A WOMAN who believed she could communicate with spirits has had a book published – 22 years after her death.
Ruth Fleetwood Broughton Braithwaite lived in Latchford for all of her adult life and her book “And so I took up reading tea-leaves” is a social history of Warrington with a difference.
It covers her family life and events in Warrington between 1924 and 1964 but it also details 19 para-normal incidents arising from her extraordinary ability.
Ruth came to Warrington when her family became homeless after her father lost his business. At first they lived in a “haunted house” – the Priory House which stood where the BT telephone exchange now stands. But they later settled in Slater Street, Latchford.
While homeless, they were helped by a gypsy woman who recognised Ruth’s special talents. She looked into her eyes and said: “It’s in your eyes little one. In the eyes. You won’t have an easy life child. Not an easy life, but a full one.”
Ruth did in fact have a full life. During the war years she served behind the bar at the White Hart, meeting film actor James Stewart, boxer Joe Louis and other celebrities who visited the American base at Burtonwood.
She also worked at a local milk bottling plant and at election times canvassed for Labour candidates in the Latchford and Westy wards. But it was her dreams foretelling future events and her prophecies, sometimes through reading tea leaves, which made her well known in the town.
She was often asked to tell fortunes, read tea leaves, etc and was pleased to do so – but never accepted any payment
Her book has been published by her youngest son, Ray, who now lives on the Isle of Wight. He returned to Warrington in 2015 and visited Fox Covert Cemetery to put flowers on his parents’ grave.
In an epilogue to the book, he explains that after so many years and with the cemetery having expanded, he could not find the grave and, after an hour, was about to give up. Then he said: “Sorry Mum, you’re going to have to show me.”
The wind, which had been blowing in his face, suddenly changed and blew against his right hand. He turned about 90 degrees to the right and felt the wind pushing him in that direction.
He walked downhill until the wind suddenly stopped – and immediately saw the grave right in front of him.
“Nice one, Mum,” he said, as he put the flowers on the grave.
“And so I took up reading tea-leaves” is available in paperback from Amazon at £6.99.