By: RaY KinZoKu

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Wednesday, 7-Jun-2006 15:00 Email | Share | Bookmark
KELANTAN : Meet The Guillemard


let's see.... emmm... speaking about Kelantanese pride ... hmm..

Kelantan has the oldest mosque in Malaysia.
The highest waterfall in Malaysia is in Kelantan, the Stong Waterfall.
( also said to be the highest in Asia ? Southeast Asia ? )
One of the oldest surviving Malay Palaces is in Kelantan ( the majestic Istana Balai Besar ).
Then, the longest bridge in Southeast Asia, The Sultan Yahya Petra Bridge .....errr yes,
at least it was, back in the 1960s !

However, the title for the " Longest Railway Bridge in Malaysia "
is, no doubt, still being held by Kelantan.

Yes, meet the Guillemard Bridge.
A rustic but magnificent steel bridge,
cutting the mighty Kelantan River at Paloh Rawa in Jajahan Machang to Kursial in Jajahan Tanah Merah.
Just go through the photos up there, you'll get the whole picture.
( Get it ? Photos. The " Whole Picture " ! Ha ha )

A rusty signboard bearing the word, " Guillemard Bridge ".
The bridge was named after the name of a 1920s, British Straits Settlement Governor
and The Malay States High Commisioner, Sir Laurence Guillemard.

The Guillemard Bridge.
Not sure about the length though... but undeniably still the longest of such kind in Malaysia. Just look at it !
Finished in July 1924 after 4 years of a possibly back-breaking construction, it was formally opened in 1925.
A bridge back then, especially a superbly made one, is luxury.
So, the bridge was put to full use, not just by the train, but surprisingly for other vehicles and padestrians as well,
until a new bridge, just for the road driven vehicles, was constructed quite recently nearby.
Parts of the bridge was demolished by the British during the early days of the World War II, in an attempt to slow down the advancing Japanese.
It was repaired soon after the war and was reopen to the public on 7th September 1948.
The bridge is still in use, acting as a vital link for the East Coast Train line ( Gemas ~ Tumpat ).

Looking Back :

The Guillemard Bridge, during construction in 1920s.
Exact date and origin unknown. Stated as " Khota Bharu " on the photo cum postcard,
the actual construction site was actually 60 km upriver from Kota Bharu. Photos taken from Northern Malaya's blog.

( Note : Photo & description added on 14 Oct 2007 )

1st Image ( top ) :
The Guillemard Bridge, 7th March 1929, some four years after its opening. Before the Great War.

2nd Image ( middle ) :
The same bridge, also taken on 7th March 1929, from different angle.
Also seen in this shot, are some visiting British officers.

3rd Image ( bottom ) :
The bridge during the WW2, partly demolished by the British, in an attempt to curb the
advancing Japanese troops. This photo, taken by the Japanese, shows the soldiers as
they tried to cross the Kelantan River, on what is left of the bridge, in order to get into
Kuala Krai from Tanah Merah.

* All photos above are courtesy of Arkib Negara Malaysia ( National Archive ) search site.

Click photo to get to each the original source.

Our Next Stop ( maybe ! ) :

The Ore Bridge ( Jambatan Bijih ) in Jubakar, Jajahan Tumpat.

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