.

flat hunt - same flat

About 17 years ago, I lived in a great 3-bedroom apartment with my erstwhile partner and small child. When we split up I was really upset (amongst other things!) at having to leave behind the flat where we lived. I even considered buying out my partner and taking in a lodger so I wouldn't have to move. It was just perfect in terms of layout, location, light, quiet, privacy... I ended up having to move into a much smaller two-bedroom. Finally, seven years ago, I was in a position to look for a three-bedroom apartment for myself and my son.

We both live the same life

am from Chennai,India. i was introduced to this girl named priya in start of the year......we started talking and months went by........slowy we started realising that we had tons of stuffy in common....but then these common things went beyond explanation.

Urban legend coincidence

I'm from Penang, Malaysia and I used to attend English tuition in the British Council. Once we were tasked to come up with a magazine in teams, and I decided to contribute an article about horror stories and urban legends in local schools. One school, Chung Ling High School (CLHS), has a particularly notorious reputation for being haunted due to being used as a military base during the Japanese occupation. As I am not from that school, I went about asking others to find out more. One of my teammates is from Chung Ling Independent, which is located next to CLHS.