1979 NICHOLAS (NICK) HENRY STEPHENSON
Nick Stephenson came to Corpus from Radley College in 1979 to read the Natural Sciences Tripos. During his time at the College, he changed subjects first to Chemical Engineering and then to English. He also emerged as an outstanding oarsman with both Corpus and CUBC: he rowed in the Goldie boat in 1981 and 1982.
According to his friend, contemporary CUBC oarsman and team-mate Nick Bliss (m.1978): “he was both an excellent oarsman and a sculler. He had fantastic powers of application, strength and sheer guts. I once rowed with him in a pair from Ely to the mouth of the Great Ouse – where you reach a lock. It was a long way and was some sort of marathon rowing event. It must have been in autumn 1981. I don’t suppose it was the smoothest row that either of us ever undertook but Nick steered and, as ever, he plugged on and on and on. Nick had an almost superhuman ability to tolerate physical pain (I have seen his hands looking blistered and very painful and then he would just keep going and going in a boat or on an ergo or in weight training). In addition to his undoubted talent as an oarsman and athlete, Nick was a very talented and sensitive pianist”.
Sadly, during these same years there emerged underlying mental health issues.
After graduating from Corpus in 1983, he returned to his family in the Isle of Man where he lived quietly. Unfortunately, he developed heart problems and died in January 2023 aged sixty-one. Nick’s older brother is Dr Roger Stephenson (m.1974). One of his cousins observed: “Nick had great promise, sadly unfulfilled” and his friend Nick Bliss said: “I hope poor Nick has found real peace.”
Acknowledgments to Tom Stephenson and Nick Bliss.