Mr. Andrews was a man of big-hearted sympathetic nature, and his kindly disposition endeared him to all with whom he came into contact, both in a business capacity and in the friendly relations of private life. ~ The Marine Engineer and Naval Architect, London, May 1912
Originally number 12 Windsor Avenue, now numbered 20, "Dunallan" stands on Windsor Avenue off Lisburn Road in south Belfast, near to St Mary's University. For four years "Dunallan" was the Belfast home of Thomas Andrews, who as Managing Director of the Harland and Wolff shipyard led the design of the Titanic.
Thomas Andrews was born on 7 February 1873 to Thomas and Eliza Andrews. By the age of sixteen Thomas Andrews was apprenticed at his uncle's shipyard in Belfast where he spent the next five years working in the various departments of the shipyard, ultimately finishing his apprenticeship working in the drawing office. He became part of the drawing office in November 1892, and after rising through a number of managerial positions reached the position of Managing Director in March 1907.
In 1908 Thomas Andrews married Helen Reilly on 24 June. In a biography of Thomas Andrews published after his death author Shan Bullock wrote that "...his married life, so woefully restricted in point of years as it was rich in bounty of happiness...[and]...no matter how often he had been away or how late he had stayed at the Yard, never had Mrs. Andrews made a complaint." After honeymooning in Switzerland the couple set up home, moving into "Dunallan" in Belfast. They rented the property from its owner W R Patterson. On 27 Novemebr 1910 Helen Andrews gave birth to a daughter, named Elizabeth Law-Barbour Andrews. Thomas Andrews called her "Elba" on account of the initials of her name.
It was from "Dunallan" that Thomas Andrews set out on 2 April 1912 to join the Titanic's trial trip in Belfast Lough before she set sail from Southampton. There he led the nine men Guarantee Group from the Harland and Wolff shipyard. Their role was to resolve any teething issues with the new ship. In the disaster the nine men of the Guarantee Group and another 13 Belfast men named on the memorial died.