Kilted strongman Gordon Ingram is ready to strain every muscle to raise money for Support in Mind Scotland this Spring - by attempting to lift the historic Dinnie Stones, two giant granite boulders located in Potarch, Aberdeenshire.

Gordon, who lives nearby in Kintore, has long dreamt of completing a feat that only a select few have managed, and he has been training intensely hard in preparation for the lift on 13th April 2019.

"My interest started a few years ago when my father gave me a book on this unique event," says Gordon,  a quality, health, safety and environment manager in the North Sea Energy Services. "What other guys have achieved in lifting the stones is inspirational and I thought to myself 'if they can do it, then so can I'

"I went to see the Open Day last year and decided there and then I wanted to take on the challenge myself. Now I have had confirmation of my date, the butterflies have started. It's may be one year of training for two minutes effort, but I can't wait.

“I've come through difficult times myself, and I thought this would be a great way of raising awareness

"I want to do it for Support in Mind Scotland, because mental health is something that has touched my own life. I've come through difficult times myself, and I thought this would be a great way of raising awareness and some money for people who need help.

"I've had lots of encouragement from my mates, work colleagues and, above all, my partner Christine who has been a great support.

"I made a point on the 2nd of January of doing a 14-hour day trip around Scotland lifting historic stones and I managed four out of five which I was happy with, taking into account my size 5ft 9in, 13 stone and aged  55.

Together, the Dinnie Stones weigh a whopping 332.49Kg (733lbs). One stone weighs 144.47kg (318.5lbs) and the larger a massive 188.02kg (414.5lbs).

Gordon, pictured above with one of his training partners Adrian MacKinnon (the other is Tommy Pirie), has created a purpose-built gym in his house, and he pumps iron every second night to keep fit for the challenge ahead.

He has also been boosted by some inspirational advice from Stevie Shanks, who made history in 2015 by following in his dad Jack's footsteps, by lifting the stones to become the first father & son lifters of the Stones since Donald Dinnie and his father Robert over 150 years earlier. Stevie, from Belfast, repeated the feat in 2017 and has been a great source of encouragement to Gordon in his quest.

"I've now just to keep myself fit and focused for the big day in April. It's a challenge and a half, but I am really looking forward to it!

If Gordon is successful with his lift on 13 April, he will receive an automatic invite to Donald Dinnie Day, a gathering which is celebrated this year on 4 August.

To view Gordon's fundraising page or donate click HERE

Background to the Dinnie Stones (from:

Rediscovered by David Webster OBE in 1953, The Dinnie Steens as they are known locally are 2 giant granite boulders located outside the Old Potarch Hotel between Aboyne & Banchory, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Together they weigh 332.49Kg or 733Lbs in old money. The 'smaller' of the stones weighs 144.47kg (318.5lbs) and the larger a massive 188.02kg (414.5lbs).

Legendary Scottish strongman Donald Dinnie was born at Birse by Aboyne in 1837, the son of stonemason, Robert Dinnie. Donald Dinnie was the worlds first sporting superstar and achieved international fame from his exploits around the world.

In the 1830’s huge iron rings were attached to the stones so that they could act as counterweights for scaffolding during the maintenance of Potarch Bridge.

Now ordinary folk would struggle to lift even the smallest Dinnie Stone, however in 1860 Donald Dinnie famously carried them both with his bare hands across the width of Potarch Bridge  – a distance of 17' 1 1/2"!!

The challenge went unanswered for over 100 years until 1972, when Belfast man Jack Shanks, weighing just 11 1/2 stone, successfully hoisted the giant boulders with his bare hands. He returned the following year and walked himself into the history books by recreating Dinnie's feat and proving to the world that it could be done. Few have successfully lifted both Dinnie Stones unassisted over the years since Dinnie, showing just how difficut a task it is. Carrying them unassisted remains the Ultimate challenge!

TThe Potarch Hotel was closed for renovations a few years ago around 2013 and the Steens were held in care by the Aboyne Highland Games committee. Renovations are now complete and the Steens have been returned to their historical home in the new Potarch Cafe & Restaurant where they can be seen and enjoyed by men of strength the world over.