Make "Bear the Tinker" a Part of
at Island View B&B
Diana Earle recalls her first visit...
"My friends and I pulled in the lane, and were met by two figures
larger than life. A man, dressed in tinker's garb walked
towards us, waving his fiddle and bow. He was a large man,
round faced, with a grizzled beard, and smiling eyes.
Right beside him, and very anxious to be introduced was a
workhorse. Puppyish, he nuzzed up, and paid his gentle
Callum and Bear
I cooed "What's his name?"
"Callum" was the soft but distinctive reply.
Puzzed by Bear's accent, I asked him to repeat the name.
"Oh ye can call him this, or ye can call him that!"
That set the stage for our afternoon in the company of
one of the most fascinating people I have ever met.
Sitting on the porch, exchanging tidbits of history, lore
and song, the fiddle and bow remained as extensions of
Bear's being. It is a working fiddle, dusted with rosin, and
the bow points, punctuates and directs for Bear. Tunes came
and went as naturally as breathing. Callum nibbled the grass
close by; drinking it all in. He never let Bear out of his
Later, we walked through the woods so that he could share
his favourite places. Fiddle and bow came along, gesturing
and nodding all the way.
Bear, the fiddle and the bow sent us off,
with a farewell
'Don't be a stranger!' "
The Tinker’s Rest is a tinker’s home
base…a place between journeys.
Visit Bear, the Tinker, at his solar powered cottage near
which is a short 30 minute drive from Island View Bed and
Bear will always talk to you about magic, fairies and wee
Maurice Leger, is a massive man in his early 50s. He
considers himself “the keeper of traditions.” He looks
somehow like a cross between the giant Hagrid in the Harry
Potter movies and the dwarf Gimli in The Lord of the Rings
Of average height but wide girth, he wears an
old-fashioned cotton shirt with a red sash at the waist,
knee-length pants, woolen socks and sturdy shoes. He
is a 1790’s tinker tossed into the 21st century..
His dark brown hair hinted with white flows over his shoulders and a grizzled
beard descends to a Micmac totem he wears around his neck.
His brown piercing eyes, ageless and calm, engage his
listeners as he draws them effortlessly into the past. In a
deep voice he tells his tales, dropping easily into an Irish
lilt and calling up songs – one after another, fully and
faultlessly – from a memory bank that rivals that of the
most complex computer. He keeps his fiddle, dusty with
rosin, at the ready, and punctuates his stories with a wave
of his bow.
Annie and Bear
Singing and telling stories are as natural as breathing
for this larger-than-life entertainer, who was raised on a
traditional Acadian farmstead in New Brunswick. From a
childhood steeped in Acadian lore and superstitions, as well
as Micmac folklore, he grew up to become a storyteller and
musician. He studied Gaelic folklore and Celtic mythology
while working as a Ferrier and Blacksmith.
He sang and played instruments in a Celtic group called
Pendragon and built the first of several tinker’s caravans
in 2001, traveling from St. Andrew’s to Sussex, New
Brunswick, singing and telling stories.
Bear came to this area three years ago and lives with his
partner Annie who is a counsellor to parents of autistic
children. His horse Callum, three dogs and assorted wildlife
are all part of his household. Living simply – sometimes in
the cottage but often in the woods in a tinker’s caravan he
built – he lives a way of life now nearly vanished, as an
entertainer who tells everyone stories of the past.
Bear, Annie and Callum offer a hospitality of the old
sort. Visit them for tea, stories, and a walk in the woods.
How about bringing a group of your friends over to Bear’s
for game stew, homemade wild apple pie, and cocoa?
“At some distant time in the past we all believed that the
forces of Nature were to be revered and honoured as
the life force that keeps us all. Somewhere along the way
this has been forgotten. As a keeper of traditional
knowledge through stories and music I share this gift with
all who want it.
By the campfire in front of my caravan, I
will share my stories and music of beings seen or unseen.
This is the gift of the Bard, Bear the Tinker. CIAD MILLE
FAILTCHA (100,000 welcomes!)”
Letters written by our customers about Bear the
Terri and I met with Bear yesterday. We had an awesome
afternoon with him. Met his dogs and Callum.. Before going
into the woods he said would you like to meet a bigfoot?
Instantly I said SURE!.. And Bear whistled
and said "CALLUM, come here!". haha. Went for hike through
the woods, hearing stories and talking about bigfoot, and
2012, a bit about aliens and faeries, etc.
We grabbed a giant puffball mushroom and Bear dug up some
small leak type plant, that we took back to his home and he
fried up for us to try. He had also made us some chili
and biscuits. He's an awesome cook!! When we got back to his
house he read us a story he wrote about some Faeries and
other mystical folk.
Bear is a very kind man. Amazing story teller, and a wealth
of knowledge that we've forgotten from long ago. I'm looking
forward to meeting with him again sometime.
Thanks for helping me get in contact with him. Much
All the best,. Matt.
Very pleased to see Bear on your site.
We have met him several times in St. Andrews.
My son played traditional music on the ship he was sailing
on out of St. Andrews.
We would love to come to your B&B sometime. Please give
Bear our best.
The Cortese family-Mike , Matt and Vicky
Diana & Victor
Thank you so much for welcoming us to your lovely home
and providing us with a warm and relaxing atmosphere in
which to spend a much needed getaway. We really enjoyed the
beautiful surroundings here...this has probably been our
most peaceful vacation so far.
Talking with the two of you was great, and thanks,
Diana for your advice on things to do in the area. Visiting
"Bear was definitely the highlight - what a fascinating man!
Thanks Diana on your understanding, advice, and
willingness to provide creative, wholesome meals for
"special diets". This can be rare and know that it is much
Hopefully we'll come back some day, and maybe bring
our kids...they'll love it.
Pam and Ben (Niagara)
You have showed us an almost forgotten lifestyle that is
on the boundary of reality and fairy tale. It was an
incredible experience and one that we will never forget.
The tales that you passed onto us were the most fascinating
that we have ever heard. My youngest sister was convinced
that fairies lived under our very feet, and insisted on
finding the entrance to their land.
Bear, you are very talented, not only at storytelling but
also at playing various different instruments. To think that
you haven't had one lesson! WOW! All the songs were
incredible, I especially liked the one about the woman's
ghost that was cast out by her father. It had a lot of
feeling in it, and your strong and pleasant voice adds to
the beauty of the song.
Thanks you so much for the great time and interesting
information about the Celtic people, their lifestyles, and
Roxy Rusu and Family
We had a great visit with Bear: lots of music, songs,
stories, friendly dogs and a horse, a walk in the woods
and a swim at a lovely lake, then lunch. Thanks so much
for arranging the visit with us. He’s a brilliant man.
It’s good to meet someone who follows his own star and
lives life fully.
We had a wonderful visit with
you and Victor – a perfect way to celebrate our
anniversary. Thanks for your warm hospitality.
Best wishes, - Janet
Bear and Lucas
Bear takes small groups of people on wagon rides Interpretational hikes in the woods Talks on living off grid, and solar power Spend
an afternoon with Bear
Our thanks to Chris Stesky for her written contribution
to this web page.