Mr Metcalfe was born in 1915. As a young farmer, he bought Crossgill Farm in 1942 for £500. Prior to this, Mr Metcalfe married a woman named Mary and they had a son, Bairn. In 1946, Mary tried to leave Mr Metcalfe and take Bairn to London, but he warned her not to go. She refused so he beat her to death. He tried to wake her up but she was dead. He had her secretly buried, and villagers assumed she left him. The police nor Bairn discovered the truth, and Bairn left home but died aged 30. Mr Metcalfe held onto all of Mary's possessions and always looked at them. The death of his wife and son lead him to be recluse - neglecting his animals and only really socialising with Matt Skilbeck.
In September 1987, now aged over 70, Mr Metcalfe's farm was in a dilapidated state, and he had a dishevelled appearance. Metcalfe took a dim view of visitors to his farm. Rumours spread that Mr Metcalfe had killed his wife. Mr Metcalfe did secretly admit the truth to Matt, that he beat her up after she wanted to leave him, and when he tried to wake her, she was dead. Matt was shocked. Local dodgy antiques dealer Eric Pollard tried to con Mr Metcalfe. Dolly Skilbeck defended Mr Metcalfe against Eric. When Eric kept pestering Mr Metcalfe, he came at Eric with a gun, and fired a shot into the air to warn Eric off.
In November 1987, Mr Metcalfe collapsed while building a gate. He felt queasy so rushed into his home where he called out his late wife's name, and then died in his armchair. He had died of a heart attack. His body was discovered by Matt on the next day, and Matt was surprised when he found out Mr Metcalfe had left Crossgill Farm to him.
It is unknown whether Mr Metcalfe is related to current character David Metcalfe.