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Sepoy Lines Road, George Town, Penang

Sepoy Lines Road, George Town

Sepoy Lines Road, within the western part of George Town proper, is a narrow T-shaped road linking Residency Road to the east, Macalister Road to the north, and the junction between Scotland Road and Western Road to the southwest. It runs along the northern and western sides of the Polo Ground.

As its name implies, Sepoy Lines Road, which was created in the late 19th. century, was where the Indian sepoys of the British Army were based.

Sepoy Lines Road sign, George Town, Penang

Sepoy Lines Road sign

Today, the tree-lined Sepoy Lines Road is home to the Penang Medical College and the Penang Sports Club, while the Polo Ground has been used for recreational and sports activities. More recently, the annual Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta has been held at the field.

Etymology

Sepoy Lines Road was named after the barracks housing the British Army's Indian sepoys in the late 19th. century.

History

Polo Ground, George Town, Penang (1910s)

Empire Day celebrations at the Polo Ground, which included a military parade by the British Army's Indian units stationed at Sepoy Lines Road, in the 1910s.

Towards the late 19th. century, as George Town was expanding westwards, British administrators and Army officers were considering the relocation of military facilities from the crowded heart of George Town. Up until that point, the British Army was stationed within Fort Cornwallis, while the Padang at the adjacent Esplanade served as a parade ground.

Therefore, the British Army subsequently shifted its military facilities to the western edge of George Town, which includes the vicinity of Sepoy Lines Road.

Also, in 1871, a British explorer, Captain Tristram Charles Sawyer Speedy, was appointed the superintendent of Penang Island's police force. He brought in Indian sepoys, who were then stationed in their barracks along Sepoy Lines Road, hence its name. At the time, the Polo Ground along Sepoy Lines Road became the new parade ground for the British Army.

Polo Ground, George Town, Penang

Polo Ground today

Initially, Sepoy Lines Road stretched along the northern and western sides of the Polo Ground, connecting the junction between Scotland Road and Western Road to the southwest with Residency Road to the east. In the early 2000s, another branch of the road was created to link with Macalister Road to the north. As a result, Sepoy Lines Road today has three arms - north towards Macalister Road, east towards Residency Road, and southwest towards Scotland Road/Western Road.

Judge's Residence, Sepoy Lines Road, George Town, Penang

The former Judge's Residence at Sepoy Lines Road has been left dilapidated.

In the past, a double-storey bungalow along the road served as the residence of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Penang; it is now abandoned and in a state of disrepair. Today, institutions like the Penang Medical College and the Penang Sports Club, one of the oldest sports club on Penang Island, are located along the road.

Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, Polo Ground, George Town, Penang

The Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is held at the Polo Ground every February.

Meanwhile, the Polo Ground now serves as a public recreational area. In addition, the Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is held every February at the field, attracting thousands of visitors and enthusiasts from all walks of life.

Notable Landmarks

Education

Penang Medical College, George Town, Penang

Penang Medical College

The Penang Medical College is a private college established in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland (RCSI), and the University College Dublin (UCD). Founded in 1996, it offers medical-related courses such as surgery, psychiatry and paediatrics. It is also located near the Penang General Hospital, where most of the clinical teaching takes place.

Other than that, a government high school, the Polo Ground Girls' High School (SMK Padang Polo), is located along the road.

Sports

Penang Sports Club, George Town, Penang

Penang Sports Club

The Penang Sports Club, one of the oldest sports clubs on Penang Island, was founded in 1900 as the Penang Cricket Club. It relocated to the junction between Sepoy Lines Road, Western Road and Scotland Road in 1939, and was renamed Penang Sports Club in 1947.

Political Representation

Penang State Government

N.25 Pulau Tikus State Assemblyman : Yap Soo Huey (Democratic Action Party)

Malaysian Federal Parliament

P.048 Bukit Bendera Member of Parliament : Zairil Khir Johari (Democratic Action Party)

References

  1. Khoo S.N., 2007. Streets of George Town, Penang. Areca Books.
  2. Cheah J. S., 2013. Penang 500 Early Postcards. Editions Didier Millet.
  3. http://www.penang-traveltips.com/sepoy-lines-road.htm
  4. http://www.pmc.edu.my/our-vision/
  5. http://pgsportsclub.com.my/page/history

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