Country: England

Region (County/State/Province): North Yorkshire

Website: None

Contact: Dawn Haida

Study Description 

Because of its fast developing industry, in particular the woollen trade, and the rapid growth in population in the mid and late nineteenth century, the West Yorkshire city of Bradford saw a serious increase in demand on the city’s water resources and the Corporation realised that if the city was to continue to develop and prosper something had to be done to remedy the problem. As a result and with the support of new Parliamentary legislation the Corporation decided to construct two reservoirs high up on desolate moorland in the upper reaches of Nidderdale.

First to be built was Angram reservoir and modest accommodation with hospital and school was erected nearby to house the workforce and their families. Upon completion, the machinery and temporary buildings were moved the short distance down the valley and work commenced on the second reservoir, Scar House. This project was funded and managed directly by the Corporation as opposed to bringing in a firm of contractors to work on their behalf and the Corporation went to great lengths to ensure the workforce and their families(a population of about 1400) had every comfort possible whilst undertaking this mammoth task. A self-contained village was constructed – temporary wooden hostels were built to house the unmarried men, bungalows for those with families, plus shops, school, church, hospitals, village hall, cinema, tennis courts, etc., and all were supplied with electricity, hot and cold running water and modern ‘flush’ sanitation – a convenience many of the homes approximately twelve miles down the valley in the nearest town, Pateley Bridge, did not enjoy.

Angram Village existed from about 1904, followed by Scar House 1921 to 1936. When the reservoir was completed the village was dismantled and all that remains are the many foundations hidden in the undergrowth with the exception of the concrete cinema projection room and two of the bungalows on The Crescent which were eventually rebuilt in stone and housed the permanent workers employed to maintain the reservoir and control the water supply. When the village was dismantled so was the electricity supply and the ‘modern’ toilet facilities and it was not until late 1962 that electricity was again installed and at that time my mother and father, my father worked on the reservoir, lived there from their marriage in 1960 and kept poultry in the cinema projection room – the only concrete building on the site. I myself (born January 1962) am the last person to have Scar Village on their birth certificate – “No.4. The Crescent, Scar Village”. It is a very special place and my family are all continually drawn back time and time again.

This study will attempt to enhance the already well published details of the construction of the reservoirs and the village, with the more social aspects of the village and information about the people and their families who moved to the area to work. We await with anticipation the release of both the 1921 and 1931 census records but in the meantime will draw on information of BMDs, parish records, The Scar Village Magazine, etc. etc. to build the bigger picture. The study will also capture the living memories of my parents, of the times they spent living and working as the “last inhabitants of Scar Village”.

The village existed from about 1919-1936. It was with the release of the first census records with any reference to the Angram village (1911) that our long standing interest in village and its people was stimulated. These census records have been collected and are being transcribed and tabulated.


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Approximately 1,400 at its peak

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