Home of Thomas Andrews found

Apr 14, 2001
160
0
146
dear titanic fans it is with great pleasure to tell you that the home used by thomas andrews during the building of the titanic has been found by two titanic slueths in belfast and also to commemerate the 90th anniversary of the launch of the titanic from belfast there will be a big celebration in belfast from march 30th to april 7th and one of the things that will happen will be a placing of a plaque at the house that andrews lived at when the ship was built and it took a while for the two people to find the house but they did and you can find it on the titanic news channel or www.newsletter.co.uk-features and the title is titanic sleuths find designer's home jennifer mueller
 
E

Ed Hachey

Guest
Jennifer, thanks for passing on the information on
the Andrews' house being found. Seeing its picture seemed to make Thomas Andrews human. His biography and pictures gives one an idea of the man, but seeing something like what his house looks like seems to give this idea a more human aspect.

Last month I was in Newport, Rhode Island and tracked down "Miramir", the Wideners' summer 'cottage'. While it was excellent to see that their version of a palatial seasonal retreat probably held its own with the other Gilded Age estates, it was sad to know that neither Mr. Widener nor Harry saw it completed. From what I've been able to come across, it was designed by Horace Trumbauer in 1911, was built from late 1911 through 1912 and wasn't completed until 1913 summer season.

I thought that seeing Harvard's Widener Library had given one of the Titanic's families that human aspect to me, but to see something more personal like 'Miramir' and knowing its story, brought the Wideners a greater humanness
 
I was at the plaque unveiling ceremony at the house during Belfast Titanic week in 2002. It's a beautiful house in Windsor Avenue in the University district of Belfast, which is to Belfast what Kensington is to London. The area is far removed from the from the Coronation Street style terrace houses with murals on the gable ends that are often associated in popular culture with Belfast. It is a large two storey red brick building with a large sweeping staircase in a similar style to the one in the Grand Hall at the Northern Ireland parliament building at Stormont. On the landing, there is a huge three panelled stained glass window though I cannot remember what it depicts. The upstairs landing is very spacious and had a thick pile carpet and reminded me of Rhett and Scarlett's House in 'Gone with the Wind'.

The house is now the headquarters of the Northern Ireland Football Association. I was reminded of the house today seeing the news about George Best as the NIFA's celtic cross symbol is much in evidence about the place.

The plaque unveiling was a very cheerful and uplifting event. The weather was beautiful and began with a speech from the then Lord Mayor of Belfast. The President of the Ulster Titanic Society, John Parkinson, then spoke of his father's reminisces of Thomas Andrews. John Parkinson is currently 98 years old and his father worked in the Harland and Wolff shipyard at the time of the Titanic's building. He is one of the few people still alive who can remember seeing the Titanic while she was afloat. He said his father always spoke of his boss with reverence and respect as "Mr Andrews" and emphasis was always on the 'Mr'. Afterwards was a reception in the Football Association's offices which have been built onto the back of the house and I got to speak to a young man who was Andrews' great great nephew. I remember thinking he bore a noticable resemblance to the man himself. There was also a touching photo on display of Thomas Andrews' wedding in 1908 of him with the eight or so bridemaids dressed all in white. The event may have been nearly a hundred years ago but the photo still radiated happiness and warmth.

During the course of the proceedings we were told about how on the morning of 2nd April 1912, Andrews would been picked up from the street outside by a horse and carriage to take him to the shipyard at Queen's Island to board the Titanic. It struck me that his departure from home would have been similar to Captain Smith's eight days later from his house in Southampton.