The stone lifting community is typically friendly and tolerant.
Unless you lift the Dinnie stones with straps. At which point you can expect a rush of opinions every bit as ferocious as the Highland Charge at Bannockburn in 1314 AD.
"Expert opinions incoming...."
I have spoken to a number of oldtimers in my research in to Donald Dinnie and stone lifting in general. In my experience they seldom think like a modern lifter does. What is considered paramount by a contemporary lifter may never have registered with an athlete fifty years ago. The reverse is also true.
I have heard stories of men lifting ringed stones using their handkerchiefs as a strap. Also, a natural grip and sometimes a hook grip. Often they didn't care and they didn't acknowledge - and still don't acknowledge - that there were any rules to be followed.
Indeed, many take the opinion that no one has the right to tell them the right way to lift an object.
It is an attitude which still has traction in the strongman community but is diminished in sports such as powerlifting where rules and regulations reign supreme.
It is a mindset that is encapsulated in Scotland's Royal Coat of Arms, which contains the Latin motto Nemo me impune lacessit. It roughly translates to English as No one attacks me with impunity.
In Scots it is classically translated as Wha daur meddle wi' me? In contemporary Scottish parlance it's something like Who the f*ck are you to tell me what to do?????
I am well aware I won't change anyone's mind about the validity of straps when lifting the Dinnies. I therefore share this story without comment.
Imlach is one of the lifters from a golden era of Dinnie lifting. He was featured in the Sunday Post on the 14th November 1971. He lifted the stones about ten times for the newspaper. He used straps and was paid the princely sum of £1.50 for his troubles.
Exactly one week later, the same newspaper printed an a challenge from Charlie Allan. The £200 challenge was issued to any man who would walk the stones across the bridge. Imlach's lifts were not considered correct and he had not lifted the stones correctly.
Imlach Shearer was so incensed by his treatment in the Sunday Post newspaper that he never cashed the cheque, which he retains to this date - over a quarter of a century later.
Imlach Shearer: Mr Scotland (1st, 1972), Mr. Britain (2nd, 1973), Mr Europe (2nd, 1973) and NABBA Mr Universe (4th in class, 1973).