Remembering Lucy Munro (1977–2020)
- Murray Robertson
- 4 December 2020
A tribute to our senior designer and much missed friend
On 13 October, our senior designer, Lucy Munro, passed away after a short illness.
Lucy was an extraordinarily talented artist, an endlessly fun person to work with and a supremely warm, kind and friendly human being. We are all devastated by her loss, and our hearts go out to her daughter, Fia, her husband, Nick, and to all her family.
Below is a selection of thoughts and memories from List staff, past and present.
My first memory of Lucy is from The List festival party at Ocean Terminal, 2002/3. I was very new to The List; just a freelancer on its edges. But there at the party, where I knew barely anyone, was Lucy – so vivacious and present and full of joie de vivre. Her energy was a happy blur. Right by her side was Nick and I was blown away by the pair of them; so welcoming and quick to put me at ease. I have never seen two people so completely comfortable with themselves and each other, and having a ball side by side.
I was later employed at The List and after a while I became the Visual Art editor and had the great pleasure of working closely with Lucy on those pages. The best part of the job was getting the proofs back from Lucy and seeing the way she'd designed them. We bonded as we were both keen to keep trying new things.
It was genuinely exciting every fortnight to see the pages; Lucy always did something great with them. She also had the patience of a saint when it came to making changes and edits, and this laborious task she did with huge grace: never once making me feel bad for the inconvenience it caused – even when we were under pressure – which we invariably were.
Lucy always brought a joy with her and always made everyone who spoke to her feel that little bit warmer and happier just by being in her company.
The last time I saw Lucy was at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, August, 2017, after my family and I had spent the morning at the National Museum of Scotland with Nick and their daughter Fia (we were extremely excited to meet Fia!) and Lucy managed to get away from Festival deadlines to join us for a coffee. It was really wonderful to see Lucy with Fia and Nick, and it was lovely to share this snatched moment with Lucy, Fia and our own daughter, Katie (who immediately loved playing with Fia, opening up secret storytelling doors and cupboards in the museum).
It was great to see the girls exploring and, despite the intensity of work, Lucy was calm, generously giving us some of her precious time. She even took me back into The List building and cheerfully introduced me to all the people who now worked there – most of whom, I once again didn't know!
Lucy's kindness spans many memories – first job, making friends, having children. At each step, she made it easier, more natural, happier. I am incredibly grateful for the ways Lucy allowed me to enter into her orbit of joy and fun without hesitancy. She was a unique soul and I feel blessed to have known her. She was so loved by so many.
— Ruth Abrahams
Gorgeous, fun, creative, fearless woman. I'm so happy to have known Lucy, and I am so sorry for her friends and family and everyone who had the chance to meet her that she was taken far too soon.
Lucy always made me laugh, even on the most stressful of days during the festivals when we had back to back issues and piles of ads to be designed. Lucy was always patient with me when I made mistakes with page plans, even if my error had made her job a lot harder. I loved arguing with her over right-hand pages and had the privilege of seeing her passion and creativity in her work. Lucy really cared about everything that she did and created beautiful spreads and art everyday.
Lucy had so many incredible stories and seemed to have had a hundred lives, but not long enough though. She'd get her daughter all sorts of amazing outfits ordered to the office. She'd love showing us all the cute little skirts, cool wee jumpers, the dungarees and mini boots. Many of us in the office spoke about how much we'd love Lucy to choose our clothes for us. You couldn't walk into the office without stopping by her desk and catching up. Her positivity was infectious and she had a way of making everyone feel special and seen. She'd call you pal, and give you a hug and you'd always feel better.
Lucy will be so missed and my thoughts are with Nick and Fia and all of her family.
You were so loved Lucy and always will be.
— Rachel Cree
Having worked with Lucy for the better part of 20 years, I don't even know where to start with memories. There are just too many. Lucy was the type of girl that made memories by just walking into the room. Her laugh, her kindness and her sense of style were all just so special. Back in 2002 when I started at The List, Lucy was one of the first people to take me under her wing as she was the one who designed all of my early promotions. This meant spending hours (and I mean hours) by her side every issue, watching her whiz around the keyboard making endless changes to the client's artwork. Always kind and funny and oh so patient when I would (always) ask for a client's logo to be made 'just a bit bigger'.
Over the years, we partied the afternoons away at The List's notoriously messy Festival lunches and Christmas parties – Lucy was always the first to have a shot of whisky in the office pre-noon and get the party started! Her laughter filled the room and she was always up for it. Parties were just not as much fun if Lucy was not there and no photocopier was safe if she was!
Lucy and I basically grew up together at The List. We started working together in our 20s, went to each other's weddings in our 30s, cuddled each other's babies in between and entered our 40s as disgracefully as possible. With me not being from the UK, I spent more time with Lucy in those 19 years, than I did with my own family.
Like many others, I just can't believe she is gone. The world is a darker place without her and what I wouldn't give to have her come into the Sales room and notice the stack of biscuits on the side and hear her say 'Hi ya pal, ooooh, biscuits, can I have one?' Followed by the heartiest laugh. You were one of a kind, Lucy and I will never forget you.
— Sheri Friers
Lucy Munro joined The List staff back in May 2001 and quickly made her mark. I want to record our heartfelt thanks for all she did for The List over so many years. She has given us our identity and maintained a high quality of design for all our publications in spite of numerous challenges in terms of time, resources and pressures from all sides. This has been very important in establishing our brand values. And thanks to her, there is always something elegant and contemporary that stands out in all her work and has given us our distinctive reputation.
Lucy would rise to whatever challenge she was given and come up with new ideas and concepts time and time again. In the complex interaction of decision makers that often pertains at The List, she knew when to stand her ground, holding out for her vision, and when to give way.
Throughout it all, she has been a delight to work with – being kind and supportive to those around her and often finding ways to ease any tensions through a well judged joke.
Our sympathy and thoughts are with Nick and Fia and all her family and friends.
— Robin Hodge
Sometimes it's tough as a freelancer going into an office where everyone knows each other and working relationships are well-established. But not at The List – I'd work there for roughly a quarter of the year in short bursts as a sub-editor and I've never enjoyed going to work as much as I did walking into that office. And one of the main reasons I loved it so much was getting to sit next to Lucy Munro for the best part of the last seven years.
Her adored husband Nick summed Lucy up best when I messaged him after she died, describing her as 'an absolute cracker'. It's a description that captures her essence perfectly: her inherent kindness, her sense of mischief, her crackling energy, her wicked laugh, her infectious enthusiasm.
There was no better pick-me-up on a dreary Monday morning than being greeted by a cheery 'hiya pal!' from Lucy. Her chat was endlessly entertaining, the subject matter extensive: design, the property market, her latest shopping discovery, her overwhelming love for her daughter Fia, her passion for music (John Grant good, Nick Cave bad), the benefits of Quavers as part of a weight-loss regime.
She was some woman. An absolute cracker indeed. Miss you pal.
— Paul McLean
Fun-loving, sharp witted and always good for a chat, I loved working with Lucy during my time at The List. She's the one you always wanted to sit next to in the pub after work, because you knew you'd get an interesting conversation full of laughs. I admired her attitude to work and the way she was with the people she worked with – she was always approachable, but you knew not to mess! A gem of a woman.
— Richie Meldrum
Lucy worked upstairs when I first started at The List and I didn't have much to do with her to begin with. But I quickly realised that if I needed a hand with, well, anything – here was the person who would help. For over 13 years I continued to make a huge amount of frequently impossible and often hugely unreasonable requests of her. Each and every time those requests were met with a warm smile, that booming laugh or, at very worst, a roll of the eyes and unsaid words of 'oh go on then – I'll bail you out … again'.
Lucy was one of the kindest, most generous people I have ever known. She had time for everyone – well apart from a magazine deadline where you knew it was in your best interests to swiftly move along if you knew what was good for you. I've tried hard to think of a time I was ever annoyed with Lucy and have found it to be a quite impossible task. To work in such a small close-knit office under constant pressure of deadlines makes that fact all the more astonishing. She wasn't one of life's good people – she was one of life's best people and, like everyone else who knew her, we were all the more fortunate for doing so.
Lucy was the first to praise and the last to scold. And you knew she meant it. There were no false platitudes with Lucy – she wore her heart on her sleeve and what a big heart it was. Her love for Nick and her beautiful daughter Fia was unbounded and every other day you'd see a small package with something thoughtful, beautiful and amazing arriving for her family or her home.
I haven't mentioned fun yet have I? Lucy seemed to be having twice as much as everyone else all the time and one of the best bits about being around Lucy was that you knew within minutes you would be as well. If Lucy sat down at your table of an evening you'd know you were in for a treat of a night … and that at some point you'd probably be dancing on that table. And probably falling off it as well.
There are so many good stories, so many memories that Lucy has left. Whilst her life was tragically short it was big, bold and beautiful in every other way. A wonderful designer, an inspirational colleague, a serial misadventurer and lover of late night shenanigans – Lucy you will be very missed but always remembered.
— Brendan Miles
One of the highlights of my time at The List was my 'kitchen chats' with Lucy. For some reason we always ended up bumping into each other in that small room, typically as I was brewing up an extra-strong pot of coffee and she was making something to eat.
The form of these chats always followed a standard pattern. To start, pleasantries would be exchanged and polite inquiries would be made about what the other got up to last night, their plans for the weekend etc. Invariably the weather would be discussed.
But very soon thereafter our chat would ascend into something hilariously random and left field. Such conversations included David Hasselhoff's fabulous album of Christmas carols, ridiculous ideas for businesses we could start up and run together (we were convinced there was untapped market for cat feng shui, or some other such madness), and, of course, the apocryphal Fife-Kentucky land bridge.
I will miss Lucy. I will miss her laugh and the brightness that she brought to every day at The List. She made me smile. And comprehensively beat me at pool on my first company Christmas night out! I count myself very lucky to have known her. I know many, many others feel the same way.
— Stuart Moir
I've written this over and over in my head a few times, unable to put it down on paper without tears streaming. But I realised it wasn't just because I was feeling sad; it's because I have so many incredible memories of Lucy and nowhere near enough time or space to get them all down. I've been thinking about her non-stop since we left The List offices in March for lockdown. Even when she wasn't feeling well, before she knew what was going on, she managed to design an absolutely stunning cover of the last issue of The List from her bed. It was her superpower; to accomplish what sometimes seemed like the impossible with the kind of positivity and energy that most of us can only dream of. I probably spent more time with Lucy than with my own partner during deadlines and in the dreaded month of August, but there really is no one I would rather be with in a dusty, cold and occasionally smelly attic than Lucy.
I've been in awe of her since I first met her four and a half years ago, when I was a terrified intern at The List. She was effortlessly cool but made me feel welcome and part of the family immediately. The selfie above is the photo she took of herself when she first gave me her number. So every time she phoned, that face would pop up and I would immediately get a shock, followed by a few minutes of giggling. I love this photo so much.
As I worked my way up to editor, she was always rooting for me and I will forever be grateful for how many times she defended me in difficult situations or against people that were being unkind. She had a way of defusing any situation with her very aura.
Also, I have Lucy to thank for my best pal in the world, my black cat, Begbie. After occasionally babysitting her cat, Rita, I completely fell in love and ended up getting my own companion. We spent so much time during work talking about Rita and Begbie and sharing photos! She encouraged me to go full crazy cat lady and I totally did.
As I said, I have so many memories of Lucy. But I will always cherish the times we were able to dance together and just generally be silly and have fun. The photo below was taken in a photobooth at a List Festival Party after some intense dancing to 90s hip hop. I've kept that photo in the back of my daily planner and sometimes, when things get a bit too much, I take it out and smile. I can only hope to be as amazing, kind and badass as Lucy one day but in the meantime, I'm going to try and live life like she did.
— Arusa Qureshi
I can still hear her beautiful, dirty laugh ringing in my ears. At one point we shared an office at The List and talked about everything! There's not much Lucy didn't know about me. The day she came in clutching her scan picture of Fia will forever be in my heart – she was literally beaming. She was always smiling – even when she was fed up or annoyed about stuff. She exuded confidence like no one I have ever met, though I know too, she was a bit of a worrier – she always wanted to do her best. Oh and cool, Lucy was soooo cool – but without trying, like it was just in her, all funky hairstyles and big hoops and mad shoes! I'll miss Lucy greatly, her smile, her warmth, her compassion and her beautiful, dirty laugh.
— Sarah Reddie
Lucy was hilarious, creative, passionate and caring. Always there to share a hilarious joke or a parenting anecdote. She fizzed with energy but was also so gentle. She was there for me when I was a new mum, taking me out for coffee and giving me some of Fia's old bits and bobs. We treasure the doll's house she gave us even more these days.
There have been (and still are) times as a parent when I think 'What would Lucy do?' She showed me the path and I will never ever forget her.
— Jessica Rodgers
It's so hard to whittle down the years of memories of Lucy and it's so hard to accept that someone so vivacious and animated could no longer be here, blowing a kiss or giving an open mouthed grin.
I can see her bouncing into the office sporting a neon orange new hairstyle (of course pulling it off like no one else could) and regaling us with stories from her hairdresser who she now seemed to be best pals with, naturally.
I remember her and her husband Nick (who she was still crazy about even after years of being together – a couple that could restore anyone's faith in love) sitting outside at a Midsummer courtyard party, surrounded by people. Everyone wanted to sit by Lucy; she had the best chat, the filthiest infectious laugh, and she was interesting and interested in others. She was always there to listen whether it was to share a joke or be a shoulder to cry on. And she gave great advice – a solid, no nonsense, straight up perspective.
I remember her stressed at her desk tackling a mountain of design work for the Eating & Drinking Guide, and her entirely justified pride and satisfaction in the finished product. She had such talent.
I remember so many chats by the reception desk when she passed by, getting carried away before remembering that work was waiting.
And I remember the last time I saw her in January and making plans to meet up regularly for coffee after I had my baby in May. I was so excited to introduce my daughter to her and learn how to be the kind of amazing mum that she was to Fia.
She will be so deeply missed. She was truly one of a kind – the best of us.
— Amy Russell
I worked with Lucy for four fabulous years, from 2014–2018, when I was Editor-in-Chief at The List. It's hard to distil my memories of her down to a few stories; over those years, she taught me so much about being an efficient editor, what good design was, and just about life in general.
Print deadlines – usually the bane of any editor's life – were so much more fun with Lucy. Sending a magazine off to print and sharing a drink or a packet of Quavers with her to celebrate made those late nights worth it, and she was always super patient even when I knew she just wanted to get home to Nick and Fia. I don't think I said thank you enough for that, to her or to them.
But my favourite times with Lucy were during the Festival. That's partly because in August, we got to see our Lucy every day (rather than the two days a week she usually did during my tenure). Her joy, humour and all-round warmth made the office a wonderful place to be. Whether it was coming up with eye-catching Festival covers, joking about which editors would be latest with copy, or moaning about too-small images, working the Festival season with Lucy didn't feel like work – just like hanging out with the most wonderful pal. I'll always cherish those days with her.
— Yasmin Sulaiman
We all have 'work' pals, then we have a pal like you, Lucy. My eight and a half years at The List were made truly memorable because of you, my friend.
You were the cool big sister I never had. I also have a rather large tattoo on my leg because of you – haha – much to my mother's dismay!
Your vibrancy lives on in your wonderful family. I'll see you in my dreams, my friend.
Much love from Debbie T, your wee Harthill mucker xx
— Debbie Thomson