A remarkable information board unveiled recently at Scar House Reservoir in Nidderdale contains a detailed map of the layout of a vanished village. It once was home to 1,250 people and included a hospital, church, school, canteen, gymnasium, fish-and-chip shop and cinema.

All that remain now at the site are the concrete bases of some of the buildings and the projection booth of the cinema although the canteen still stands, after being transported to Darley where it now serves as the village hall.

The map has been created, after much research, by Bradford historian Andrew Bolt, who works as an investigation technician for Yorkshire Water's service partner Laing O'Rourke and has always had an interest in the history of Yorkshire, and particularly of Bradford.

In 2000 he began a campaign to save the Odeon cinema which, as the New Victoria, had been designed by the late Bradford architect William Illingworth. This led him to wider interest in Illingworth's work, which included the design of Scar House reservoir.

Andrew says: "William Illingworth opened Scar House reservoir on September 7, 1937, as part of the Nidd Valley water supply scheme which is still Bradford's main water source. Today, visitors will notice that the car park is set on different levels. This represents what used to be the family homes and bungalows of the workers. My main aim was to clearly identify what exactly stood on the ground there all those years ago."

He adds: "The village was built in 1922 so that the workers could construct and finish the dam wall which was completed by 1937. After the reservoir was finished the village was dismantled."

So peace and quiet returned to the upper reaches of Nidderdale. Weeds began to colonise the fringes of the concrete foundations of the huts and grew over the remains of the railway track which ran into the village from Pateley Bridge.

Andrew Bolt's site map shows the original layout of the village, identifying the positions of all the original structures.

He says: "This is not only a great place to come for a walk but it has so much history behind it. You can even spot a villager's footprint in a concrete block from all those years ago."

Although the reservoir wasn't officially opened until 1937 its storage capability proved useful a couple of years earlier as the Bradford Corporation Waterworks Centenary Handbook 1855-1955 makes clear.

There had been a run of relatively dry summers. In 1929, for example, low rainfall in the spring and summer, when the Scar House dam was a long way from being completed, reduced supply to Bradford to 35 days and restrictions to consumers had to be applied.

An emergency pumping plant was installed at Barden capable of abstracting five million gallons a day from the River Wharfe and passing it into the Nidd Aqueduct from where it could be delivered to the Chelker and Barden reservoirs or sent direct to Bradford.

Pumping started on August 22 and continued until October 4 when the autumn rain set in.

There was another prolonged dry period between 1933 and 1934. Things were getting so serious that by March, 1934, Angram reservoir at the very top of the valley (which had been built in the 1890s along with the 31-mile-long aqueduct to bring the water from the Nidd to Bradford) was only a quarter full.

Although Scar House reservoir immediately below Angram wasn't completed it was full of water to within a few inches of its overflow level. The Corporation applied under emergency powers to use these reserves and on July 5 the first water from Scar House reservoir was sent through the Nidd Aqueduct to Bradford.

The unnamed writers of the handbook state: "But for this action, it was subsequently ascertained, Angram reservoir would have been completely drained by the middle of August and in anticipation of this the city and its dependent townships would have been placed on emergency supplies long before that time."

The handbook notes that 460,000 cubic yards of excavation material were removed to receive the foundations and cut-off trenches for the reservoir, and more than 540,000 cubic yards of masonry and concrete weighing a million tons were used in the building of the dam. When the reservoir is full it covers an area of 172 acres and has a maximum depth of 154ft 6in. Its capacity is 2,200 million gallons.