Percy Sugden arrived in the Street in 1983 as the new caretaker at the Community Centre. Old soldier Percy had been a cook in the Army and his proudest boast was: "When you've made gravy under shell fire, you can do anything!"
In 1983, Percy suggested to Mavis Riley that his pet budgie, Randy, should mate with her pet budgie, Harriet. Mavis was not happy with the idea!
In 1987, Percy formed the Percy Sugden Formation Dancers, containing such local notables as Hilda Ogden and Phyllis Pearce. He groomed them to a enter a local dance contest. Fed up with his bossiness, the dancers finally ousted Percy and elected a new chairman. Percy reacted by cancelling the group's entry in the dance contest, and informing them that new entries were no longer being accepted!
Also in 1987, Percy decided to be a good neighbour, making regular visits to Alf Roberts, who was recovering from a heart attack. Alf was horrified when insensitive Percy told him stories of other heart attack victims who had not been as lucky to survive!
Upon reaching retirement age in 1988, Percy was forced to leave his flat at the Community Centre and move out of the Street. Miserable at being away from the neighbourhood, he slumped into lethargy until Emily Bishop took pity on him and moved him in as her lodger at No 3.
Percy was delighted, but Mavis Riley, an old friend of Emily's, initially reacted with some jealousy.
Like Albert Tatlock and Ena Sharples before him, Percy was disappointed by many of the "doings" of the younger generation. When Brian Tilsley was stabbed and killed outside a nightclub in 1989, Percy blamed it on "Acid Drops" (Acid House), stating that in his day people attending George Formby concerts hadn't come dashing out stabbing folk!
Percy had unwanted female attention thanks to Phyllis Pearce and Maud Grimes. Phyllis pursued him for most of the 1980s and into the 1990s, and sought to make him jealous by being seen around with other local pensioners, including Sam Tindall and Arnold Swift. But Percy was quite unmoved.
In 1997, Percy's happy life in the Street was shattered when the Battersbys moved in next door. Percy couldn't stand his boisterous new neighbours, so he decided to move into a retirement complex, Mayfield Court.