Archie was a budgerigar bought as a welcome home present for Ena Sharples by Martha Longhurst and Minnie Caldwell after their friend suffered a mild stroke in 1962. The bird cost 12/6 on the market and was settled into the Glad Tidings Mission Hall in time for Ena's return from St Mark's Hospital. However, the women were not on hand when Ena arrived and the pensioner was nonplussed when Florrie Lindley unveiled the birdcage directly in front of her bed.
Ena disliked Archie on sight, particularly his tendency to stare at her and habit of repeating the phrases "Minnie Caldwell" and "Ena won't like it". Minnie attempted to win her friend over by suggesting that the bird could raise the alarm if she had another funny turn, but Ena had had enough of the "parrot" and demanded that one of her cronies take him off her hands. Martha then placed the cage in her bedroom at 7 Mawdsley Street.