The Evolution of Gurney Drive and Its Name

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With Gurney Drive undergoing a major transformation, it is a good time to consider its history.

The idea of a promenade along the north beach had long been in the minds of the people of George Town. In 1930 plans were completed for what was described as the “new coast road” between North Beach and Cantonment Road Ghaut. The Commissioners of the Municipality gave considerable time to persuade land owners to give up land for the construction of the road and by 1934 it was possible to construct 510 yards of it.

The first section was opened on October 19 that year, and it proved extremely popular – and the new “Osira” lamps with which the streets were lit marked the first step for improved street lighting in Penang.


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