Father and son lift Dinnie Stones more than 40 years apart

Jack Shanks congratulates son Stevie after his successful lift
Jack Shanks congratulates son Stevie after his successful lift

A father and son have made history on Deeside by lifting the Dinnie Stones - more than 40 years apart.

Stevie Shanks recently completed the feat at Potarch, while dad Jack, a retired Belfast policeman, hauled up and then carried the famous boulders back in the 1970s.

Stevie’s successful lift was all the more remarkable given that he weighs around 11st.

His father was there to witness the achievement in front of enthusiastic supporters.

Jack became the first person to lift the “steens” since Donald Dinnie a century before.

The records indicate his historic lifts at Potarch were on May 8, 1972, and June 3, 1973, and that he did not have the use of straps.

They both shared a touching moment after Stevie’s lift sitting on the stones in front of Potarch Cafe and Restaurant.

Jack said he was incredibly proud that his son had followed him into the record books.

The occasion was also significant for the attendance of other “steens” lifters from the 70s.

Jim Splaine snr, from Aberdeen, and Imlach Shearer, from Buckie, are listed in the records for successful lifts.

Ben Thomson and John Pollock also completed the challenge on the same day as Stevie Shanks.

An onlooker said: “They both showed an amazing resolve and inner determination to lift the stones.”

Local strongman Donald Dinnie, from Birse, near Aboyne, entered the record books in 1860 and achieved cult status by carrying the two massive boulders with a combined weight of 775lb a total of 17ft 1in across the road bridge at Potarch.

He was 23 at the time and was Scotland’s first sporting superstar and an all-round athlete who excelled in the sprint, hurdles, long and high jump, pole vault, putting the stone, hammer, tossing the caber and wrestling.