Wootton Bassett postie Jenny Frayling is determined to overrule Royal Mail who have said she must retire when she reaches 65 next month.

Ms Frayling has been delivering post in Wootton Bassett and the villages of Clyffe Pypard, Bushton and Tockenham for 17 years and has begged Royal Mail bosses to let her stay on.

Earlier this month, Royal Mail ruled that she must retire at 65 and said they would only grant requests to work indefinitely if the role required a specialist skill.

Ms Frayling, who has worked for Royal Mail for 22 and a half years, said: “I have told them time and time again that I don’t want to retire. I turn 65 at the start of July, but with holiday I have to go in the middle of June.

“A while ago, I filled in a form asking if I wanted to retire or if I wanted to stay on.

“I put that I wanted to stay indefinitely but then I got a letter saying I had to retire.

“I thought ‘Why bother to ask?’ It doesn’t look promising now. I just feel as though we are all one big family in those villages. They are lovely, lovely people.

“I get involved in the fetes, birthdays and christenings in the villages.”

Members of the public have written to Royal Mail and MP James Gray on her behalf.

Peter Gantlett, of Clyffe Pypard Parish Council, said: “Jenny is a link that people find invaluable. She is difficult to put a value on.”

Alan Cummings, who lives in Wootton Bassett said: “She is absolutely great with people but also dogs.

“My little terrier waits for her by the door because she sometimes carries biscuits for them.

“She is the heart and soul of the community and Royal Mail should be ashamed.”

A spokesman for the company said Royal Mail had a retirement age of 65. Staff could request to continue working but this would be granted only if the role required a specialist skill.