In October 1979, Mavis Riley was disturbed by strange noises in her flat above The Kabin at night. After worrying for several days, Eddie Yeats came to her rescue and, having heard the noises himself, realised that there was a bird trapped in the chimney breast. Mavis called in the RSPCA and Inspector Harry Scott called to the flat where, with landlord Len Fairclough's permission, the brickwork was taken apart to get at the bird, although Mavis had to promise to pay for the redecoration first. Taken with Mavis's kindness, Harry agreed to carry out the decoration himself but was taken ill with long-standing cartilage trouble and had to ask his friend and fellow inspector Jack Walsh to call instead.
Jack had spent twenty-one years in the Royal Navy before deciding on a career change. He at first mistook Rita Fairclough as Mavis, telling her that he expected her to be more homely. When he was put right on the issue, he told Mavis that Harry had a thing for the ladies and used his chat-up lines on her.
A disappointed Mavis transferred her affections to Harry and Rita helped by inviting the pair round to 9 Coronation Street for dinner with herself and Len with Ken Barlow and Deirdre Langton joining them. Len was not happy to be involved and only momentarily cheered up when he found out that Harry was an ex-navy man like himself. Nevertheless he refused to join in Rita's forced conversation about the joys of married life. Despite this, the meal was a success but Jack then disappeared from Mavis's life. He reappeared in August 1982 when the freed bird, a budgie that Mavis had named Harry, unexpectedly laid an egg and had to be renamed Harriet.
- The character of Jack Walsh was hurriedly devised when actor Anthony Pedley, who played Harry Scott, proved to be unavailable to carry on playing the part after the 1979 ITV strike, which had interrupted recording, came to an end after three months.