Archie Crabtree was the brother of Hilda Ogden. Archie turned up in Coronation Street in May 1972 to look after Hilda while Stan was in hospital recovering from an accident on the lorries. With his beer belly and laziness, Archie could more easily pass as a brother of Stan than of Hilda, and for three weeks he filled Stan's void in Hilda's life.
A former plumber's mate Archie arrived on the scene just as Hilda decided to give No.13 a facelift which would give it pride of place in the Street. Together, they settled on a porch, complete with hanging baskets. Archie built the porch for Hilda and finished it in less than a week, but there was a last minute snag: planning permission, as Jerry Booth reminded them as they proudly admired their handiwork. Archie went to the Town Hall to sort it out but he was unsuccessful and Hilda was told by Councillor Warburton to take the porch down. Shortly after this, the porch disappeared, and believing that the council wouldn't just take it, Hilda decided it must have been stolen. However, Archie never got the chance to make good on his threat to turn the thief into mincemeat as shortly thereafter Hilda received a telegram from the hospital revealing that Stan was on his way home from hospital, and hence Archie would have to go. Archie suggested that Hilda take on another job so that she could look after him and Stan, but one Stan was enough for Hilda.
Despite his belief that a working man was finished by the time he was fifty, Archie went on to see better days. He married Doris some time after his visit to No.13 and by the 1980s owned A. Crabtree Fish & Chips. Hilda went to stay with Archie in 1973, in 1981, at which point he had just moved into a new, bigger house, and again in 1982. By 1983, Archie was a widower and not in the best of health. On 16th May of that year, he died of a heart attack. The shop fell to Hilda as Archie's only surviving family, and Hilda dealt with the funeral arrangements and had Archie cremated.
After Archie's death, there was some question over the nature of his relationship with his assistant Avril Carter, who claimed to be Archie's fiancée and that with his dying breath he had expressed his desire for her to have the chip shop. Hilda battled Avril for the shop and, after finding out she was having an affair with a married man which would be exposed in court, forced her to back down. There was however further disappointment as because of Archie's debts, her inheritance only amounted to £1,583.