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Padang Brown(布朗大草場), which literally in Malay language is Brown Field. It is a 12 acre playing field in George Town, donated by David Brown of Glugor Estate, a pioneer resident and planter in Strait Settlement Penang.
It is located at Dato Kramat, bordered by Dato Kramat Road, Perak Road, Anson Road and Johor Road. The frontage at Dato Kramat Road is facing the Convent Dato Kramat School, a Catholic school. The rear portion at Anson Road is Penang Buddhist Association, at the Johor Road there is a Church. This is the padang or the field of religion harmony....
At the corner close to the traffic light at the junction of Dato Kramat Road and Perak Road, is the Dato Kramat Police Station and a sport club(with a tennis court). The tennis court were popular with the government servants at the evenings.
At the corner of Perak Road and Anson Road, behind the police station is the hawker complex(location A in the map),where the David Brown Memorial is erected. The memorial was erected by the public,both locals and European, in memory of David Brown. The memorial was once stood at the centre of the field, but later relocated to the centre of the hawker complex. The hawker complex was once popular for lok-lok and Yong tau foo, but now the location is more popular with the Mamak rojak and other Malay food. In the 60s and 70s, if you said go to padang, people will know it is going to Padang Brown Hawker Centre. It is one of the land mark in Dato Kramat, and also Penang. Some of the Penang uncle and auntie first dating ,may be at Padang Brown. Just opposite the entrance to the Padang Brown Hawker Complex, across the Perak Road, located at the corner of the row of shops,the side is Jalan Kebun Nyor, is the famous Hokkien Mee, just beside the electrical shop, open in the morning, need to come early to avoid disappointment(location is marked E).
At the other two end of the field, located at Johor Road, are two hawker centre or hawker rows. The one at the corner of Anson Road and Johor Road is the latest, was set up in the 90s. It open only at night. It provides more varieties compared to the other two earlier hawker centres. It is one of the popular night spot for street food. The other at the corner of Johor Road and Dato Kramat Road was set up much earlier(location B in the map), only open during day time at 2.30p.m. to 6.30p.m. It is famous for the Mamak pohpiah at Lot 17. These two hawker rows/centres are popular,more popular than the older hawker complex near Brown Memorial. MPPP should know why?. Not far from the place, is the famous Ah Leng Char Koay Teow at the corner of Jalan Dunlop/Jalan Dato Kramat,inside the Kafe Khoon Hiang coffee shop(location marked D in the map).
Padang Brown , the field near Dato Kramat Road, was once popular with football matches in the evenings.and weekly night market(pasar malam) was held there. This is the field many of Penang state footballers have their first competition match, before they played in City stadium. The potential state footballers will played all his best here, the game is played by all races, Malay, Chinese, Indian and others. The sport fan can see free competitive football match here. These matches are one of the night entertainment for Penang guys in the olden days.But it is rare now.......the field had deteriorated, especially when it is raining day.
A weekly night market was also held here, at the field at the field near to Perak Road.But now no more, as the field is not suitable for night market.
Who is David Brown?
Please do no call the place Padang Dato Kramat(柑仔園大草場), or Padang Broom. With due respect to the David Brown,who are the pioneer Penang resident, the one who was the first to cultivate nutmeg extensively, reported to be the first plantation in Malayia. Brown was related to Penang State Library, USM, Snake Temple....and even the Kampong Buah Pala...He died on voyage to Malacca in 1825, and buried in Penang Protestant Cemetery, together with Francis Light ,James Scott, James Richardson Logan. He died as a Penang resident and did not buried in Scotland, his birth place. He always has his heart in Penang........
Please call the field "Padang Brown"(布朗大草場), with due respect to the person who donated the land. George Town now is a Heritage City, the people of Penang need to learn to respect history and understand history. Penang people will not erase history. We love our historical street names, it is part of our heritage. Let us give the historical name back to the field, from today, let us call it Padang Brown.......
For further details of David Brown,please refer to my earlier posting.
The hawker row located at the corner of Johor Road and Anson Road.
David Brown Memorial proudly stood here.
Padang Brown Hawker Complex, look at the empty chairs...may be it is still early. It is located at the corner of Anson Road and Perak Road.
The Padang Brown, which was popular for local football match in the evenings. The view of the corner of Johor Road and Dato Kramat Road.
The view of the other corner of Perak Road and Dato Kramat Road (behind Dato Kramat Police Station).