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Presgrave Street Ghaut, George Town, Penang

Presgrave Street Ghaut, George Town, with KOMTAR visible at the background.

Presgrave Street Ghaut is a seaward extension of Presgrave Street within the George Town city centre. It runs from the western intersection with Bridge Street and Presgrave Street until Tun Dr. Lim Chong Eu Expressway to the east.

The street was created in the late 19th. century, when the area was reclaimed from the sea. In the past, a path led from the eastern end of Presgrave Street Ghaut to the Koay Jetty, which has since been replaced by apartments in the early 21st. century.

To this day, the shophouses along this short street are used as workshops, foundries and car mechanics, reflecting its working-class background.

Presgrave Street Ghaut sign, George Town, Penang

Presgrave Street Ghaut sign

Etymology

Similar to the adjoining Presgrave Street, Presgrave Street Ghaut was named after Edward Presgrave, a British solicitor-general who founded the oldest law firm within the then Straits Settlements at Beach Street.

All streets that were extended towards the sea carry the word 'ghaut', which means a flight of steps leading down into the sea. A common feature along India's rivers, ghauts were constructed to allow the offloading of a ship's cargo.

History

Both Presgrave Street and Presgrave Street Ghaut were created during the latter half of the 19th. century. Whereas the inland Presgrave Street came into being due to the southward expansion of George Town past the Prangin Canal, Presgrave Street Ghaut was laid out after the area on which it lies was reclaimed from the sea.

Koay Jetty, George Town, Penang

The now-defunct Koay Jetty off Presgrave Street Ghaut.

A path connecting the street with Koay Jetty used to exist in the past. However, the path was erased with the construction of Tun Dr. Lim Chong Eu Highway in the 1980s, while Koay Jetty was torn down in 2006. Today, the site where Koay Jetty once stood is now occupied by low-medium cost apartments.

Since its inception, Presgrave Street Ghaut has been home to a working class community that are mostly engaged in metalworks. To this day, the shophouses have been used as foundries, workshops and car mechanics.

Political Representation

Penang State Government

N.27 Pengkalan Kota State Assemblyman : Lau Keng Ee (Democratic Action Party)

Malaysian Federal Parliament

P.049 Tanjong Member of Parliament : Ng Wei Aik (Democratic Action Party)

References

  1. http://www.penang-traveltips.com/presgrave-street-ghaut.htm

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