Another Puzzle

Motor Sport has solved several motoring mysteries at one time or another and here is one which the readers may care to ponder over. The other day I was idly looking through a back number of Homes and Gardens (well, one must escape from cars for a few moments) and I came across an article by Hector Bolitho about a house he used to occupy within Salisbury Close. He refers to his neighbours, one of whom was the Chancellor, Canon Smethurst, “who had been a racing motorist before he took holy orders.” The article appeared in 1970, and as the gentleman concerned had risen to the position of Canon, it was presumably in pre-war times that he drove his racing cars. So please, before I bother the author or the Canon himself, what do we know about this reference to motor racing?