Tommy Brash has sold ice creams to three generations of children in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea.
But the 71-year-old lost his regular spot on Church Point Car Park to Polish rival ice cream van from Newcastle after his tender bid with Northumberland County Council failed.
Now residents from the seaside town have launched a campaign to reinstate the local legend on his usual patch, saying he “is not just an ice cream man, he’s our childhood hero”.
An online petition started by villager Steph Harmison has already attracted 2,400 signatures, and a protest is planned in the car park on Sunday.
Steph Harmison, who organised the protest, said she took her son to buy an ice cream last week and was “gutted” to find Tommy missing.