The ancient, medieval village of Denshaw, in the Pennine hills in northern England, has been targeted by jokesters on Wikipedia...

Medieval village accused of having tapeworm outbreak becomes latest victim of Wikipedia entry

17th April 2008
Daily Mail

It's a quiet Pennine hamlet best known for its medieval pubs and annual brass band contest. But Denshaw, in Greater Manchester, has now attracted unwelcome notoriety after it was targeted by users of web encyclopaedia Wikipedia.

A series of anonymous entries on the popular site have lampooned locals with barbed comments.

One claims the village has a population of four residents, who suffer from obesity and malnourishment because the surrounding hills block out sunlight for all but four hours a day.

Another says "none of the girls there are fit" and tourism has suffered since the "Ascariasis epidemic in 1998 which left most of the village seriously ill".

The sleepy town of Denshaw, Greater Manchester, has received a number of spoof entries on its Wikipedia page

The parasitic tapeworm infection is more common in tropical climates, but the writer insists the effects are still being felt "especially by residents of Dumfries Drive".

The annual brass band contest is ridiculed with claims locals celebrate by "cow shooting, rock rolling, and sheep hurling".

At the 400-year-old Golden Fleece pub referred to as a "timid brothel" on Wikipedia landlord Rick Rainey soon put the record straight: "It was once frequented by highwaymen so I'm sure it has hosted ladies of the night in its past.

"But I can reassure customers that's not the case now."

And good-natured Dumfries Drive residents laughed off the disease claim.

Rick Raney, landlord at the Golden Fleece in Denshaw, with his partner Jackie

Nurse Julie Thomas, 37, said: "I lived here in 1998 and there was no outbreak - unless I've still got it and don't know about it."

Malcolm McLintock, 68, added: "I've lived here since 1948. It's a lovely place. If I won millions on the lottery I wouldn't move away."

Parish councillor Ken Hulme, who spotted the spoof, said: "I think it's absolutely hilarious.

The BBC could do with finding out who's responsible and giving them a job as a scriptwriter."

Wikipedia is seen by millions of people a day and lets users all over the world edit information on any topics.

It says they "encourage users to respond with their views".